It featured a first, second, and third team. Also noted was the MyFoxHockey.com Player of the year and the coach of the year awards. Several high school coaches, elite league coaches, writers, and broadcasters all contributed to the team.
The criteria for the All State team was based not only on their regular seasons, but the post season as well along with the players intangible contributions. Appearing in the post season could only help a player, and it was used in the consideration as well. Considering the pressures that accompany the post season which includes sectional play, the panel considered that a key element as well.
Numbers were part of the equation and all around player was considered as well. Let's meet the first MyFoxHockey.com All State Team:
MyFoxHockey.com Player of the Year:
Jake Gardiner Senior Minnetonka
It was a tough discussion and decision for the brain wizards selecting this prestigious honor and it went to the ultra-skilled defenceman from Minnetonka. Jake Gardiner embodied the game of high school hockey and took on all comers. I He not only is a player built on speed and skill for himself, but he also made others around him better. He became a household name in the Metro Area and on MyFoxHockey.com for his contributions to the game. Gardiner's loyalty to Minnetonka hockey and High School Hockey have without question opened doors for a bright future. Nobody wants to win more than Gardiner, and the soft spoken leader always led by example through effort and execution. It is an honor for our organization to award the player of the year to Jake Gardiner. It was a difficult decision with so many high end players gracing the high school hockey scene, yet Gardiner stood out among the best.
MyFoxHockey.com Coach of the Year:
Chad Nyberg Hopkins
Chad Nyberg guided his team to an impressive 22-4-1 record and were one bounce away from advancing to the Section Finals. Nyberg has worked hard not only at the high school level but at the youth level as well. He continues to reach out to the youth players in the Hopkins Youth Hockey Association, and with a diverse school district continues to reach out to all members of the community to play hockey. A twenty win season for any team is impressive, and considering they accomplished it after Michael Fink left for the USHL and others typically move on to play with other programs from Hopkins, they held it together and played a quick paced puck moving style. We have seen his practices and they are up tempo, are based on skill and execution. His team buys into his program and they were effective. Nyberg, without question, has put the Royals on the map.
MyFoxHockey.com All State 1st Team:
Joe Phillippi, Senior Hill, Murray
The Senior goalie played in his 4th season of Varsity hockey where he began as a freshman appearing in 8 games. This season, he put it all together leading his team to a Classic Suburban Conference title, the Section 4AA title, and a third straight State Tournament appearance. Three was a charm as he guided his team to victory in three memorable games. He won the Frank Brimsek award as the State's top senior goalie, was a member of the Star Tribune All Metro team, was named a second team AP All State member, and a first team All State Selection for the Pioneer Press. He also won the prestigious Herb Brooks award. Phillippi proved he is Mr. Clutch and shut down a Hornet team that played a solid State Title game with 31 saves.
Phillippi's Numbers: 22-3-1 1.47 gaa 10 shutouts .932 sv percentage
Matt Bergland, Senior, Benilde St. Margaret's
Bergland put it all together this season as he had a remarkable offensive season. He proved his wares at the state tournament as well as he scored a number of large goals for the Red Knights including the game tying goal in the third period against Edina that sent the semi-final game to overtime. He was named to the All Tournament team, was an honorable mention AP All State Pick. He was snubbed from the Star Tribune All Metro team, yet without Bergland, the Red Knights who are a top three team in the state, would not have finished where they did. He is very strong on the puck, accelerates with it as good as any player in the state, has great vision, hands, and a goal scorers knack. He tallied 4g and 3a for 7pts on the big stage of the State Tournament. He picked up points in 27 of the 31 games the Red Knights played. That includes non conference games against Hill Murray, Marshall School-Duluth, Edina, St. Thomas Academy, and sectional play with Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and of course the State Tournament with games against Woodbury, Edina, and Roseau. He notched 9g and 4a in 6 sectional and state tournament games.
Bergland's Numbers: 38g-32a-70pts
Ryan Furne Senior Hil Murray
Furne is the quiet leader with a booming shot. He can skate well and creates quality scoring lanes for himself. His 4 goals in the state tournament led his team in two big wins, first against Lakeville South and then in the Final against Edina. He is a steady person and a steady player. That exemplifies what MyFoxHockey.com looks for in a player. There is not a player more responsible in all facets of the game and Furne, a captain on his team, could be viewed as the captain of this All State Team. He never panics on the puck and along with linemate Dan Cecka gave the Pioneers and explosive one two punch that flew under the radar much of the season. He was named as an AP All State Honorable Mention along with being an honorable mention All State Selection for the Pioneer Press. He was snubbed from the StarTribune All Metro Team. He also notched 6 multi-goal efforts for the Pioneers this season.
