When Rogers senior goaltender Haley Hartlage joined the Royals for the 2016-17 season, head coach Joel Wesloh was uncertain what type of goaltender Hartlage would be.
With a career record of 59-29-12 and 20 shutouts to her resume, Wesloh said Hartlage has been a major contributor to Roger’s success over the past three seasons.
“She’s focused and there for her teammates,” Wesloh said. “It’s not an easy thing to step in there and have people shoot pucks at you, but she’s done it, usually with a smile on her face. We’re really happy to have her.”
Hartlage started playing hockey when she was in fourth grade. Her favorite goaltender is New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who has won 458 career regular-season games in 15 seasons, good for fifth all-time in NHL history.
“I like New York a lot,” Hartlage said. “His equipment is so cool. They call him the King.”
This season, Hartlage has appeared in 20 of the Royals 21 games this season with a record of 12-6-2. She has recorded five shutouts this season and her goals-against average is 2.14.
Junior defender Sara Parent said Hartlage is a great motivator for the team.
“She always has the best attitude besides when we’re losing,” Parent said. “Nobody is happy with that. She always sees the bright side in losing and tries to make it right so that she can improve her game.”
Hartlage is involved in a variety of off-ice activities, including National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. Hartlage enjoys making pottery and plans to take a ceramics course at Concordia University in St. Paul, where she will be attending college this fall.
Academically, Hartlage’s favorite course is AP United States Government and Politics. An equivalent to an introductory U.S. government and politics course at the collegiate level, Hartlage is learning the basic functions of the U.S. federal government and political parties as well as civil rights and civic responsibility in a nonpartisan environment.
Hartlage said it’s important for high school students to learn about the political process so that they can judge individuals not on their political beliefs, but by their character and actions. She is also paying attention to the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and said it’s interesting.
“Our teacher lets us develop our own opinions on different things,” she said. “Our class has our own ideas and then we debate about them.”
With a record of 13-6-2, Rogers is a strong contender in Section 5-2A but has not made the state tournament in the past 10 seasons. The Royals have made it to the section semifinals in each of Hartlage’s three seasons but have been eliminated in the semifinals all three times. Rogers has four regular-season games remaining before the section playoffs begin in early Feburary.
Hartlage said it would be a dream come true to make it to the 26th girl’s state hockey tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Feb. 19-22.
“That would be the coolest thing in my life,” Hartlage said. “That would be so fun. I would take it in. Our section is even right now. Anyone can take it.”
No matter what happens over these next few weeks, Parent said she and Hartlage will always be a phone call away.
“[I’m] definitely going to miss her spunk on the ice and always being more excited than anyone else on the bench when we score,” Parent said.