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THE DRILL: Tyler Arends is a veteran goalie for Luverne's hockey team

Feb. 13—LUVERNE — The Luverne High School boys hockey team is putting together its best season in nearly a decade.

A program with a a pretty rich history in boys hockey is in the midst another strong season. The Cardinals currently have a 21-2 record and even started this season with 13 straight wins. It's the best start to a season they've had since the 2013-14 team that went to state and didn't lose a game until that point.

A major cog in the team's success this year is a talented group of experienced seniors, one of which is guarding the net at goalie.

That goalie is Tyler Arends, a three-year varsity starter with a wealth of experience at the position. According to MN Boys' Hockey Hub, Arends has amassed a 16-2 record and has a save percentage of 88.7%. Prior to this season, he was the team's only goalie during his sophomore season and last year was again the starter on a Section 3A championship team.

This season, he and his fellow senior teammates are continuing to lead the charge for a state-contending team and have built quite a bit of chemistry throughout the years.

"...Our parents did a really good job of raising us together," Arends said. "We're all friends in school, we all hang out and it's just doing really great. And also as seniors, we give our experience to the younger kids too, which also have been playing together for so many years. So we give our experience to them, which they know what to expect when they're seniors. So it's kind of like (being) a role model for the younger kids."

Arends began playing the sport at around two years old and he comes from a hockey-oriented family. He initially started as a skater in before eventually taking to the goaltender position at around seven or eight years old. He's been playing the position ever since.

His father, Brian, played hockey in high school and his grandfather, David, was a coach and they have both been major influences on Tyler throughout his hockey upbringing. Tyler's older brother Cooper also played for Luverne, which helped him gain some early exposure to varsity hockey.

"My freshman year, (Cooper) was a senior and Phil, our coach, decided to call me up every Tuesday and Wednesday to their practices, because I was going to be the only goalie my sophomore year. So it would give me some experience figuring out what it's like to move from that big jump from bantams to varsity, which is a big jump without being JV," Arends said. "So me and him got to kind of play there, we'd kind of joke around (and do) some drills with just me and him and we'd kind of bet who would win on that which was really fun. I just enjoyed playing with him because I never really got to play with him in a game when I was younger, I just kind of practiced with him."

Arends, a two-sport athlete that also plays golf, plans on attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison for turf management after high school. He recently interviewed at a Luverne boys hockey practice and his full video can be found on dglobe.com. Here is a sample of our interview.

QUESTION: What does it take to be great at goalie?

ANSWER: "I think it takes to be disciplined, you have to be disciplined in yourself to keep going. And then just believe in yourself almost. You have to be very confident in yourself, and your teammates help a lot too, especially having a group of people that are by your side."

QUESTION: Who is your biggest inspiration in sports?

ANSWER: "Probably my biggest inspiration is probably my dad and my grandpa. They really helped me out, they really pushed me through it. They always supported me even though it's maybe some game I did bad and got down on myself. They always supported me which is great."

QUESTION: What are some things you like to do outside of sports in your free time?

ANSWER: "My free time, I really enjoy working on my Jeep, and I really enjoy technical stuff. I usually livestream most of our sporting events here, so after this, actually, after this practice I have to live stream our doubleheader basketball game, which is kind of my niche, I guess. I enjoy it, kind of that aspect of technology and showing off sports..."