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Mr. Hockey finalists named

By MN Hockey Hub staff, 02/09/12, 10:58AM CST

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Eagan, Duluth East each have two players on top 10 list; Bitzer, Koop goalie finalists


Jake Randolph, right, is one of two Mr. Hockey finalists from top-ranked Duluth East, joining linemate Dom Toninato. Photo by Helen Nelson

Eagan and Duluth East each have two players among the 10 finalists for the 28th annual Mr. Hockey award announced on Thursday, Feb. 9, by the Minnesota Minute Men.

Forwards Will Merchant and Michael Zajac are the finalists from No. 4-ranked Eagan, and forwards Jake Randolph and Dom Toninato are named from top-ranked Duluth East.

Zajac has committed to play at Princeton, Randolph at Nebraska-Omaha and Toninato at Minnesota-Duluth.

University of Minnesota recruit Justin Kloos of Lakeville South, the state's top Class 2A scorer with 69 points (he ranks third overall), is also among the finalists for the award given to the state's top senior skater.

Players from Class 1A programs, all of whom have made Division I commitments, include Grant Opperman of Breck (Dartmouth), Judd Peterson of Duluth Marshall (St. Cloud State), Eric Schurhamer of St. Thomas Academy (Maine) and Jared Thomas of Hermantown (Minnesota-Duluth).

Hermantown is ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, St. Thomas Academy is No. 2, Breck is No. 3 and Duluth Marshall No. 5.

Charlie Sampair of Hill-Murray also was named as a finalist.

Michael Bitzer of Moorhead and Kyle Koop of Maple Grove are the finalists for the Frank Brimsek Award in recognition of the state’s top senior goaltender.

The Mr. Hockey awards banquet will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 at the Grand Ballroom at RiverCentre in St. Paul. 

The Mr. Hockey Award is selected by a panel of NHL scouts, Division I coaches and selected media members from around the state. 

The John Mariucci Award, given to the Class A and Class AA high school coaches of the year, and The Cliff Thompson Award, presented to the “Old Timer Coach” of the year will also be presented at the awards banquet.

For information on how to purchase tickets for the banquet, visit www.minnesotaminutemen.com, email mrhockeyaward@minnesotaminutemen.com or call Fiona Quick at (612) 214-2444. Individual tickets are $30.00.

Previous Mr. Hockey Award winners are: 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).

Previous Frank Brimsek Award winners are: 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).

Mr. Hockey Award Winners

YEAR PLAYER SCHOOL POS.
1985 Tom Chorske Minneapolis Southwest LW
1986 George Pelawa Bemidji RW
1987 Kris Miller Greenway, Coleraine D
1988 Larry Olimb Warroad C
1989 Trent Klatt Osseo RW
1990 Joe Dziedzic Minneapolis Edison LW
1991 Darby Hendrickson Richfield C
1992 Brian Bonin White Bear Lake C
1993 Nick Checco Bloomington Jefferson LW
1994 Mike Crowley Bloomington Jefferson D
1995 Erik Rasmussen St. Louis Park LW
1996 Dave Spehar Duluth East F
1997 Aaron Miskovich Grand Rapids C
1998 Johnny Pohl Red Wing C
1999 Jeff Taffe Hastings C
2000 Paul Martin Elk River D
2001 Marty Sertich Roseville C
2002 Gino Guyer Greenway, Coleraine C
2003 Nate Dey North St. Paul F
2004 Tom Gorowsky Centennial C
2005 Brian Lee Moorhead D
2006 David Fischer Apple Valley D
2007 Ryan McDonagh Cretin-Derham Hall D
2008 Aaron Ness Roseau D
2009 Nick Leddy Eden Prairie D
2010 Nick Bjugstad Blaine C
2011 Kyle Rau Eden Prairie C
2012 Justin Kloos Lakeville South C
2013 Grant Besse Benilde-St. Margaret's LW
2014 Avery Peterson Grand Rapids C
2015 Jake Jaremko Elk River F
2016 Riley Tufte Blaine LW
2017 Casey Mittelstadt Eden Prairie C

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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