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On a Hot Streak: Michael Huntebrinker

Tuesday, March 2nd
On a Hot Streak: Michael Huntebrinker

Throughout the 2020-21 season, Michael Huntebrinker has been consistently at the top of the league charts in points and goals. His consistent performance has been in the making for some time for the Everblades forward. To perform at this level, it is important for a player to be sharp physically as well as mentally.

Huntebrinker’s time in college allowed him to develop his game and to expand his mentality. The Missouri native played with the Minnesota State Mavericks at the NCAA Division I level. While he was there, the Mavericks were a strong team, making the NCAA tournament twice. However, Huntebrinker did not see much time on the ice in his first two years with the team. 

“Sometimes I would have to go in and play wing or play penalty kill,” said Huntebrinker. “Naturally, I am a center. So, learning how to be a flexible player has helped me in my pro career. It has allowed me to bring more to a lineup and allowed me to play different positions and roles.”

Although he did not play as much as he wanted as an underclassman, that experience changed his mindset on how he can effectively contribute to the team. 

During his senior season, Huntebrinker was determined to further evolve as a player. He began training with Jeff LoVecchio, a former professional hockey player now training athletes in strength and conditioning. 

“He helped me change the way I trained and helped me feel better physically,” said Huntebrinker. “But I think the biggest thing that I took away from training with him was the mental part of the game and how much you have to have self confidence. I think whenever I started training with him, what we were doing in the gym not only made me stronger, but it made me a more confident player.”

Huntebrinker jumped into an impressive start for his professional career with the ECHL’s Reading Royals. In his first full season, he totaled 41 points (20g-21a) in 65 appearances. A drastic difference from his college career, where he only had 22 points (4g-18a) in 65 games in his best season.

With each season that followed, Huntebrinker improved and his statline reflected it. He continued this upward trend when he joined the Everblades in the 2019-20 season. The forward posted an impressive 44 points (20g-24a) in 43 games.

So far this season, the forward has potted 14 goals and ten assists in 28 games, averaging almost a point per game. Surprisingly enough, Huntebrinker does not focus on how many points he is racking up. 

“For me, I have played a lot of pro games,” Huntebrinker said. “One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t focus on the results. There are games where you play great and you are not going to get any points. And there are games where, for whatever reason, you don't play as well and you pick up a point.” 

The numbers he is posting should be catching the attention of the American Hockey League (AHL). But for now, Everblades fans can continue to enjoy his performance.

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