Archive for the ‘Boys High School Hockey’ Category

A Season to Remember at Lakeville North

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

by Jim Skelly

A National Signing Day event held in November at Lakeville North High School filled the room with a school-record 18 student athletes declaring their intent to participate in NCAA athletics. It also foreshadowed what was to become a winter season that athletes, students and supporters, and prep sports followers from throughout Minnesota will be discussing for years to come.

Lakeville CVBPanther teams filled the trophy cases with state tournament hardware including a first-ever Boys Basketball title. Boys Hockeyadvanced to their first-ever title game and Girls Hockey took home the third place honors. Girls Basketball gained a fourth-place finish at state while the Gymnastics and Girls Alpine Ski teams also advanced to state. That’s an amazing record of success for any school, and a particularly impressive showing for a school with an enrollment of just over 1,700 students. Here’s a recap of a winter season to remember at Lakeville North.

Boys Basketball
J.P. Macura made it clear throughout the season that he was more interested in his team winning the state championship than any personal accolades. After tallying 43 points in the 4A State Championship Game facing perennial power Hopkins and leading the Panthers to its first ever crown you could say he got both.

Macura, who signed to play his college basketball at Xavier University, hit on long-range three pointers and slashing drives to
the hoop putting on a legendary scoring display. But he wasn’t the entire story. Sophomore guard Drew Stewart was fouled after draining a three pointer in the game’s final 30 seconds and junior forward Connor Flack rebounded the missed free throw to give the Panthers the lead, completing a five-point swing. The Panther’s “big man” Bronson Bruneau also saved his best game for last, scoring 16 points and gaining All-Tournament team honors along with Macura and Flack. The Panthers,
coached by John Oxton, finished with a 27-5 overall record.

Boys Hockey
When freshman forward Henry Enebak scored in overtime in the state quarterfinals to give Lakeville North a 2-1 victory over Roseau, it made program history. For the first time ever a Panthers team advanced beyond the opening round at the Xcel Energy Center. One night later, junior Nick Poehling made history again, scoring a double-OT goal in a 5-4 defeat of Eden Prairie, a shot that propelled Lakeville North into their first-ever attempt at a state title. While that opportunity was missed in an 8-2 loss to Edina, the Panthers did collect a second-place trophy along with some well-earned respect.

The record-setting finish for the Panthers was right in line with the type of hockey they played all season long and a testament to their depth on the ice. Junior forwards Ryan and Nick Poehling welcomed freshman brother Jack Poehling to complete a high-scoring first line attack. Solid defense led by juniors Matt McNeeley, Angelo Altavilla and Jack Sadek, and strong goaltending from Sr. Captain Will Dupont and freshman Jake Ottinger added to the Panthers’ effectiveness. Resulting in a 25-5 record–a season that included an inaugural South Suburban Conference Championship to accompany a second consecutive
Section 1AA title for third year coach Trent Eigner.

Girls Hockey
Panther Girls Hockey had finished in fourth-place and third-place in consecutive previous trips to the Xcel Energy Center with sights set on advancing for a chance to play for a title. With a strong defensive effort led by D1 college recruits Dani Sadek (Ohio State) and Taylor Flaherty (North Dakota), and state goals against leader junior Abby Cooper between the pipes, the Panthers were positioned to make another run. Lakeville North avenged a 2-1 semifinal loss to Benilde St. Margaret’s to defeat Eden Prairie 5-1 for a second consecutive third place finish at state.

Along with producing a state banner for Ames Arena, the Panthers collected their third consecutive South Suburban Conference title to go with their three-peat of Section 1AA crowns finishing with a 24-5-2 record for coach Buck Kochevar. Five-year standout Alexis Joyce (Bemidji State) is one of five Panthers committed to college hockey programs including Sadek, Flaherty, and St. Thomas recruits Heidi Winiecki and Maddie McGlade.

Girls Basketball
Having witnessed state trips for both hockey programs and boys basketball, the Panther Girls Basketball Team was primed to make a run of their own. At the season’s onset, legendary coach Andy Berkvam turned over the coaching duties to Panther alum Shelly Soule. The new coach and the 2014 team carried on the tradition of excellence by overcoming the odds and returning from state with a fourth place trophy.

