Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — Hibbing/Chisholm High School girls hockey coach Pete Hyduke doesn’t measure success through wins and losses.

If that were the case, then last weekend against Roseville Area and Mahtomedi, the Bluejackets wouldn’t have passed the test with 2-1 and 3-0 losses, respectively.

Instead, Hyduke measures success through learning the growth, and he saw plenty of that against the Raiders and Zephyrs.

With that said, Hyduke is hoping that growing progress continues as he prepares his team for a 7 p.m. high school girls hockey contest against Proctor/Hermantown today at the Hibbing Memorial Arena.

In no way will Hyduke let victories and losses determine the success of his team.

“If wins and losses determine your success, then no, we didn’t accomplish what we wanted,” Hyduke said. “That wasn’t what we were looking for. Sure, you always want wins, but we were looking for improvements in the areas of our game.

“After reviewing the tape, we did have improvements. That’s what we’re looking for. Does it have to continue? Yes.”

What helps in that area will be the fact that Hyduke will be getting two players back on the roster, so the Bluejackets will be at full strength.

“I’m looking forward to that, putting our full roster out on the ice,” he said. “When I looked at the weekend, it was a growth weekend that wasn’t defined by wins and losses, but growth in what we’re trying to teach them, and what we want to see in them.”

The Mirage come to town as the defending Section 7A champions, but that doesn’t concern Hyduke at this point of the season.

“We’ve played them tough many times, and we’ve beaten them many times,” Hyduke said. “They’ve had, on paper, the better team. Last year was last year, and the year before that was the year before that.

“This is a new year. You go out and play a new group, a new team. I never reflect on past history. We reflect on what we’re trying to do, and not what they’re trying to do. If we keep improving, especially in the areas I want them to improve in, that’s a success for us to see us moving forward.”

It might only be game No. 4 for Hibbing/Chisholm, but it’s a pivotal game for seeding purposes.

“We know it’s an important game,” Hyduke said. “It’s just one of many numerous sectional games, but it’s an early test of where we are within our section. There’s no doubt that Proctor/Hermantown has been one of the class teams in our section for quite a few years as we have also.

“We’ll see where we stack up with what’s considered the upper part of our section. We have two important sectional games this week. We have to be ready to play, and hopefully, play at our best.”

The Bluejackets have had trouble scoring against the Mirage in the past, but again, that’s all water under the bridge.

“You don’t approach any team any differently offensively,” Hyduke said. ‘You know what kind of attack systems you want to run, and you know what kind of defensive systems you want to run that can transition to good offense.

“The bottom line is just finishing your opportunities, and making the most of those. Again, it doesn’t have to be a pretty goal. It can be a dirty goal or a rebound goal. You want to take your best shot when you have a chance, put yourself in the best position you can for scoring. You have to make the most of those moments.”

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