WADENA — After practice Jan. 3, Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines hockey player Mitchell Swanson noticed his skates were broken.
So he asked injured teammate Blaine Cooper if he could borrow his skates. Sure, no problem, Cooper said. He wasn’t using them anyway.
With borrowed skates, the 6-foot left wing tore up the ice Jan. 4 against Greenway, scoring seven goals and collecting one assist to help W-DC to a 10-5 win. Swanson’s eight points broke the school record for goals scored and total points scored in a single game.
“I couldn’t have done it without my linemates — Christian Berg and Bridger Pettit,” the 17-year-old Swanson said in a news release.
Swanson started skating when he was 2 and was influenced by his two older brothers, Chris Jelinek and Brandyn Swanson, both of whom played for W-DC, and by his dad, Chad, who coached the W-DC girls hockey team.
Entering Tuesday night’s game at Detroit Lakes, Swanson was nine points away from joining WDC’s 100-point club.
“It’s been my goal since as far as I can remember,” Swanson said.
Chris Holman is in his second season as W-DC’s head coach. He describes Swanson as a positive, humble leader, who works hard on the ice.
“This is my second year with Mitchell and I’ve seen him mature as a person and a player,” Holman said, adding that “Mitchell has speed and can put the brakes on. He sees the ice very well. His work ethic is contagious. He also has time for kids with lesser abilities on the ice. He’s just a positive, fun kid.”
Through Jan. 7, Swanson was tied for second in the state for most goals scored (25) and was 10th in total points scored. If Swanson is superstitious about those borrowed skates, he isn’t saying. He just smiles when asked if he was going to keep them or give them back.
“They seem to work pretty well for me. We’ll see,” he said.