Cherishing his captaincy
This season has been nothing short of disheartening for the Dickinson High boys hockey team. The undermanned Midgets have just one win in 16 games and are allowing 8.3 goals per game. Yet, head coach Tom Folske says there is one player who has go...
This season has been nothing short of disheartening for the Dickinson High boys hockey team.
The undermanned Midgets have just one win in 16 games and are allowing 8.3 goals per game.
Yet, head coach Tom Folske says there is one player who has gone above and beyond to make sure team chemistry remains solid and the Midgets keep working -- senior forward and captain Cole Olheiser.
"The C on his jersey says it all," Folske said. "He's willing to do everything he can on and off the ice to make the team better. ... That's all you ask of a young man put in that position, is to help make other players better. That's what he does."
Olheiser said being named the team's captain as a senior was the culmination of a life-long goal.
"I've always wanted to have the C on my jersey and I've got it," Olheiser said.
He admits, however, that keeping his head held high, not to mention being the leader for an entire team, has been difficult through the Midgets' struggles.
Dickinson is playing with only 10 skaters, giving it only two full lines to work with.
That means, of the 51 minutes of regulation time, Olheiser is on the ice anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes a game -- and sometimes more, Folske said.
"It's hard to play with a short number of people," Olheiser said. "We run out of gas all the time. We've just got to keep working hard."
Olheiser has just 12 points on the season -- eight goals and four assists -- but his numbers are somewhat impressive considering the Midgets have been shut out seven times and have five one-goal games.
After getting three goals and three assists as a sophomore, Olheiser had a banner junior year. He led the Midgets with 19 goals and 17 assists.
Against Bottineau on Jan. 22, Olheiser poked at the puck from behind the goal for several seconds before forcing it into the net for Dickinson's only goal of the game in a 10-1 loss.
"I see his frustration every now and then on the ice sheet," Folske said. "He doesn't have the supporting cast he's had in the past, so being on this end of it, where he's playing with less experience and less numbers-wise, he's seen a lot of ice time."
Dickinson assistant captain Michael Porter, a junior who is second on the team with seven goals, said the Midget players follow Olheiser's lead since he is in his third year of varsity hockey and one of only two seniors on the team's roster.
"He knows the game better than most of our other players, so he can help the guys understand it a little bit so they know what they're doing," Porter said. "That's really important. It's really good that the younger guys get a guy to look up to, see how he plays and try to play up to his level."