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Havre Ice Hawks set for a tough hockey schedule this winter

Along with the snow and the upcoming holidays, the arrival of a new season for the Havre Ice Hawks high school hockey team is another sign that winter is here on the Hi-Line. This winter, the Hawks will be under the leadership of new head coach Sean Preputin, who expects the team to have a strong season this year.

"My expectations are pretty high," Preputin said. "We are a pretty young team overall but our core group of players is pretty strong so I think we're going to finish in the top half of our group for sure."

The Hawks have many players on the team looking to make an impact this season. Stephen Preputin will be the lone senior for the Hawks this season, but there are many juniors on the team ready to play. Jacob Herring, Austin Boyce, Ciaran Courtnage, Decker Hanson and Grant Karns will look to make plays on the ice while goalie Clara Holland will look to defend the net once again.

The Hawks also have many younger players on the roster this season. While it is too early to see which one can break out for the Hawks, Sean Preputin expects this young core to make an impact.

"We've got a big group of younger players. Right now, it's hard to tell but there's some kids down there that I think will make an impact," he said. "For our season to be successful, we're going to have to have some of our younger players actually step up and fill those roles."

The Hawks will play in a conference with five other teams from across the state. Over the next few months, the Hawks will play the likes of Helena, Bozeman, Flathead, Billings and Missoula. Out of all the teams they will compete against, coach Preputin believes Bozeman will be their toughest opponent.

"Bozeman is bringing back a pretty strong core group of players," he said. "They've got a lot of seniors and a really good goalie so I think Bozeman is probably going to be one of our tougher opponents."

The Hawks will start the season with games this Saturday and Sunday against Helena at the Havre Ice Dome. The Hawks will then go on the road to play Bozeman in a back to back on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. The following weekend, the Hawks will host Flathead for a back to back at home.

The Hawks will begin 2023 with four games across three days. On Jan. 6, the Hawks will play Bozeman at home to kick off the new year. On Jan. 7, the Hawks will play Bozeman again before heading on the road to play Billings later that day. The Hawks will then wrap up the weekend with another road game against Billings Jan. 8.

The following weekend, the Hawks will head on the road for a back to back against Flathead. The Hawks will then have another four-game slate over three days the next weekend. On Jan. 20, the Hawks will host Billings for a game. Then on Jan. 21, the Hawks play Billings at home before heading on the road to play Helena later that day. The Hawks will then wrap up the weekend on Jan. 22 with another game at Helena.

Things will slow down for the Hawks over the next couple months. On Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, the Hawks will play in a back to back on the road against Missoula. Then to wrap up the regular season, the Hawks will host Missoula for a back to back on March 4 and March 5.

The Hawks have a long season ahead of them with some tough teams on the schedule. While there is talent on the Hawks' roster this season, Preputin knows they will need to play hard if they want to achieve the level of success they want this season.

"A lot of it is just team play," he said. "One of my philosophies is we want to play fast and hard and we're always going after the puck hard. So if we can do that and play together as a team, I think we'll be successful."

The Havre Ice Hawks begin the season with a game against Helena at the Havre Ice Dome this Saturday at 8 p.m.


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