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Top 100 enters new territory with Zmolek

By Loren Nelson, Editor, 08/23/11, 12:56PM CDT


Rochester JM defenseman is first player on list to represent southern Minnesota, 1980s

Doug Zmolek is something of a Top 100 groundbreaker, representing both the first southern Minnesota player and the first player from the 1980s on the list.

Of the nine players selected so far, four went on to play in the NHL. Zmolek’s 467 regular season games is the most of any of the Top 100 picks released.

Zmolek is heavily involved in Rochester’s youth hockey organization, and Steve Webb, who covered hockey for the Rochester Post-Bulletin when Zmolek was in high school, says Zmolek never changed a bit from high school, through his playing days in college and in the NHL up until now.

Zmolek remains close friends with his longtime youth hockey and high school teammate Eric Means.

“He had a great work ethic,” Means said about Zmolek. “Especially as he got into high school and definitely as he got through college and ready to go into the NHL. He wanted to get better.

"Whether it was baseball, golf, hockey … he’s competitive, he wants to win.”

Storyteller like no other

Former Eveleth and Minnesota North Stars goaltender Pete LoPresti, who came in at No 93 on the Top 100 is a larger-than-life personality who can spin stories with the best of them.

Chatting with LoPresti on the phone was like walking into a time warp, especially when he got to talking about the time former Eveleth goaltending wizard Willard Ikola returned to Eveleth as the head coach at Edina.

LoPresti, who was the star goaltender for Eveleth at the time, said the Hippodrome was packed for the regular season game matching two of the state’s top ranked teams.

“It is my senior year (1972) and Edina comes in and they were No. 1 and we were No. 2,” LoPresti said. “Edina is hated up there, and the place was packed.”

During the third period of a tight game, Edina got the puck past LoPresti. The goaltender, however, refused to quit on the play.

“The net was kind of saggy,” LoPresti said. “So the puck was buried underneath it. It was so far in the back of the net it was almost coming out the back side. I almost threw my shoulder out reaching back for it.”

LoPresti got a handle on the puck, showing it to the referee who, apparently, never saw it go in the goal.

The official asked for a ruling from the goal judge.

“The ref said, ‘Was it in or was it out?’ ” LoPresti said. “The goal judge said it wasn’t even close to going over.”

No goal.

LoPresti said he talked to Ikola after the game, which Edina won in overtime, and told the Hornets’ coach the puck had, indeed, gone in.

Ikola’s response: “Don’t worry Pete, I told my team we were down by one before the game even starts.”

As a sidenote, LoPresti was the first Minnesotan taken (in the third round by the Minnesota North Stars) in the 1974 NHL Draft. Also among the 24 Minnesotans selected that year were former Hill-Murray defensemen Dick Spanbauer and Dave Langevin, Bemidji defenseman Gary Sargent, Babbitt forward/defenseman Buzz Schneider, Virginia forward Jack Carlson, Hibbing defenseman Joe Micheletti, International Falls goaltender Pete Waselovich and South South Paul forward Warren Miller.

State great gives nod to Fichuk, Abram

Craig Sarner, the former North St. Paul standout who went on to play at the University of Minnesota, submitted a nomination for Peter Fichuk, the high-scoring forward who won two state titles with International Falls in the mid-1960s and went on to stardom at the University of Minnesota.

Fichuk had been one of the most notably absent players from the Your Nominations list of the state’s high school greats.

Sarner also chimed in via email on the selection of former South St. Paul defenseman Terry Abram at No. 94 on the Top 100 list: “No way there are 93 better players than Terry Abram in the history of Minnesota high school hockey. Chicago wanted to sign him when it was a six-team NHL, and he would have played!"

Speaking of Abram, here's another endorsement for the skating and puckhandling wizard who was one of the state's most dominant players in the 1960s: "He had more moves than a bowl of Jell-O," said Frank Haggerty, who grew up watching Sarner and later became his brother-in-law.

Look-ahead to Wednesday’s release of No. 91

We’re going back in time to reveal a player who was virtually unknown as a high schooler toiling for a program that no longer exists. One more hint: He did some work as an NHL scout and is now retired, living in the Twin Cities and regularly attending high school games as a fan.

