by: Andrew Lennox, minotauroshockey.com
After spending the summer in his hometown Chisago Lakes, Minnesota, defenseman Ben Johnson will begin his second season with the Minot Minotauros in September.
Johnson had a great summer with a couple of relaxing trips to Florida, Lake of the Woods in Canada, and Montana. “When the season ended, I got home for about a week and soon after I went down to Florida. So, it was enjoyable. I was also up in Canada fishing at Lake of the Woods.”
He skated regularly in the Twin Cities during the summer months, which is about an hour from Chisago Lakes. He worked on specific skills to improve his game and mentioned, “I worked on a lot of tight turn stuff. I felt like I had to work on quick explosiveness, like coming out of corners and things like that. I would say that would be my most extensive critique of myself. So, I focused a lot on that this summer. I practiced a lot of skating fundamentals which was my summer goal this year.”
As Tauros fans know, last season ended without the team not making the NAHL playoffs for the first time in nine years. “We had a stretch where we felt like no one could even touch us, and we all felt pretty good. Then, it just snowballed and went downhill, and we couldn’t bring ourselves back. However, looking forward, we have an outstanding group of returning guys. I’m super excited.” The defenseman said.
During the offseason, Johnson missed several things about Minot, “I missed the boys, of course. Second, I have a neighbor up there who’s about four years old. He’s over at my house all the time. His name is Lincoln. I miss hanging out with him. He comes over daily, and I play hockey in the garage with him.”
As the season approaches, the Minnesota native is excited to get to Minot and get back on the ice with fellow teammates and comments on how ready he is to see everyone, “I’m pumped, and it will be nice to be around the boys again. I want to get up there, spend every day with my teammates, and do everything together.”
Minot has become a second home to Johnson. He will have the same billet family as last year, and he spoke highly of them, “My billets are excellent, and I couldn’t ask for anything better from them. They’ve been great.”
With the upcoming campaign just around the corner, Johnson and the Tauros will be at home in Minot for the first time to face off against the North Iowa Bulls on the 23rd and 24th of September.