Girls BasketballThe unranked and upset-minded Panthers eliminated the No. 2 seed Centennial in the opening round before dropping a semi-final match-up with conference foe Bloomington Kennedy, and the third place game to Eden Prairie 48-44. Seniors Kendall Naatjes, Erika Rozell and Jess Meidl will graduate, but the shelves are well-stocked with young talent. Leading scorer Junior MacKenzie Denk and freshman Temi Carda were named to the state all-tournament team. They are joined by a fleet of talented, hard-working underclassman and a coach with state tournament experience. Lakeville North finished with a 21-11 overall record.

While the success experienced during the winter season is considered a relatively rare feat for one high school, it is consistent with the overall athletic success enjoyed by Lakeville North over the course of this school year. Football, Girls Soccer and both Boys and Girls Cross Country advanced to state during the fall season. With many teams comprised of underclassman, coupled with strong coaching staffs and a supportive community, a repeat showing of a Panther Pride state “four-peat” may be in the future.

photo by Jim Lindquist

Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids win Mr. Hockey award

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Avery PetersonSAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Minnesota Minute Men announced today that Avery Peterson from Grand Rapids High School is the recipient of the 30th Annual Mr. Hockey Award, given to the outstanding senior boy’s high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota. Hunter Shepard from Grand Rapids High School received The Frank Brimsek Award, in recognition of Minnesota’s top senior goaltender. This marks the first time that the Mr. Hockey and The Frank Brimsek Award winners are from the same high school. Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

nice rinkDerrick Brown (Luverne High School) and Mike Taylor (Eagan High School) received The John Mariucci Award, given to the Class A and Class AA, respectively, high school coaches of the year. Terry Skrypek (Hill-Murray High School) received The Cliff Thompson Award, presented to the “Old Timer Coach” of the year.
The Mr. Hockey Award, given each year to the outstanding senior hockey player in the state of Minnesota, is selected by a panel of judges, including National Hockey League scouts, USHL Scouts, Division I coaches, Division III coaches, and selected media members from around the state. Other finalists for this year’s award were: Philip Beaulieu (Duluth East), Tyler Cline (Blaine), Spencer Naas (Benilde St. Margaret’s), Tyler Nanne (Edina), Mitch Slattery (Hill-Murray), Steven Spinner (Eden Prairie), Luc Snuggerud (Eden Prairie), Nick Wolff (Eagan) and Zach Yon (Roseau).

Previous Mr. Hockey Award winners are: Grant Besse (2013), Justin Kloos (2012), Kyle Rau (2011), Nick Bjugstad (2010), Nick Leddy (2009), Aaron Ness (2008), Ryan McDonagh (2007), David Fischer (2006), Brian Lee (2005), Tom Gorowsky (2004), Nate Dey (2003), Gino Guyer (2002), Marty Sertich (2001), Paul Martin (2000), Jeff Taffe (1999), John Pohl (1998), Aaron Miskovich (1997), Dave Spehar (1996), Erik Rasmussen (1995), Mike Crowley (1994), Nick Checco (1993), Brian Bonin (1992), Darby Hendrickson (1991), Joe Dziedzic (1990), Trent Klatt (1989), Larry Olimb (1988), Kris Miller (1987), George Pelawa (1986) and Tom Chorske (1985).

MacLean Berglove (Elk River High School) was the other finalist for The Frank Brimsek Award this year. Previous Frank Brimsek Award winners are: David Zevnik (2013), Michael Chance Bitzer (2012), Alex Lyon (2011), Zane Gothberg (2010), Casey O’Connor (2009), Joe Phillippi (2008), Reid Ellingson (2007), Austin Lee (2006), Alec Richards (2005), Matt Lundin (2004), Jon Anderson (2003), Josh Johnson (2002), Eric Aarnio (2001), Jake Brant (2000), Adam Laaksonen (1999), Adam Coole (1998), Kyle Kolquist (1997), Karl Goehring (1996) and Todd Kelzenberg (1995).

Listen Live: Boys State Hockey Tournament Semi-Finals

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Tune in to AM-660 ESPN today for our coverage of the boys state hockey tournament semifinals, or click on the link below to listen online:

Listen Live: Boys State Hockey AA Edina vs Stillwater

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Click on the link below to listen to tonight’s radio broadcast of Edina and Stillwater in the Class AA quarterfinals or listen on the radio on AM 1570-KYCR:

2014 Boys State Hockey Tournament Brackets

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

2014 Boys State Hockey Brackets

2014 Boys State Hockey Brackets A