The hockey legacy of Jim Metzen

The longtime Minnesota legislator has played an integral role in growing hockey through Mighty Ducks legislation

 

By John Hamre
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Minnesota didn’t become the “State of Hockey” overnight. Years of tradition – wintertime freezes of the lakes, outdoor rinks being flooded, and indoor community rinks developed over time – have all helped grow hockey in Minnesota over the past century. The availability of many skating facilities and ice-time resources as part of public park systems have advanced opportunities of many young hockey players in Minnesota. Availability to ice time has made Minnesota a world-renowned talent producer in hockey, and provides venues for physical activity and recreation.

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Former Wild goalie Carruth signs with Blackhawks

Former Wenatchee Wild, NAHL and current Portland Winterhawks goaltender Mac Carruth has signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. He was drafted by Chicago in the seventh round, 191st overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, following his final season in the NAHL.

Carruth, a native of Shorewood, Minn., will be entering his 20-year-old season in 2012-13, meaning he could play for Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, or come back to Portland for his final season of junior eligibility.

Carruth played two full seasons in the NAHL for the Wenatchee Wild.  He began his junior career as a 16-year-old in the NAHL during the 2008-09 season, in which he appeared in 26 games, posting a 18-7-1 record, a 3.04 goals against average and a 90.4% save percentage.  The next season, Carruth appeared in 16 games before moving onto Portland in the Western Hockey League.

Carruth has played 137 regular season games in three seasons in Portland, compiling a record of 87-39-3-1, with four shutouts, a goals against average of 3.08 and .905 save percentage. His 42 wins in 2011-12 set a new single-season franchise record, and his 87 career wins are second in franchise history.

He’s also backstopped the Winterhawks to two straight Western Conference championships, and in three seasons has posted a record of 33-19 in the playoffs, with three shutouts, a goals against average of 3.10 and 91.4% save percentage. He holds franchise records in playoff wins (33), games (54), saves (1744) and minutes (3193), while his three shutouts are tied with Lanny Ramage for the lead in that category.

“Mac has been one of our most valuable players since he joined us in 2009,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “We’d love to have Mac back with us for one more season, but if the Blackhawks assign him to the AHL, then we wish him the best as he pursues a pro career.”



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