Barely two weeks have passed and Dominic Toninato finds life to be pretty boring these days.
This weekend he’ll find out what life will be like next season with the now-former Duluth East star making his debut with the Fargo Force tonight against the Des Moines Buccaneers.
“I am excited to get back to playing,” Toninato said. “I am excited to meet some of the guys and get to know them for next season.”
No one can exactly blame Toninato (Minnesota-Duluth) for wanting another crack at the ice considering how his season ended two weeks ago. Toninato and Duluth East entered the Minnesota state boys hockey tournament as the No. 1 seed with a 28-1 record.
The Greyhounds suffered a surprising 2-1 loss to Lakeville South and ended up beating No. 3 seed Eagan in the consolation tournament, which became a graveyard for all top-seeded teams at the state tournament.
Losing in the opening round, he said, was tough but watching other top seeds fall didn’t make it any easier.
“Going into it you knew this was one of the deepest state tournaments,” Toninato said. “All the top seeds went down but the four teams that beat them all deserved to be there.”
Toninato’s individual efforts didn’t go unnoticed. He was a Mr. Hockey finalist because he finished the season scoring 61 points in 25 regular season games.
He was also named to The Associated Press’ second team for boys hockey making him one of two players the Force have to make the team. Forward Jay Dickman, who played at St. Paul Johnson before coming to Fargo, was also a second-team member.
Toninato said earlier in the week his plan was to arrive in Fargo a few days prior to today’s game in the hopes of getting used to the team and the system the Force uses.
“I want to work hard and get better because that is what juniors are for,” said Toninato, whose godfather is NHL legend Brett Hull. “Main thing is to get better and stronger for the next level.”
Unlike Dickman who is on the active roster, Toninato isn’t eligible for the playoffs.
Though he could play in a few more games which is up in the air.
But for now, he’s just focused on trying to get an idea of what next season could bring.
“I know its a great place with a great coaching staff and a great bunch of guys,” Toninato said about Fargo. “They’ve got great fan support, the arena is really nice and the new workout center is unbelievable. It is just a great place.”