Sports Spotlight: Pines hockey emphasizes legacy above all Submitted: 02/11/2019
EAGLE RIVER - Northland Pines hockey measures itself by two standards: the opponents on the ice and the pictures on the walls.

"There's a lot of weight in each game you play here in Eagle River," Pines head coach Dave Cox said.

Cox knows what it's like to carry that weight as part of the 1984 Pines state championship team.

"We still talk about it and have fond memories," Cox said. "There's 10 or 12 of us that still live around town here so we still see each other."

Now the sons of those state champions hope to live up to their fathers' accomplishments.

"Our saying has always been tradition on ice," Dave's son and Pines sophomore Cooper Cox said. "We have a very large alumni and just a very big legacy."

Pines junior Gunnar Schiffman's father also played on that team.

"There's a little bit of pressure there," Schiffman said. "It's more motivation than anything. You feel good about being a hockey player for Pines and you feel good about your situation."

And if the players need any reminder about the program's history, they just need to look to the rafters above the arena.

"It's a special feeling when you're out on the ice," Schiffman said. "Everybody in the community supports you so much that it's just amazing."

For every player in the present, there's a face from the past.

It's just another way the 2018 Northland Pines Eagles measure themselves.

"It's a big deal to fill this building and it's fun to play in front of a lot of fans, but you've got to win," Cox said.

The Eagles last won the state title 30 years ago in 1989.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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