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Labosky finds comfort zone

By Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor, 11/03/12, 9:30AM CDT


Benilde-St. Margaret's star leads Minnesota Red into Bauer NIT championship

Benilde-St. Margaret's senior Dan Labosky scored twice and added an assist in Minnesota Red's 4-2 victory over Minnesota White in the semifinals of the Bauer NIT. Photo by Loren Nelson

Daniel Labosky

Ken Pauly, coach of defending state Class 2A champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s, recently was asked if he intended to keep his irrepressible forward line of Grant Besse, Dan Labosky and T.J. Moore together for the coming season.

Pauly’s look said it all.
But of course.
Study all the angles, and it’s hard to see the upside in splitting up one of the state’s great all-time trio of forwards.
All Besse did last season was score all of the Red Knights’ goals in their 5-1 rout of Hill-Murray in the state title game. 
All Moore did this fall was lead the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League in scoring.
All Labosky did on Saturday was score two goals and assist on another as Minnesota Red beat Minnesota White 4-2 in the semifinals of the Bauer National Invitational Tournament at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope.
Labosky, the first of the three to commit to a Division I program last winter when he selected Colorado College (Besse chose Wisconsin a few weeks later), had become something of a forgotten man as of late. 
Besse fractured his leg early in the Elite League season and hasn’t played since, ensuring he will be at full strength for the start of the high school season in late November. That allowed Moore, who has yet to choose his college, to grab the spotlight with his scoring exploits.
Moore scored for Minnesota White on Saturday, but Labosky inflicted the heavier damage, showing a high degree of chemistry with linemates Tyler Sheehy of Burnsville and T.J. Roo of Totino-Grace.
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun,” said Labosky, who scored a tap-in goal in the second on a nifty feed from Roo and capped the scoring late in the third period on a missile into the upper corner. “It was a great time.”
Labosky’s feisty side also made an appearance, as he took a hooking penalty in the second period.
“There are so many (scouts) in the stands, you just want to play well,” Labosky said. “The bigger the game, you just have to play better. And you are trying to win it for your teammates, too.”
Labosky and Moore, who grew up playing youth hockey together in Edina, have been buddies since their Mite days. Among the clusters of players from the two teams chatting it up on the ice after the game were Labosky, Moore and Benilde-St. Margaret’s forward Spencer Naas. 
They were busy replaying the game, then fast-forwarding to how they would spend the afternoon. 
“We were kind of talking about the game,” Labosky said. “(Moore) had a good shot for a goal. We’ll be hanging out after the game, watching college football today.”
Labosky and Moore have proven this fall that they do not require the security blanket that is playing alongside lifelong buddies. Highly skilled ones, at that.
“Roo and Sheehy are unbelievable players,” Labosky said. “Roo fed me the one on the back door. That was a great play. That was probably the easiest goal I’ve ever scored. 
“Sheehy had a great goal, too.”

Dan Labosky, center, celebrates a goal with Minnesota Red teammates Teemu Kivihalme, left, and T.J. Roo. Photo by Loren Nelson

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Tyler Sheehy of Burnsville scored the winning goal with 2 minutes, 54 seconds remaining, Dan Labosky of Benilde-St. Margaret’s scored twice and had an assist and Chase Perry of Andover made 40 saves to lead Minnesota Red past Minnesota White 4-2 on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the semifinals of the Bauer National Invitational Tournament at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope. 
Minnesota Red advances to Sunday’s championship game against either defending champion Shattuck-St. Mary’s or Jungadler Mannheim of Germany.
Sheehy cruised through the slot and slammed a loose puck past Minnesota White goaltender Hunter Shepard of Grand Rapids for the winning goal. Labosky, who assisted on Sheehy’s goal, picked the upper right corner from the left face-off dot for an insurance goal 17 seconds later.
T.J. Roo of Totino-Grace, playing on a line with Sheehy and Labosky, set up Labosky’s second-second period goal with a face-off win and pass through the crease for a tap in. 
Steven Spinner of Eden Prairie also scored for Minnesota Red.
T.J. Moore of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Labosky’s longtime youth and high school linemate, scored for Minnesota White as did Ryan Lundgren of Duluth East.
Shepard finished with 35 saves.

Three Stars

The pesky Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior scored on a 2-foot tap-in, a 20-foot snipe, set up another goal and, as is often the case, took a penalty. Playing on a line with Tyler Sheehy of Burnsville and T.J. Roo of Totino-Grace, the fiery Labosky was more of a playmaker and less of an agitator, just the right mix in an evenly played game that afforded little margin for error.
The Andover junior was his usual granite-wall self while calmly turning aside 40 shots. Perry allowed a second-period snipe by T.J. Moore and third-period tap-in off a scramble in front by Ryan Lundgren but otherwise made tough save after tough save look routine.
The junior from Grand Rapids was solid at both ends, blending a physical style with an abundance of finesse. He set up Lundgren’s third-period goal that tied the score at 2 with a nifty pass through the crease.

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