This was the year. A strong group of seniors and underclassmen were returning to the St. Paul Academy high school boys varsity hockey team. The team was ranked number four in the Minnesota single A coaches poll. Barring unforeseen injuries, they would have a legitimate shot at winning the class A Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. It had not been this way until the last few years. Returning SPA hockey to an elite program was something Coach Matt Funk and his assistant coaches undertook in 2012. Prior to that, the team had not been in the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament since the mid 1970’s. Developing a competitive hockey program in Minnesota is a daunting task. Assembling the right mix of dedicated players, coaches, parents and support from the school administration are all the right ingredients. Developing each player’s skills, bonding as a team and getting a few breaks are intangibles that develop over time.