Minnesota high school goalie makes 98 saves, loses

Here’s the hockey version of “Is the glass half empty or half full?”.

The Morris/Benson boys hockey team lost last Saturday’s season-opening game to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 12-to-0.

Half empty.

Here’s half-full: Morris/Benson’s goalie didn’t let 98 shots in.

Goalie Tony Bruns made 98 saves in the effort, which isn’t that unusual for him since he often makes up to 70 saves a game for his squad, the Star Tribune reports.

Bruns didn’t realize he’d made so many saves — believed to be a new state record — until remarking to a coach on the bus ride home that he’d never been so sore after a game before. That’s when they checked the scoresheet.

Fewer players are going out for hockey in the district. Only 12 suited up for Saturday’s game.

Because the Storm are so short on numbers, they haven’t had the luxury of a backup goaltender for the past several seasons. That means pulling Bruns isn’t an option, no matter the score or his fatigue level.

“I kept calling for a shift change,” Bruns joked on Tuesday, noting that he was still sore from Saturday’s ironman effort. “But they didn’t listen.”

Other than a bruised and battered body, Bruns, who also runs cross country and plays golf, is showing no signs of being shellshocked. When reminded, jokingly, that two more saves would have gotten him to 100, he said with a laugh, “I’ll probably have a few more chances to get there this year.”

“We have extremely low numbers, right now we have 10 skaters and a goalie,” head coach Jeremiah DayDay tells the Morris Sun Tribune. “Most high school teams we play are filling out a roster with a full 18 kids, and you’ll see a lot of teams we go up against run a lot of two-line sets, but that third line gets a lot of time also. Teams utilize that third line to play good defense and give the first two lines some rest… We just don’t have that luxury this year.”

This, by the way, is why kids get honored for just showing up.

More from the Sun Tribune:

“They know we have to still put a lot into practice, and at times that can be taxing knowing what’s coming up in games,” Day said. “We still need to improve those kids that came up from Bantams and prepare them for the following year, which is a really tough sell when you have to tell five seniors that we’re going to go out, work real hard, we’re not going to win many games, but you still have to go out and bust your butt five days a week, sometimes six if we have games on Saturdays, for the betterment of the MBA Storm. Thankfully, these seniors are willing to do that and put team above their individual goals and have fun doing it.”

“We might not have a lot of wins, but we’re going to have fun out there,” Bruns said.

Morris/Benson got just six shots on goal in the game.

The team will play winless Windom on Saturday.