Mandy Hanson has been indefatigable between the pipes for the Brainerd Warriors girls' hockey team.
The senior and five-year starter has played every second in every game this season, helping Brainerd to a 6-3 conference and 11-4-1 overall record.
Hanson hasn't minded being the team's Iron Horse.
"I haven't noticed it, not really at all, except for recently I've been a little sick," she said.
Until Tuesday's loss to Alexandria, the Warriors had won six straight games, including three on their way to capturing the Holiday Cup title at the Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine.
"It's been a huge confidence booster for us," Hanson said. "We know the type of game we can play, and we know we can beat a lot of the tougher teams out there. We just have to focus mentally and come out hard."
The 5-foot-7 netminder has compiled an impressive goals-against average (1.67) and save percentage (927). She is the backbone of an improving Warrior defensive unit.
Mandy Hanson profile
Sport -- Girls hockey
Position -- Goaltender
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-7
Weight -- 130 pounds
Grade-point average -- 3.833
Memorable sports achievement -- Playing at United Center in Chicago as an 11-year-old before Blackhawks-Red Wings game
School activities -- Interact Club
Favorite subject -- Calculus
Favorite food -- Spaghetti
Future plans -- Attend college, play hockey
Athlete she admires -- Goalies Patrick Roy of Colorado Avalanche and Martin Brodeur of New Jersey Devils
Parents -- Darwin and Mary Hanson
"Our defense has been doing a great job this year," Hanson said. "We've been teaching some of the younger ones and they're coming up big for us. The other ones are doing what they need to."
Warriors coach Jim Ernster said Hanson has developed, not only as a goaltender, but as a leader.
"This year she's gone above and beyond just being a force on the ice," Ernster said. "She's been a fantastic leader on the ice. That's something, as kids grow in age over the years, you expect them to do that. In our eyes, Mandy has taken two steps from her junior year to her senior year in that regard."
Ernster believes Hanson is capable of making the step to college hockey next season.
"I hope coaches take notice of what a good goaltender she is," Ernster said. "The perception when coaches recruit is they only recruit out of the Twin Cities area. I've seen a lot of goaltenders the last 3-4 years. I wouldn't pick anybody over Mandy. She's that good.
"I hope college coaches take notice and she gets a chance. Sometimes politics can be a bear in that regard. I think she has Division I potential."
Hanson gives the Warriors a chance to win with a mixture of goaltending styles. She plays the butterfly style, dropping to the ice to make a save, or she stands up to face a shot.
"If you go down too early they can shoot over you so you can't be strictly a butterfly goalie," Hanson said. "If you stand up they will go around you. You need a combination to thwart their efforts."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Katie Perpich, gymnastics, won two events and the all-around vs. Alexandria.
Kathleen Lorenz, gymnastics, won two events vs. Alexandria.
Jake Phillips, boys basketball, scored 32 points vs. Duluth East.
Justin Mueller, boys basketball, had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks vs. Grand Rapids.
Paul Tuchscherer, boys basketball, had 24 points vs. Grand Rapids.
Tom Zelinske and Andy Pickar, wrestling, won titles at the Cambridge-Isanti Invitational.
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