Erin Deters is a modest person, and the accolades and great statistics she’s earned playing goalie for the Sartell/Sauk Rapids girls hockey team don’t affect that.
She thanks her teammates, coaches and God for everything she’s accomplished in her high school career.
“I try to be a really humble person,” Deters said. “I come from a really faithful background. I don’t take in a lot of the glory, I give it upward and I realize the only reason I can play the way I do is because of the family members and coaches that push me.
“I like to share the glory. My teammates deserve a huge chunk of it and I try to take very little of it. I’m thankful for what I have.”
But one would think with the numbers she put up as a senior and the honors she’s received this season for the Storm’n Sabres, it would be hard not to a little haughty.
Deters is the Times All-Area Girls Hockey Player of the Year.
Her save percentage (.947) was the fourth-highest in the state with a 1.63 goals against average, good enough to make her a Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie Award finalist and AP All-State honorable mention.
“Everybody could play with a little more confidence knowing (Deters) was going to be there to make the big saves to keep us in the game when we weren’t playing well,” said Storm’n Sabres coach Marty Anderson.
“When we made mistakes, they weren’t necessarily magnified by allowing a goal because we had a goalie like Erin who can bail out her teammates.”
Deters finishes her career with a .942 saves percentage and a 2.09 goals-against average.
She had three shutouts this season and four games in which she recorded 40 or more saves, but the two games that stick out the most were two losses over the course of one weekend in late January.
The Storm’n Sabres hosted Roseau on a Friday night at Bernick’s Arena and Deters allowed four goals on 48 shots in 5-3 loss.
No. 1 Warroad was the opponent the next day and Deters gave up a goal 2:52 into the game. She responded by shutting the Warriors out the rest of the game. Deters finished with 54 saves although Sartell/Sauk Rapids never got on the board and lost 1-0.
“The Warroad game was my best game,” said Deters, who played for Warroad coach David Marvin on summer teams. “Whenever we play them the past few years, it has been my best game.”
Added Anderson: “She played with the confidence we’d seen from her the past few seasons. She always rose to the occasion against tough opponents and she certainly did that day.”
Deters shut out River Lakes and Detroit Lakes in the last two regular-season games and helped the Storm’n Sabres wrap up their second straight Central Lakes Conference title.
The season and Deters’ career came to a screeching halt when River Lakes upset Sartell/Sauk Rapids 2-1 in four overtimes in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals Feb. 9. Deters stopped 56 of 58 shots in her final high school game.
“Her angles are just remarkable and she’s able to use her whole body to take up the net,” said River Lakes coach Blair Hovel. “She’s not a big goalie, but she knows how to make herself look big in net.
“She doesn’t give up many rebounds. She gave up one rebound (in the section game) and we were able to capitalize. She’s totally focused and nothing fazes her.”
The future looks bright for Deters, who will play at the Division I level for Bemidji State where she can compete for the top spot early on. Deters said the BSU coaching staff originally wanted her to play a season of junior hockey before going to Bemidji, but the Beavers’ goaltenders struggled this season.
Last year’s all-area Player of the Year, Kendra Rasmussen of Sartell/Sauk Rapids, had three goals and an assist in 35 games for Division I Penn State this season.
“The level of jump from high school to Division I hockey is going to be a huge jump,” Deters said. “I’ll be training hard this summer on and off ice. It’s a big transition. The journey will be interesting.”
As for the future of Sartell/Sauk Rapids, Deters is confident in the girl who will take her place: Clare Minnerath.
Minnerath got playing time this season when Deters missed time with a meniscal contusion caused by wear and tear in December. The freshman has played on Minnesota Selects and festival teams.
“Clare backed me up all year and is one of the top goalies at her age,” Deters said. “I don’t have any doubt that she’ll follow in my footsteps and probably break a lot of the records I set.”