Posted 8/25/15 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
Four former members of the Crosby Comets hockey program are continuing their athletic careers at the junior-league level this upcoming season, while two others are moving up into the collegiate ranks.
Lance and Tanner Knudson, Will Landsverk and Evan Eriksmoen departed Crosby this past weekend to report to the Yellowstone Quake in Cody, Wyo., a city of about 9,500 at the edge of Yellowstone National Park.
Meanwhile, P.J. Silveria of Crosby and T.J. McMinn of Tioga have advanced onto a junior college team and will suit up for Williston State College this fall.
Landsverk and Lance Knudson will both be in their second year with the Quake, whose season starts Sept. 25.
Knudson began playing junior hockey in 2013-14 with the Minnesota Owls and Billings Bulls before he and Landsverk joined forces in Cody in 2014-15.
“Cody’s awesome,” Knudson said. “It’s great scenery, and it’s a smaller town, so it was easier to adjust to that.”
“It’s a lot of fun,” Landsverk said. “I met a lot of new people who will be friends for a long time.”
Landsverk’s nine goals and 21 points last season were fourth-most on the team, while Knudson was the team’s No. 1 goalie, playing in 31 of 47 games.
Their success led the Quake’s coach to keep an eye on other up-and-coming Crosby players during the Comets’ state tournament and an annual scouting showcase in Pittsburgh.
“He came to our state championship game and talked to me afterward,” Tanner Knudson said. “He figured I’d be a good fit.”
The addition of Eriksmoen gives the Quake two goalies from Crosby, but he said competing with a close friend for playing time is nothing new.
“Lance and I have competed with each other since we were little,” he said.
All agreed that they were fortunate to take on the adventure alongside three fellow Comets.
“It definitely makes it a lot more fun,” Eriksmoen said. “It won’t be so awkward since we already have a connection with our old teammates.”
“It feels like half the team I had in high school is going to be there,” Lance Knudson said.
Junior hockey is more than just a way to avoid hanging up the skates; it’s also the way to find out if a college scholarship might be in the players’ future.
“I want to play college hockey and see how far I can go,” Landsverk said.
“If I didn’t get on this team, I would have tried for another team,” Tanner Knudson said. “I’d like to get to the next level.”
It’s the same route Silveria just took, as he turned two years of junior hockey into a spot with the Williston State Tetons this season.
“Ever since Williston got a college hockey team, I’ve wanted to play there,” he said. “I wanted to play close to home where people can come see me.”
Silveria played for the Minnesota Owls in 2013-14 with Lance Knudson and Ladd Simonson, then moved to Butte, Mont., last season.
When McMinn signed with Williston State this offseason after three years in Gillette, Wyo., Silveria said he contacted the Tetons’ coach and was able to get his foot in the door.
He might not be done climbing the competitive ladder, either.
“I’d like to get a scholarship to a four-year college in Division III,” Silveria said of his ultimate goal.
“I got a few offers, but I wanted to play a year at a junior college first.”
Silveria said he wants to study sports medicine and become a chiropractor.
The Tetons’ season starts Oct. 15 and will include one game in Crosby, the annual Crosby Cup against Minot State, on Jan. 26.