Minnesota's Top 100

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Your Submissions

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Terry Abram South St. Paul 1965
Bruce Aikens Rochester John Marshall 1978
Bob Alexander Rosemount 1983
Steve Alley Anoka 1974
Jim Amidon International Falls 1963
Earl Anderson Roseau 1969
R.J. Anderson Centennial 2005
Josh Arnold Moorhead 1994
Mike Antonovich Greenway 1969
Les Auge St. Paul Johnson 1971
David Backes Spring Lake Park 2002
John Bader Irondale 1980
Todd Baer Hopkins 1986
Bill Baker Grand Rapids 1974
Jack Barnes Blake 2008
Jay Barriball Holy Angels 2006
Ben Belde Hill-Murray 1980
Brad Benson Edina East 1980
Adam Berkhoel Stillwater 1999
Jesse Bertogliat Cloquet 1992
Joe Bianchi Bloomington Jefferson 1994
Grant Bischoff Grand Rapids 1987
Nick Bjugstad Blaine 2010
Scott Bjugstad Irondale 1979
Dean Blais International Falls 1969
Jason Blake Moorhead 1992
Brandon Bochenski Blaine 2000
Joe Bonk South St. Paul 1968
Bob Boysen Alexander Ramsey 1963
Rube Bjorkman Roseau 1947
Scott Bloom Burnsville 1986
Brian Bonin White Bear Lake 1992
Henry Boucha Warroad 1969
Jake Brandt Roseau 2000
Herb Brooks St. Paul Johnson 1955
Aaron Broten Roseau 1979
Neal Broten Roseau 1978
Scott Buchan White Bear Lake 1966
Dick Burg Minneapolis Central 1954
Brad Buetow Mounds View 1968
Bill Butters White Bear Lake 1970
Paul Butters Rochester John Marshall 1979
C.J. Buzzell Minnehaha Academy 1993
Bruce Carlson Edina 1970
Dan Carlson Edina 1997
Corey Carlson Two Harbors/ Greenway 2003
Jon Casey Grand Rapids 1980
Mike Castellano Eveleth 1953
Ron Castellano Eveleth 1951
Wally Chapman Edina 1982
Nick Checco Bloomington Jefferson 1993
Tom Chorske Minneapolis Southwest 1985
Bill Christian Warroad 1955
Dave Christian Warroad 1977
Roger Christian Warroad 1953
Keith "Huffer" Christiansen International Falls 1963
Matt Christiansen Hoyt Lakes 1982
Steve Christoff Richfield 1976
Bobby Collyard Hibbing 1967
Blaine Comstock Roseau 1967
Jack Connolly Duluth Marshall 2007
Pat Conroy Hill-Murray 1971
Mike "Lefty" Curran International Falls 1963
Mike Crowley Bloomington Jefferson 1994
Mike Crupi St. Paul Johnson 1964
Jon Cullen Alexandria 1996
Matt Cullen Moorhead 1995
Heath Deboer Spring Lake Park 1988
Dave Delich Eveleth 1975
Nate Dey North St. Paul 2003
Dick Dougherty International Falls 1950
Ron Drobnick Eveleth 1946
Tim DuRose St. Paul Johnson 1984
Joe Dziedic Minneapolis Edison 1990
David Eddy Woodbury 2008
Tim Elms Minneapolis South 1978
Ralph Engelstad Thief River Falls 1948
Rick Erdall Minneapolis Washburn 1981
Bryan "Butsy" Erickson Roseau 1979
Chad Erickson Warroad 1988
Kenny Erickson Minneapolis Roosevelt 1958
Phil Falcone Chisholm 1980
Scott Faust Hill-Murray 1983
Peter Fichuk International Falls 1965
Gary Finley Brooklyn Center 1968
Pat Finnegan Eveleth 1945
David Fischer Apple Valley 2006
Rusty Fitzgerald Duluth East 1991
Andrew Ford Eden Prairie 2011
Aaron Fox Hastings 1993
Tyson Fulton Breck 2010
Mark Gagnon Edina East 1979
Gary Gambucci Hibbing 1964
Jake Gardiner Minnetonka 2008
Ken Gernander Greenway 1987
Tom Gilbert Bloomington Jefferson 2001
Jason Godbout Hill-Murray 1987
Karl Goehring Apple Valley 1996
Ben Gordon International Falls 2003
Tom Gorence St. Paul Academy 1975
Chris Gotziaman Roseau 1990
Tom Gorowsky Centennial 2004
Guy Gosselin Rochester John Marshall 1982
Bryan Grand Roseau 1966
Wally Grant Eveleth 1945
Dan Griffin North St. Paul 1971
Steve Griffith Hill-Murray 1979
Mike Guentzel Greenway 1981
Mark Gunderson Duluth Denfeld 1997
Gino Guyer Greenway 2002
John Hall Minneapolis Roosevelt 1963
Al Hangsleben Warroad 1971
