High School

Slow and Steady Development

Former Eden Prairie standout defenseman Chris Berenguer advanced and excelled his way up the hockey ladder

By Tim Kolehmainen

Breakdown Sports USA

Once is an anomaly. Twice might be signaling a trend.

Earlier this year, former Eden Prairie and Hamline standout defenseman Chris Berenguer became the second straight Minnesota high school hockey product – and second consecutive MIAC player — to win the Sid Watson Trophy as Division III national player of the year.

Two years ago, Gustavus Adolphus’ David Martinson (St. Louis Park) took home the award. Like Berenguer, Martinson also played through his senior season of high school before moving up the ladder.

Read more: Slow and Steady Development

In Familiar Territory

Last year’s state runner-up, Duluth East is ranked No. 1 in Class AA and ready to claim its first title since 1998

By Andrew Vitalis

Mike Randolph remembers the ride back home to Duluth from St. Paul last year, fresh off their overtime defeat to Eden Prairie in the state final. He remembers talking to his coaches, predicting how the 2011 season was going to start. His prediction was, well, right on.

“We expected it,” Randolph said when asked about the Greyhounds’ No. 1 ranking in Class AA. “I remember talking at the end of last year and we figured we were going to be targeted out of the gates, considering who was coming back. We’ve been down this road before and we as coaches know that rankings don’t mean anything. Over the years we’ve developed a schedule that includes a bunch of great opponents, opponents who have become big rivalries, so no matter what we’re ranked, our opponents are going to be coming after us every night.”

The target on their sweater is the size of Lake Superior. Not only did East finish as state runner-ups, but they return arguably the best scoring line in the state.

Read more: In Familiar Territory

Shattuck-St. Mary's Claims Bauer NIT Championship

Max Becker scored twice in the title game and finished with five goals and four assists in three games to lead Shattuck-St. Mary’s to the championship of the Bauer National Invitational Tournament Nov. 4-6 at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope, Minn.

A sophomore from Orange, Calif., Becker scored midway through the second period and added a power-play goal in the third as Shattuck-St. Mary’s beat Minnesota Red 5-3 in Sunday’s championship game. Becker led all players in the tournament in goals and in points with nine.

Kyle Hayton, a senior from Denver, made 39 saves against Minnesota Red and stopped 65 of 70 shots in two starts for Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Jake Montgomery registered a tournament-best seven assists for Shattuck-St. Mary’s, which beat Massachusetts 15-2 in the quarterfinals and Norway 9-1 in the semifinals.

Jordan Gross, a junior defenseman from Maple Grove, scored two goals and added five assists to lead Minnesota Red in scoring in the tournament. Gross, who has committed to play at Notre Dame, had a goal and an assist in the third period of the championship game as Minnesota Red scored all three of its goals.

Grant Opperman, a Breck senior committed to Dartmouth, and linemate Christian Horn, a senior from Benilde-St. Margaret’s, each had two goals and three assists in the tournament. Minnesota Red reached the championship game with a 7-3 triumph over Northwood School (N.Y.) on Friday in the quarterfinals and 5-1 win over Minnesota White in Saturday’s semifinals.

Hermantown senior Jared Thomas scored three goals and added three assists for Minnesota White, which beat Norway 5-3 in Sunday’s third-place game. Kyle Lee of Wausau West had four assists to finish second on Minnesota White in scoring.

Northwood won the consolation title with a 7-5 victory over New England on Sunday. Massachusetts won the seventh-place game with a 4-2 triumph Sunday over Michigan.

Read more: Shattuck-St. Mary's Claims Bauer NIT Championship

Schwan Cup Set for Year 11

Sixty-four of the best boys’ and girls’ high school hockey teams in the Upper Midwest will battle in the 11th annual Schwan Cup hockey tournament, Dec. 26-30. The tournament field is divided into four divisions each for boys and girls.

There are some changes in the locations used for the boys’ divisions this year. The marquee boys’ Gold Division will play first-round games at Ridder Arena at the University of Minnesota on Dec. 26, before moving to their traditional home, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Dec. 27 and 28.

