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Man on the move

By MN Hockey Hub staff, 09/10/11, 9:51AM CDT

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St. Cloud Cathedral defenseman Austin Swingle finds success as forward for Great Plains


Great Plains forward Austin Swingle of St. Cloud Cathedral, middle, scored twice against Team Wisconsin in his Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League debut. Photo by Helen Nelson

Austin Swingle isn’t ready to move to Grand Rapids.

Yet.

If Swingle has another few games like he had in his Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League debut on Saturday, Sept. 10, the forward from St. Cloud Cathedral just might consider it.

Playing on a Great Plains line with T. Avery Peterson and Nate Mondry of Grand Rapids, Swingle scored two goals in an 8-5 loss to Team Wisconsin.


Austin Swingle

“The first couple of shifts we needed to adjust to it, but after that we starting getting used to it and making plays and getting things going,” Swingle said about the Elite League’s frenetic pace. “I was on a line with Mondry during (Elite League tryouts) so we had pretty good chemistry.”

While Swingle has no intention of making his current arrangement with Mondry and Peterson a permanent one, he is open to making a full-time position change.

Swingle, a junior who has grown up as a defenseman, started playing as a forward last spring during the Minnesota Hockey Advanced 16s Festival. Swingle’s coach, Dave Aus of Blaine, suggested he make the move to forward because of the logjam of talented  Section 5 defensemen.

“I said, ‘Sure, whatever,’ ” Swingle said.

The 6-foot-1½, 192-pound Swingle seems open to pretty much anything. He scored two goals and added eight assists as a freshman at St. Cloud Cathedral. Last season he boosted his scoring totals to six goals and nine assists.

He said he might play forward for the Crusaders this winter. Or defense. Whatever.

“I might end up being a goalie pretty soon,” Swingle said with a laugh.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

1. Eddie Matsushima, Team Wisconsin
A senior forward from Verona, Matsushima scored late in the third period to give Team Wisconsin a two-goal cushion. He also added two assists in his Elite League debut.

2. Austin Swingle, Great Plains
A junior forward who plays for St. Cloud Cathedral, Swingle is a defenseman during the high school season who converts to forward during spring and fall all-star competition. He proved to be more than capable as a scorer, notching two goals in his Elite League debut.

3. Kyle Lee, Team Wisconsin
Lee, a senior forward who plays for Wausau West, matched linemate Matsushima with three points on a goal and two assists.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Jason Ford of Waunakee scored what proved to be the winning goal during a wild third-period scoring exchange as Team Wisconsin outlasted Great Plains 8-5 in an Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League matchup on Saturday, Sept. 10, at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope.

Team Wisconsin led 4-2 at the midway point of the third period when T. Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids and Tommy Hajicek of East Grand Forks scored 23 seconds apart to tie the score at 4 with 7 minutes, 11 seconds remaining.

Team Wisconsin roared back to score four of the final five goals, including three in the final 3:32.

Matt Fosdick of Brookfield and Eddie Matsushima of Verona also scored for Team Wisconsin during the third-period flurry.

Zach Yon of Roseau scored with less than 4 minutes remaining to pull Great Plains to within 6-5, but goals by Matsushima and Zac Keryluk of Verona (empty net) clinched the victory over Team Wisconsin in its Elite League opener.

Chris Nell of Green Bay Notre Dame Academy made 32 saves for Team Wisconsin. Great Plains goaltender Brian Nies of Grand Forks Red River made 30 saves on 37 shots.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

Photo Gallery

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Moorhead's Jack Stetz (21) throws his arms up as he and his teammates celebrated the win. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com