COLORADO SPRINGS — Forget having to replace nine seniors, finding rinks to practice on, or even moving up to uber-talented Class 5A.
Right now, the Pine Creek hockey team is just excited to be doing what they love again.
"There's so much going on and this takes everything off of it and it's truly a blessing," senior forward Zach Campbell said.
"It's awesome to be back on the ice, it's great to have ice time actually, got to love the game right?" senior forward and captain Brett Zahn said.
With last year's 17-2-2 season and a run to the quarterfinals now a distant memory, long time coach Ed Saxer is excited to see a new Eagles squad make their own mark in 2021.
"We had some success last year so building off of that," Saxer said. "We're embracing the challenge and we're excited to play. See what kind of hockey players we have, what kind of coaches we are. So we're embracing the whole thing."
Led by standout forwards Zach Campbell and Brett Zahn, this Pine Creek squad is a blend of veterans and youth, a perfect mix for a clean sheet.
"I'm expecting a lot of people to step up this year, we need that," Zahn said.
"I'd say we're going to make it pretty far, still a lot of work to be done, practices going on, I think we'll do really well this year," Campbell said.
While expectations are always kept on ice with the Eagles program, the key right now is taking the shortened 12-game season; one shift at a time.
"The energy out here on the first day is unlike any other year," Saxer said. "I think because of the COVID-19 pandemic and everything that has happened the last nine months."
The season is set to open against Doherty on Feb. 5th. Puck drop is set for 8:45 p.m. at Broadmoor World Arena.