Furne's Numbers: 30g-30a-60pts
Anders Lee, Junior, Edina
This guy is no where to be found on anyone's list which is criminal. He was a minute muncher for the Hornets in the State Tournament, played on three different lines and produced big time numbers no matter who he played with throughout the season. Lee was great in all three zones and was exceptional on the offensive boards. Hockey is more than goals and assists, and Anders Lee is proof of that. Even though he has staggering numbers for a team that played the 5th toughest schedule in high school hockey, the intangibles of strength, body position, faceoffs (he was 22-7 in the circle for the tournament), and physical play round out his complete game. In all due respect, the names that adorn the other post season team's are base on numbers only and not impact players. Lee made the already offensively dangerous Hornets even deeper while accepting any role turned his way. He was an honorable mention AP All State Selection. Lee tallied one point in the State Tournament yet was one of the dominant Hornet players throughout the three games.
Lee's Numbers: 32g-22a-54pts
Jake Gardiner, Senior, Minnetonka
Is there a more electric player in high school hockey? The answer from this perspective is no. Jake Gardiner combines size, speed, agility, vision, hands, and strength to be a major issue for opposing teams every time he hits the ice. What makes him special is his skating and ability to create space in one step. The Minnetonka Skippers were a top four team all season long, and it was Gardiner who changed the game for the Skippers when they faced off with Hill Murray in their 4-1 Schwan Cup victory. He not only would electrify with the end to end rush, he also distributed and found other players on the ice. He was exceptional on the power play as well. There is no question that Gardiner generated a ton of interest where ever he played from the opposing teams, to fans, to college coaches, NHL scouts, and player agents. No player was the subject of more post game discussions with agents than Gardiner. He without question is ready for the next level and is the best prospect in the state, bar none. He had five games that he scored two goals in and 15 multi-point games. Gardiner will be missed by the Skippers next season. He was a Mr. Hockey finalist and had numerous honors bestowed on him including: AP First team All State, StarTribune First team All Metro, Pioneer Press 2nd Team All State. He is a first round pick in this upcoming draft, the highest rated Minnesotan available in the draft.
Gardiner's Numbers: 20g-28a-48pts
Aaron Ness, Junior, Roseau
Ness was the bold pick as player of the year from TheStitch.us last season over the popular Grand Rapids Star Patrick White. As the ultra skilled defenceman proved his wares at the State Tournament last year. It was due to his play that garnered the title and the attention for this upcoming season. He is heading off to the University of Minnesota as after his junior season and could very well be the Gophers best player. Ness steps up in the play as well as any high school players and harkens this observers memory to another player from Northern Minnesota named Larry Olimb. Ness is a fierce competitor who is fantastic defensively as he blocks shots, defends, and forces turn overs. He was held in check during the tournament by Hill Murray and BSM, yet was worthy of his All Tournament Selection. His vision is amazing as he spots players with his back to them which is a gift indeed. Ness was awarded Mr. Hockey this season along with being named the AP player of the year and a first team member of that team. He also was a first team Pioneer Press All State selection as well.
Ness' Numbers: 28g-44a-72pts
MyFoxHockey.com All State Team 2nd Team
Alex Fon, So, Hopkins
Technically the most sound goaltender in the State and projected by this media outlet as the future Brimsek award winner. Fons is quick and gobbles up rebounds. He had the memorable overtime performance with Minnetonka in the section sem-finals. He was named a 2nd team StarTribune All Metro Selection, and an AP All State Honorable Mention goalie.
Fons Numbers: 16-4-1 2.30gaa 4 shutouts .919 sv percentage
Zach Budish, Jr, Edina
Budish could easily be a first team player. He is the heart and soul of the talented Hornets and will be a Mr. Hockey finalist next year along with being an instant candidate for the MyFoxHockey.com player of the year. For a tall and strong player, Budish has some the most deft hands in high school hockey. He was named to the First Team AP All State Team, the First Team StarTribune All Metro Team, and was named an honorable mention Pioneer Press All State member.
Budish Numbers: 26g-37a-63pts
Marshall Everson, Jr, Edina
One of Everson's coaches couldn't be happier with Everson's performance not only offensively but defensively. He is a pure goal scorer who strengthened his game. He, like Budish will be an elite player for next season and will be considered for Mr. Hockey and the MyFoxHockey.com player of the year award. Like Budish, Everson was named to the StarTribune All Metro team, was an Honorable Mention AP All State member and holds the same distinction with the Pioneer Press as an All State Honrable mention.
Everson's Numbers: 43g-25a-68pts
Steve Zierke, Sr, Benilde St. Margaret's
Zierke is a prolific player and can light up the arena with his offensive play. Zierke makes everyone around him better. After missing most of last season, a refreshed Zierke blossomed under Ken Pauly. Zierke was named to the AP All State Honorable Mention team.
