No award (that we know of) is given to the state’s high school player with the best beard. That’s tough luck for Minnetonka senior Derek Frawley, who was sporting some serious facial hair (although not quite at Grizzly Adams or ZZ Top proportions) until shaving much of it off recently.
“I just got bored,” said Frawley, who plays for Team Southwest in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League, when asked about his new look that features close-cropped sideburns. “You can’t have the same thing for too long. You have to change it up.
“You’ve gotta have fun with it.”
Last season Frawley scored 52 points (18 goals and 35 assists) in 31 games for Minnetonka, which finished second in the state Class AA tournament to Edina.
Playing on a line with Skippers teammates Max Coatta and Thomas Schutt for Team Southwest, the 6-foot-½, 184-pound Frawley has one goal and four assists in 12 games.
A blazing fast left wing with a wicked shot, Frawley ranks among the top preseason candidates for Mr. Hockey. He has been drawing interest from several Division I programs and said he has visited Yale, Princeton and Boston College.
Harvard and Dartmouth also are showing interest in Frawley, who has a 3.5 grade-point average.
"It’s not like some of the summer leagues or the fall leagues where you don’t know everyone and you don’t know how they play," Frawley said about being on a line with Coatta and Schutt, a trio that played together for a significant stretch last season. "It’s nice to know (Coatta and Schutt). You can play off of that and have an advantage off most other teams."
Edina’s Steven Fogarty is the fully loaded SUV sitting on the showroom floor. He’s got size (6-foot-1½, 194 pounds), speed (few players his size – or smaller – can keep pace) and a natural scorer’s touch (he led defending state Class AA champion Edina in scoring last season with 40 points -- 21 goals, 19 assists – in 31 games).
In most seasons, the senior would be a heavy favorite to win the Mr. Hockey award given annually to the state’s best player.
Not this season.
“Kyle is probably going to win Mr. Hockey, so you can’t go wrong playing with him,” Fogarty said about Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League linemate Kyle Rau of Eden Prairie.
For the past several weeks, the understated Fogarty has found himself playing on a high-revving line with Rau and Edina teammate Michael Sit for Team Southwest.
The line’s chemistry repeatedly led to what can best be described as artistry in Team Southwest’s 6-3 win over Team Northeast on Oct. 3.
In a play that is becoming more and more typical for the trio, Rau set up Fogarty for an easy goal with a pinpoint pass on a 2-on-1. Fogarty later returned the favor by assisting on a Rau power-play goal.
That's some nice give and take considering games between rivals Edina and Eden Prairie are among the most intense in the state.
“He’s not the biggest kid,” Fogarty said about the 5-8, 163-pound Rau who had 40 goals and 41 assists in 28 games last season, “but he plays like he’s my size. He’s a natural goal scorer. And he hits. He does it all.”
Meanwhile Fogarty, who has 10 goals and four assists in 12 Elite League games, might be one of the few players who can challenge Rau for the title of state’s best senior this season.
He has visited Dartmouth, Colorado College and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Only Dartmouth has made a scholarship offer.
“I’m just focusing on this league and trying to do as well as I can,” Fogarty said. “We’ll see what happens.”
1. Kyle Rau, Team Southwest
The senior from Eden Prairie (pictured) scored twice and dished a fabulous assist to Edina’s Steven Fogarty on a 2-on-1 break. Rau also turned at least two Team Northeast defensemen inside out as he blew past them with gorgeous one-on-one moves.
2. Tyler Heinonen, Team Southwest
The senior from Delano is starting to find his scoring grove, as he had a goal and an assist for his second two-point performance in as many games.
3. Dylan Steman, Team Northeast
The junior forward from Maple Grove had a goal and an assist and was the only Team Northeast player with more than one point.
Although Team Northeast had plenty of scoring chances during its Oct. 5 Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League game against Team Southwest at New Hope Arena in New Hope, not many of those opportunities resulted with the puck in the back of the net in the 6-3 loss.
Two potential goals were waived off by the officials during the second period, drawing a loud response from Team Northeast’s players and coaches.
Team Northeast’s Nick Turbitt of Spring Lake Park was looking to provide a response of his own in the second period when he took aim at a wide open net. His shot, however, sailed wide.
Turbitt froze in disbelief, then began to hang his head. He said one thought went through his mind.
“I can’t believe I messed up,” Turbitt said.
Turbitt didn’t have much time to think of anything else as his moment of anguish quickly turned into a moment of joy when, just seconds later, teammate Riley Colvard (Centennial) sent the puck back to him for another open-net opportunity. This time, Turbitt made no mistake and put the puck past Team Southwest’s goaltender Andrew Ford (Eden Prairie).
“I got lucky to have another chance,” Turbitt said. “That never happens.”
Spectators in the New Hope Arena shared a chuckle as a failed opportunity turned into a successful one within seconds and also sent some sarcastic questions such as “Was anyone in the net on that one?” and “Was that one legal?” towards the officials on the ice.
Team Northeast received a bench unsportsmanlike penalty after the goal, most likely for echoing some of the fans’ sarcasm. Turbitt’s goal would stand.
“I just got lucky,” said the 6-foot-1, 174-pound Turbitt, who had 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) in 26 games to lead the Panthers last season. “Colvard made a good play and passed it. I just got lucky to get a second chance.”
Turbitt, a senior, has seven points (six goals, one assist) for Team Northeast, a team that features fellow Spring Lake Park standouts Nick Auman, a junior defenseman (one assist) and junior forward A.J. Fossen (four assists).
It’s not uncommon for three players from one school to be on the same team in the Elite League. It is uncommon for three players from a Class A school to be on the same team, though. St. Thomas Academy, with five, is the only Class A team with more players in the league.
In a league mostly dominated by players from Class AA programs, Turbitt said he and his Spring Lake Park teammates have adjusted.
“It’s a great experience,” he said. “It’s a better flow. Everyone here is good, and you can’t take a shift off. It definitely helps you in the future.”
Turbitt not only believes the experience has helped him and his teammates grow and improve, but also that the experience will help during the varsity season.
-- Mike Murakami, Hockey Hub staff writer
Kyle Rau of Eden Prairie scored two goals and added an assist, and linemate Steven Fogarty of Edina had a goal and two assists as Team Southwest eased past Team Northeast 6-3 in an Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League matchup on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at New Hope Arena in New Hope.
Fogarty and Rau each scored in the first period as Team Southwest (6-5-1), which has won four of its last five games, surged to a 4-1 lead.
Delano’s Tyler Heinonen, who had a goal and an assist, scored early in the second period to put Team Southwest ahead 5-1.
Team Northeast (3-9-1) opened the score 1:48 into the second period on a breakaway by Hill-Murray’s Ben Bahe. Spring Lake Park’s Nick Turbitt and Dylan Steman of Maple Grove also scored for Team Northeast.
Bloomington Jefferson’s Tim Donohue and Minnetonka’s Thomas Schutt also scored for Team Southwest.
Eden Prairie’s Andrew Ford made 29 saves to earn the win for Team Southwest. Tim Shaughnessy of Hill-Murray made 45 saves for Team Northeast.