What’s sweeter – going from a 1-24 record to a solid 6-8 start, or being one of the State of Hockey’s top goal scorers?
Lucky for Mitchell Swanson of Wadena-Deer Creek, he’s double dipping.
The senior forward’s 29 goals have him ranked second in Minnesota, as he has blown past his 2011-12 total of 20.
Yes, he’s quite lean, weighing in at 146 pounds for his 6-foot frame. But he’s living the high life working at the local movie theatre and watching new releases for free.
Oh, and he loves Alicia Keys — go figure. Here are nine things you need to know about Mr. Swanson.
1 — A 1-win season last year is now a distant memory
It was our first year with a new coach (Chris Holman). We needed to learn a new system and just a bunch of factors along the lines of that.
2 — What’s the difference for this year’s boost in victories?
We have a productive second line now. We have two freshmen (Dylan Phillips and Mike Behl) and a foreign exchange student (Otto Asp) who are putting the puck in the net. And we’re having some solid goaltending.
3 — If you’re 6 feet tall and not even 150 pounds … do you eat?
(Laughs). My metabolism won’t let me keep it. I am still strong on my feet, though. When I was younger, my older brother Brandon would play against me, and throw me around so I knew what to expect when I got older.
4 — What are your personal ambitions this season?
I’m aiming for 100 points. I needed 43 points at the beginning of the year. I’m two away now.
5 — How do you react when you see yourself atop the state’s scorers?
It’s pretty awesome. My teammates definitely tell me about it.
6 — What sends you to North Dakota State University for criminal justice next year?
I want to be a probation officer. My dad has been a cop before, so I grew up with that.
7 — No hockey scholarships yet?
No coaches have contacted me so far. But I will definitely listen if someone talks. If not, I’ll move on and play on a club team at NDSU.
8 — Best movies you’ve seen for free courtesy of working at The Cozy Theatre?
I sell concessions there, and I loved “Skyfall,” “The Watch” and “The Hobbit.”
9 — How close were you to the tornado that hit Wadena back in 2010?
It hit right across the street from my house. I took pictures of it through my front window. It took a couple shingles of our house, but didn’t affect us too much.