Spotlight On Minnetonka’s Hockey Players’ Season

Catherine Rile, Staff Writer

As spring begins, winter sports are coming to a close, putting the cap on an extremely successful season for Minnetonka athletes.

Alpine racing placed first in state. Girls hockey placed second in state in an extremely close game against Andover. Elly Klepinger, ‘23, is a defensive player on the Minnetonka girls hockey team and is already looking forward to next year.

“I’m taking the week off and have my spring league game on Saturday. I am looking forward to training with teammates this summer for our unfinished business,” Klepinger said about the team’s future plans.

She also shared her fondest memories with the team.

“My favorite moment from this year was our state tournament semifinal game against Edina. Our team was so in sync, and we bonded so well… it didn’t matter who put the puck in the net — it was the team effort to pull off the win. I’m so proud of everyone on the team”.

Student athletes must be accomplished in both school and sports, and the latter must be highly important to them.

“Hockey this year has meant more than just playing the game,” Klepinger said. “I am new to Minnetonka this year and transferred as a junior in high school which, socially, can be difficult, although I was extremely welcomed by the hockey community, and it started to feel like home really quick. I have been able to grow, not only as a player in this competitive hockey community, but also as a person, and I am forever grateful. Hockey this year for me has meant a new beginning, a new amazing team and a welcoming community.”

Another talented Minnetonka winter athlete is boys varsity hockey goaltender Beau Motzko, ‘23. Motzko was described by his teammate Gavin Garry, ‘24, as “funny and dedicated.”

“To start, the group of guys we had this year was super fun to be around every day. Just seeing all of them every day meant everything to me,” Motzko said. 

A team’s chemistry is vital to success and bonding is important.

“My favorite moment this year was probably our trip to Moorhead. We had a blast on the bus and in the hotel,” said Motzko.

He has yet to decide exactly what he will do after leaving the team post-high school but is confident that he will always look back fondly on his time playing hockey. Motzko’s dedication to his sport is readily apparent.

“Not sure what it is specifically that I love about hockey. I started playing at a young age, and now I really just couldn’t picture my life without it,” he said.

“[I’m] not really sure how my future is gonna look, but if I could script it, it would probably be having a successful junior hockey career and hopefully getting a D1 scholarship,” Motzko said.

The Minnetonka community wishes him and all winter athletes success in next year’s season and beyond.