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Dispatches from the Xcel Energy Center

03/09/2011, 9:06pm CST
By Brian Stensaas, Star Tribune

Hermantown's Skrbich has the goals and the grades

Hermantown might be the No. 2 seed in this year’s Class 1A tournament, but forward Garrett Skrbich settles for nothing less than No. 1 in two important areas.

His second-period goal Wednesday against Alexandria gave him 40 on the season, tying a Hawks’ record. And when players return to school Monday, Skrbich will do so as the top student in the 2011 graduating class.

“It’s tough to keep it all together,” said Skrbich, who holds a 4.0 GPA. “But you work hard in school and work hard at the rink. It’s all well worth it.”

Skrbich attends two classes at Minnesota Duluth, taking Chemistry II and Biology II as a part of the state’s Postsecondary Enrolments Options program. He had to work with professors this week to move a couple of tests, including a lab exam in biology so he could attend a pep fest at school on Tuesday.

“Hopefully hockey will take me somewhere, but there’s life after hockey,” he said.

Mirror image?

Hibbing/Chisholm goaltender Nathan Tromp was fantastic Wednesday, making 29 saves, including a diving stop early in the Bluejackets’4-0 upset over No. 3 seed Rochester Lourdes.

Coach Mark DeCenzo said Tromp showed the poise and positioning that former Bluejacket and Gopher Travis Weber had as a player. That makes sense; Weber works with Tromp. “They can shoot 50 times a period for all I care,” DeCenzo said.

Long-distance intrigue

Todd Richards kept up with Breck’s Class 1A quarterfinal game via text messages. The Wild’s head coach, in Nashville for the team’s game Thursday with the Predators, is an uncle of Mustangs sophomore forward Thomas Lindstrom.

“You do live through your kids and nieces and nephews,” said Richards, who has two sons that play youth hockey. “I would love to be [there] to be able to watch him because it’s a great experience.”

Calls to the hall

Bob Frerker (Rochester John Marshall), George Karn (South St. Paul), Cliff Kauppi (Grand Rapids), Ron Sellnow (Hopkins) and Lou Nanne (Edina) will be inducted Thursday into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame, along awards for others.

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