MASON CITY — One quick glance at the Mohawk Hockey Club’s season statistics is all you need to see for what Zach Jimenez has provided the Mohawks this season.
The junior leads the Mohawks in every statistical category the Midwest High School Hockey League keeps except one area — goaltending. It’s why he was name a first-team All Star earlier this week.
But even without their top four scorers from a season ago, Jimenez says there’s not much different about his game.
“I don’t think much has changed. I just go out there and play the game,” he said.
With his help the Mohawks have risen back to the ranks of the best teams in the league as they’ll play once again the MHSHL tournament, which begins Friday.
While Jimenez has added that top-tier player, this Mohawks team is far more complex than the stats tell. It’s why there was little to no fall off with a coaching change prior to the season, and they’ve survived a lineup that’s been constantly in flux and one which features new leaders.
In addition to Jimenez, who has 19 goals and 15 assists this season, forward Nate Lassise was a second-team All Star and Jaxon Jones was a second-team pick as well as a defender.
Feeding off each other is what’s helped get them to the next level.
“I’ve been playing with him for three years, we’ve been on the same line forever, we always know where each other is going to be and he’s a great player,” Lassise said of Jimenez.
It hasn’t been without its list of challenges, though.
Learning to play with each other was the biggest hurdle the Mohawks faced this season but they feel they’re in a good place ahead of the tournament.
“We’ve moved around a lot,” said Lassise, who has 10 goals and 13 assists. “I had Cole (Baskerville) on my line at first now I have Adrian (Debrah) and then we moved back so it’s kind of switching up people a lot and I’m getting to play with different people.”
But the fact the Mohawks are still in the mix for a league title speaks to the entire club and how kids are brought up through it.
It’s made transitioning through all the changes much easier, they say.
“Most of us have been playing with each other for quite awhile and so as we go through lines we’ve probably already played with those guys before,” Debrah said.
The Mohawk Hockey Club will get its chance to show how far it’s come Friday when it opens tournament play vs. Omaha in Ames. The Mohawks are the No. 7 seed while the Jr. Lancers are the No. 2 seed.
“We want to make this tournament memorable for the seniors and go out with a couple wins,” Jimenez said.