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Pauly, Plante honored

03/11/2012, 11:33am CDT
By MN Hockey Hub staff

Benilde-SM's Ken Pauly, Hermantown's Bruce Plante win coach of year honors


Benilde-St. Margaret's coach Ken Pauly was named the Class 2A Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association. Photo by Adam Crane

Ken Pauly of Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Class 2A and Bruce Plante of Hermantown in Class 1A have been named the Coach of the Year in their respective divisions by the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association.

Pauly led the Red Knights to a 25-6-0 record and the state Class 2A championship, navigating a turbulent season that included a paralyzing injury to sophomore Jack Jablonski.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s was the only non-No. 1 seeded team in its section to reach the state tournament, and the Red Knights were not among the state tournament’s four seeded teams.


Hermantown coach Bruce Plante was named the coach of the year in Class 1A. Photo by Helen Nelson

Pauly led the Red Knights to state Class 1A titles in 1999 and 2001. He guided Benilde-St. Margaret’s to a third-place finish in Class 2A in 2008. He has a 12-2 coaching record at the state tournament.

Plante guided the Hawks to a perfect regular season and to the state Class 1A championship game for the third straight season and fourth time in six years. Hermantown lost to St. Thomas Academy in the title game to finish as the runner-up for the third consecutive season.

Plante led Hermantown to an unbeaten season culminated by a state Class 1A title in 2007.

Ken Jones of Two Harbors and Terry Johnson of Duluth East won assistant coach of the year awards.

Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato in Class 1A and Eden Prairie in 2A won the academic state championships. The Class 2A honor is the third straight for the Eagles, while it was the second straight championship for the Dragons.

Section Coaches of the Year

Section Head Coach Assistant Coach
1A Bryce Barry, Northfield Chris Morris, New Prague; Dave Nystrom, Albert Lea
1AA Kurt Weber, Lakeville South Jim Martin, Winona
2A Jim Sturgis, Blake Dan Paulson, Delano
2AA Chris Wilson, Chanhassen Greg May, Burnsville
3A Tony Sandbulte/Derrick Brown, Luverne None
3AA Jay Moser, Park (Cottage Grove) Doug Watson, Eagan
4A Mark Loahr, Totino-Grace Steve Moe, Simley
4AA Bill Lechner, Hill-Murray Matt Greer, White Bear Lake
5A Bruce Plante, Hermantown Craig Peterson Hermantown
5AA Gary Stefano, Maple Grove Josh Hicks, Maple Grove
6A Tony Couture, Little Falls Chris Dobis, Little Falls
6AA Ken Pauly, Benilde-St. Margaret's John Russo, Benilde-St. Margaret's
7A Steve Wasko, Two Harbors Ken Jones, Two Harbors
7AA Mike Randolph, Duluth East Terry Johnson, Duluth East
8A Tim Bergland, Thief River Falls Bob Hudt/Greg Bottum, Thief River Falls
8AA Dave Morinville, Moorhead Jeff Nelson, Monticello/Annandale/ Maple Lake

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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

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