Oakdale Bears Ice Hockey Rebounds After Last Year’s Playoff Run


Mason Timberlake

(Pictured left to right) Mason Timberlake, Declan Burke, Charlie Villa, Eli Corridon-Crum, and Gabe Lohr celebrating their second goal in their 3-0 win over Washington County in state semifinals last season.

Eli Corridon-Crum, Writer

With Autumn starting, hockey season is officially coming back to Oakdale High School. 


Last season the Oakdale Bears made a deep state playoffs run, coming in second place despite being the eleventh seed underdog.


For the upcoming season, Head Coach Hugh McElroy seems to believe the team will be able to have similar success. “The success we had last season on the ice and in the classroom has motivated the players this season. They were anxious to get started and couldn’t wait to get back on the ice,” states McElroy.


Although expectations are still high for the season, no one can deny the contribution the graduated seniors had on the team. 


“I loved our seniors last year and the year prior. They were great leaders, mentors, and players… they were the glue that held us together, and definitely played a huge role in allowing us to have such a successful season,” goaltender Devin Brown remarked.


Despite the loss of the eleven graduated seniors, the team did gain eleven freshmen this year. “Compared to last year’s Oakdale season I’m not really expecting that type of success from this year. [that] doesn’t mean I don’t think we can do that this year, but I know it’ll be much more challenging,” current senior Gabe Lohr explains.


The team was tested for the first time on Friday, October 14, 2022, losing 4-1 to Walter Johnson. The team wasn’t quite at their best, as they were down a few players, but they expect promising results moving forward.


The team expects a quick bounce back. They are trying to move on after the unfortunate loss. 


“There’s not much to learn from the game; we just need to move past it and focus on the rest of the season,” Brown asserted after the game.


After interacting with the team a few times since the game, it is safe to say that they have done just as Brown said, and are now focused on moving forward to the rest of the season.


Since Oakdale Hockey is not technically a school sponsored sport, in order to spread more awareness of the club athletes and coaches have increased an outreach to the school by offering up new positions such as student manager, and equipment manager for students to take upon themselves to become more involved in the team.