Zierke's Numbers: 24g-44a-68pts
Joe Gleason, Sr, Edina
Gleason can flat out skate. He takes off into open ice, or a gap as well as anyone and forces the defense into retreat mode. What is more impressive has been the evolution of his physical play. Gleason tossed some vicious hits out during the season and none were more evident than his work in the State Tournament. In the Sections when he was needed most, Gleason went toe to toe with the speedy Tyler Barnes and company. He, along with Lee was outstanding for the Hornets in the State Tournament. A competitor and team player, Gleason will have a great career at North Dakota. Gleason was named to the 1st Team Pioneer Press All State Team, the 2nd Team AP All State Team, and the 2nd Team StarTribune All Metro team.
Gleason's Numbers: 9g-33a-41pts
Chris Student, Sr, Benilde St. Margaret's
Can you imagine what the Hornets would have been like had Student played with his youth hockey mates and Gleason? Talk about transition! Chris Student plays the game with passion and as a four year player at BSM, got better each year. His vision is unmatched as well as his passing ability. Student has a great knack for the game, and MyFoxHockey.com would be curious to see what kind of forward he would have made. Student embodies Red Knight hockey and will be missed dearly by big Red. He munched a ton of minutes and played in every situation over his career and he did that effectively. Student was named to the 1st Team StarTribune All Metro team, the AP All State Honorable Mention Team, and the Pioneer Press Honorable mention All State Team.
MyFoxHockey.com All State 3rd Team
Mike Lee, Jr, Roseau
What does one say, the goalie went two years nary a loss and fell for the first time in the state semi-finals to Hill Murray. He posted a 38-2-0 record over the past two seasons with a .80 goals against average. His .952 save percentage is ridiculous.
He also posted 18 shutouts over the past two seasons. He moves well and plays the angles well along with controls his rebounds. Lee is committed to St. Cloud State University. He, along with Fons, will hunker down a solid Junior class of goalies coming into next season. He will be a Brimsek finalist and was named to a number of post season teams including, the AP First Team All State, and the 2nd Team All State with The Pioneer Press.
Lee's Numbers: 26-2-0 .80gaa 12 shutouts .952 save percentage
Tyler Barnes, Sr, Burnsville
Tyler Barnes oozes the game of hockey as he plays with passion and flair. He led the Blaze to their state tournament run last year, and was instrumental in this seasons success. He has excellent hands, is a gifted skater, and has a finishers touch. His speed kept the opposing defense back on their heals as his wheels were an issue every night that other teams were forced to deal with. The Wisconsin bound player was selected to the 2nd team AP All State edition, the StarTribune 2nd Team All Metro, and was an honorable mention All State selection for the Pioneer Press.
Barnes Numbers: 23g-27-50pts
JT Brown, Sr, Rosemount
Like, Barnes, Brown can fly and score. He distributed the puck well this season and had an offensively balanced season. Brown was so good that on many nights, he would take over a game and will his team to victory. He showed all season that he could score from anywhere on the ice and that goaltenders could not take a shift off. Brown and his team fell short of the State Tournament which would have been a great venue to showcase his and other teammates skills. Brown was named as to the StarTribune First Team All Metro Team, and was an honorable mention to the AP and Pioneer Press All State Teams.
Brown's Numbers: 32g-35a-67pts
Danny Mattson, Jr, Holy Angels
Mattson is an offensively gifted player, who on his own was capable of winning a game on a given night for his Stars. He controlled games, and no player was spoken of with more respect by opposing coaches than Danny Mattson. He can finish and set players up with the best of them. Mattson was named to the StarTribune All Metro 2nd team, and was also named to the AP Honorable Mention All State team.
Mattson's Numnbers: 31g-41a-72pts
Nick Leddy, Sr, Eden Prairie
The senior defenceman for the Eagles is the leader of one of the most talented blue lines in high school hockey. In fact, they were as good as any in recent memory. Leddy is a steady defenseman who sees the ice well and utilizes his puck movement and shot as a legitimate force for the Eagles. Leddy is a defensive force and dominated the defensive zone. He is headed toward the University of Minnesota and was named to the 2nd Team StarTribune All Metro Team, and was an AP All State Honorable mention
Leddy's Numbers 5g-22a-27pts
Luke McManus Sr Rosemount
The senior played as big as his frame. He helped elevate his team's game with his transition game and defensive play. A steady defender, who works the power play with authority. He was named to the StarTribune All Metro 3rd team, and was an All State Honorable Mention on the AP All State team. He is headed to UMD.
McManus' Numbers: 16-26-42pts
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