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Turunen earns third straight Edge MVP award

April 17, 2020 by Jeremy Mayo

Senior Alicia Turunen was a do-it-all player for the Northern Edge girls’ hockey co-op during the 2019-20 season and was recognized for her efforts Sunday. 

Turunen was named the team’s most valuable player for a third consecutive year during the team’s year-end banquet at Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander. 

The Antigo player won the award as the Northern Edge’s primary goaltender in 2018 and 2019. This season, a merger of the program with the Lakeland/Tomahawk co-op brought with it depth at the position. While Turunen still spent plenty of time between the pipes, she also skated out on several occasions and provided a little extra scoring punch to the Edge offense. 

“She does what she asks you and never complains,” Edge coach Tom Roeser said during the banquet. “She loves playing goalie, but there were times I need offense. You can’t win a game 0-0, so we need to score some goals and we were fortunate this year that we had two outstanding goaltenders. I was a little selfish and I utilized her at forward quite a bit.”

Turunen made 11 starts in goal for the Edge this year, going 7-4-0 with a 2.34 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. When she skated out, she recorded three goals and three assists. Two of those three goals were credited as game winners and her six total points were tied for ninth on the team. 

“I think everyone was lucky to play with her, especially last year’s group,” Roeser said. “This year we had a little more offense and a little better defense this year. Last year’s group she struggled to keep us in some games, facing 60 shots. Losing 3-1 everyone thinks it was a great game, but it really wasn’t always. If you look at the scoresheets, she slept well last year. 

“You were the most valuable player last year because of what you did in the net,” Roeser said to Turunen. “This year it was because of what you did in the net and what you did for us up front.”

Four other players took home awards for the Edge. Rhinelander senior Madi Losch took home the most goals award as well as the Blue Line Award as the team’s top defender, Lakeland junior Izzy Boyer won the team’s Playmaker award, Lakeland freshman Maria Gironella was named the team’s Ms. Hustle and Antigo freshman Ellie Stank received the most improved player award. 

Losch was the team’s leading scorer with 16 goals and 10 assists this season. She did most of that work going end-to-end while playing on the team’s top defensive unit. 

“This could be a first, you’re leading goal scorer getting the Blue Line award as well. That just shows what we’ll be missing next year,” Roeser said. “We’re going to miss her offense. We’re going to miss her defense. We’re going to miss her leadership with other girls.”

Boyer, Losch’s cousin, led the team with 12 assists this year, one more than fellow Lakeland junior Kate Vizanko and two more than Losch. She also was tied for second on the team with 12 goals scored. That was despite missing the team’s first six games of the season. 

“If you watch her play, most of her goals she’s on her back or on her side,” Roeser said. “She’s always flying all over the place and she’s a real pain in the butt to a lot of goaltenders the way she works in front of them. That helps us and we’re proud to have her do it.”

Gironella had two goals and eight assists on the season while quickly assimilating herself in the defensive core. 

“Her work ethic, she just jumped in and fit right in,” Roeser said. “You couldn’t tell she was a freshman. A lot of freshmen jump in a program and you don’t really know where they’re going to fit in, but she jumped in and it was like she’s been on this team for three years.”

Roeser noted the improvement of Stank, a figure skater turned first-year hockey player, and said during the banquet the team plans to have her train to be the backup goaltender behind Lakeland senior-to-be Anna Maulson next season. 

The Northern Edge went 14-9-0 during the 2019-20 season, its first double-digit win season since the 2015-16 campaign.

Losch named all-state

The honors for Losch continued this past week as she was recognized by the Wisconsin Girls Hockey Coaches Association with an all-state award during its banquet March 4, ahead of the WIAA state tournament in Madison. 

Losch was named honorable mention as a defender. It was the second straight year that Losch received all-state honors. She also received honorable mention as a defender a season ago.

“It’s hard to get on those teams if you’re from Northern Wisconsin. It’s a big deal,” Roeser said.

Jeremy Mayo may be reached at [email protected] 

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