In year two with the St. Cloud Norsemen, Lucca Munoz is no stranger to junior hockey. He is especially used to the tough battles that occur in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
A native from Chicago, Munoz began his junior journey with the Amarillo Bulls in the South Division of the NAHL.
“I started out in Amarillo. Being there was tough as a ‘03. I was then picked up by St. Cloud after injuries set me back. Throughout the years I have learned to build more confidence in my game and take more risks,” Munoz said.
Coming to St. Cloud has been a great step for Munoz. He is now teammates with guys that he played against when playing for the Springfield Jr. Blues. These guys include Niklas Miller and Carter Bradley.
“It was good to have two familiar faces in Minnesota. Niklas Miller and Carter Bradley were always guys you knew were out there when you stepped on the ice as an opposing player,” Munoz said.
Whose team will battle Bismarck this weekend for the third series of the season beginning on Dec. 1 at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex (7 p.m.). Game two of the series will be played on Dec. 2 also at home. (7 p.m)
When Munoz arrived in Minnesota, he noticed a very different style of play in the Central Division compared to his time in Amarillo and Springfield.
“In Springfield it was a lot of a skill game. This helped me transition to St. Cloud very well. Whereas in Amarillo guys are bigger and play a tougher, physical type of hockey in the southern states,” Munoz said.
Munoz has praised the team’s fast start this season with 2023 being his second season in the Granite City.
“We are a lot more skilled, and have a deeper team this season. We need the rookies to follow in the footsteps of the veterans to have success the rest of the year,” Munoz said.
Munoz and his Norsemen teammates will look to make a playoff run this season.
“ I look forward to right before the playoffs when it is crunch time. The toughest team to play is league leading Minot. I believe at the end of the year it all comes down to who has the best special teams play. We need to have our power play and penalty kill units go to work”, said Munoz.
Dain Solberg, Freelance Writer