The boys’ Silver, Bronze and Open divisions will play all but their championship games at the Schwan Super Rink at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Consolidating all those games at the Schwan Super Rink was done last year for the first time, and proved popular with fans, who can now watch several divisions on one ticket.

As in past years, all four boys’ championship games will be played at Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 28.

The girls’ divisions will play preliminary round games at the Schwan Super Rink on Dec. 28 and 29, with four championship games at Ridder Arena on Dec. 30.

Following is a summary of the 2011 Schwan Cup format:

Read more: Schwan Cup Set for Year 11

Team Minnesota Rosters for the 2011 Bauer NIT

No. Name Pos. High School Grade Team G A P 
2 Sam Wolfe D Eagan 12 SE 1 6 7
3 Jordan Gross D Maple Grove 11 NW 6 10 16
4 Eric Schurhamer D St. Thomas Academy 12 SE 1 12 13
5 Eli May D Eagan 12 SE 1 8 9
7 Cory Chapman F Burnsville 12 SE 5 10 15
8 Will Merchant F Eagan 12 SE 7 6 13
9 Grant Opperman F Breck 12 NW 13 16 29
10 Justin Kloos F Lakeville South 12 SE 17 30 47 
11 Thomas Lindstrom F Breck 11 NW 7 12 19
12 Grant Besse F Benilde-St. Margaret’s 11 NW 15 17 32
14 Charlie Sampair F Hill-Murray 12 NE 4 5 9
15 Jay Dickman F St. Paul Johnson 12 NE 13 9 22
16 Blake Heinrich D Hill-Murray 11 NE 2 6 8
17 Scott Nelson F Eastview 12 SE 15 7 22
17 Nate Flynn F Hastings 12 SE 4 16 20
18 Dylan Steman F Maple Grove 12 NE 10 15 25
19 Jake Guentzel F Hill-Murray 11 SE 14 27 41
20 Michael Brodzinski D Blaine 11 NW 4 10 14
21 Christian Horn F Benilde-St. Margaret’s 12 NW 11 9 20
No. Goalie High School Grade GAA SV%
1 Zach Thompson Duluth Denfeld 11 4.20 .897
30 Bryan Nies Grand Forks Red River 12 3.94 .905
Alt Justin Quale Benilde-St. Margaret’s 11 4.44 .867
No. Name Pos. High School Grade Team G A P 
2 Jared Kolquist D Hermantown 12 N 5 7 12
3 Nate Repensky D Duluth East 12 N 1 10 11
4 Matt Nelson D Edina 11 SW 2 4 6
5 Conor Andrle F Breck 12 SW 10 14 24
6 Eddie Matsushima F Verona 12 WI 9 8 17
7 Jordan Stejskal D Grand Rapids 12 GP 1 4 5
8 Jake Bischoff D Grand Rapids 11 N 4 7 11
9 Kyle Lee F Wausau West 12 WI 10 19 29
10 Lucas Kohls F Forest Lake 11 NE 9 7 16
11 Lou Nanne F Edina 11 SW 7 13 20
12 Jason Ford F Waunakee 12 WI 9 11 20
13 Jake Randolph F Duluth East 12 N 2 7 9
14 Ben Walker F Edina 12 SW 12 11 23
15 Max Coatta F Minnetonka 11 SW 16 11 27
16 Tim Davison D Notre Dame Academy 12 WI 1 11 12
18 Jared Thomas F Hermantown 12 N 7 11 18
19 Vinni Lettieri F Minnetonka 11 SW 14 13 27
20 T.J. Roo F Totino-Grace 11 NW 6 22 28
21 Dom Toninato F Duluth East 12 N 9 14 23
Alt Austin Swingle F St. Cloud Cathedral 11 GP 5 2 7
Alt Meirs Moore D Duluth East 11 N 1 12 13
Alt Terry Leabo D Moorhead 12 GP 2 3 5
No. Goalie High School Grade GAA SV%
1 Michael Bitzer Moorhead 12 3.79 .895
35 Dylan Parker Duluth East 11 3.23 .901