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Roseau's Rink Rat

03/04/2019, 3:00pm CST
By Aaron Paitich

Aaron Huglen will carry rich tradition of Roseau hockey to the University of Minnesota

One does not casually corral the puck behind the net, hoist it into the air on the blade of their stick, and wrap it into the top corner of the goal without having practiced it over and over and over again.

Roseau’s Aaron Huglen did just that for Team USA in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup last August, when his lacrosse-style goal against Canada went viral on the internet.

“I’ve practiced that a thousand times, so it just kind of came naturally to me when I had the chance there,” said Huglen, senior captain of the Roseau Rams and future Golden Gopher.

The skilled playmaker sounds off on the tradition of Roseau hockey, skill development, goal-scoring tips for kids and more.

On returning for his senior year …

It wasn’t that difficult of a decision. Coming home was always the plan for me. Roseau is a town where you always come back. You can’t leave. I wasn’t going to leave my buddies. The tradition here is something that you have to carry. That’s a big thing.

On the rich history of Roseau hockey …

There’s so much tradition here. Being the captain here is huge. The town is behind you. It’s always a fun game atmosphere. It’s just something else—it’s hard to explain.

On historic Memorial Arena …

Ask anybody from the cities when they come up here, they’ll probably say it’s their favorite place to play besides their home arena. It’s just an old barn with so much tradition.

On the unlimited ice time available at the North Rink next to Memorial Arena …

It’s pretty much always open for us to skate, so that’s where we’re always at. We’re always playing pickup hockey there. Some Saturdays when we were younger, we’d stay there from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Our parents would bring us lunch and dinner, so that’s kind of crazy, but that’s what we loved doing.

On crafting skills and creativity in pickup hockey …

That’s where my whole game has come from. Just going out there and playing with your buddies, it’s crazy how much you can pick up and learn from just messing around with each other and having fun. That was big for me.

On scoring more goals …

I’ve definitely been working on my shot. Working on quick release. My dad will take my younger brother, Paul, with me and we’ll just work on a lot of shooting. And obviously skating is important, so I’m always working on that, too.

On role models …

Aaron Ness is a big one for me. Going to the University of Minnesota, that was a big part of my decision. I actually called him and he told me all about his experience, so that was really cool. I remember watching him when I was growing up, and it was pretty special.

On his coaches …

My dad coached me for a while, so he’s been a big influence. But my coach now, Andy Lundbohm, I have to credit him. He’s one of the most hardworking coaches I’ve ever seen with all of the film and effort he puts in just trying to help us out.

On goal-scoring tips for kids …

Have some patience. A lot of the times we hear ‘shoot, shoot, shoot,’ which is true, you need to shoot. But having some patience when you get the puck, making the right pass, or finding the right opening goes a long way. You have to have some patience in those scoring areas.

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