Ben Hankinson Edina 1987
Pater Hankinson Edina 1986
Ben Hanowski Little Falls 2009
Tim Harrer Bloomington Lincoln 1975
Tod Hartje Anoka 1987
Tom Hastings Minneapolis Southwest 1946
Bret Hedican North St. Paul 1988
Tyler Heinonen Delano 2011
Matt Hendricks Blaine 2000
Darby Hendrickson Richfield 1991
Billy Hengen Holy Angels 2000
Derek Herlofsky Minneapolis Edison 1990
Tom Herzig International Falls 1981
Bob Hill Duluth East 1962
Sean Hill Duluth East 1988
Bill Himmelright Bemidji 1975
Tom Hirsch Minneapolis Patrick Henry 1981
Phil Hoene Duluth Cathedral 1967
Paul Holmgren St. Paul Harding 1973
Gary Hooper Hibbing 1982
Greg Hooper Hibbing 1982
Phil Housley South St. Paul 1982
John Hyduke Hibbing 1985
Willard Ikola Eveleth 1950
Tim Jackman Park Center 2000
Dano Jacques Duluth Marshall 2008
Steve Janaszak Hill-Murray 1975
Dave Jecha Minnetonka 1985
Jim Jefferies Hopkins Eisenhower 1973
Steve Jensen Robbinsdale Armstrong 1973
Jim Jetland Grand Rapids 1978
Aaron Johnson Robbinsdale Armstrong 2001
Adam Johnson Greenway 1999
Craig Johnson Hill-Murray 1990
Gary Johnson Roseau 1963
Josh Johnson Cloquet 2002
Luke Johnson Osseo 1987
Alex Kangas Rochester Century 2005
Tony Kellin Grand Rapids 1982
Tom Kelly Edina East 1978
Brad Konik Bloomington Kennedy 1991
Tom Kurvers Bloomington Jefferson 1980
Trent Klatt Osseo 1989
Kurt Kleinendorst Grand Rapids 1979
Randy Koeppl Bloomington Jefferson 1993
Jim Korn Hopkins 1975
Ryan Kraft Moorhead 1994
Adam Krause Hermantown 2010
Bobby Krieger Edina 1970
Dan Kronick Holy Angels 2002
Joseph LaBate Holy Angels 2011
Dave Langevin Hill-Murray 1972
Nick Larson Hill-Murray 2007
Reed Larson Minneapolis Roosevelt 1974
Robin Larson St. Paul Academy 1974
Mike Lauen Edina East 1979
Ken Lawson Greenway 1969
Drew LeBlanc Hermantown 2008
Scott Lecy Rochester John Marshall 1977
Nick Leddy Eden Prairie 2009
Anders Lee Edina 2009
Brian Lee Moorhead 2005
Matt Leimbeck Rochester Mayo 1997
Dan Lempe Grand Rapids 1976
Chris Locker Duluth East 1996
Derek Locker Duluth East 1991
Doug Long St. Paul Johnson 1970
Pete LoPresti Eveleth 1972
Ross Luedtke Orono 2011
Billy Lund Roseau 1990
Mike Lundin Apple Valley 2003
Bob Lundeen Minneapolis Southwest 1971
Scott Lynch North St. Paul 1979
Alex Lyon Lake of the Woods 2011
Dan Mahle International Falls 1966
Oscar Mahle International Falls 1957
Dave Maley Edina 1982
Jim Malwitz Grand Rapids 1981
Chris Marinucci Grand Rapids 1990
Jeff Mars Duluth East 1977
Paul Martin Elk River 2000
Terry Martin Duluth East 1972
Bob Mason International Falls 1979
John Matchefts Eveleth 1949
Danny Mattson Holy Angels 2009
John Mayasich Eveleth 1951
Chris McAlpine Roseville 1990
Jack McCartan St. Paul Marshall 1953
Rob McClanahan Mounds View 1976
Ryan McDonagh Cretin-Derham Hall 2007
Jim McElmury St. Paul Kellogg 1967
Pete McEnaney Owatonna 1983
Bill McGann Duluth Dentral 1960
Justin McHugh Minnetonka 1991
Dave Merhar Ely 1965
Austin Messer Spring Lake Park 1995
Joe Micheletti Hibbing 1973
Pat Micheletti Hibbing 1982
Corey Millen Cloquet 1982
Jason Miller Bloomington Kennedy 1987
Joey Miller Wayzata 2006
Kris Miller Greenway 1987
Warren Miller South St. Paul 1972
Dylan Mills Duluth East 1997
Reggie Miracle Columbia Heights 1983
Aaron Miskovich Grand Rapids 1997
Gregg Moore Edina West 1979
Michael Morin Breck 2010
Rick Mrozik Cloquet 1993
Brian Nelson Willmar 1984
Brock Nelson Warroad 2010
Jeff Nelson Rochester John Marshall 1978
Aaron Ness Roseau 2008
Chuck Ness Duluth Central 1969
Tom Nevers Edina 1990
Jeff Nielsen Grand Rapids 1990
Matt Niskanen Virginia 2005
Jay North Bloomington Jefferson 1980
Craig Norwich Edina East 1974
Bill Nyrop Edina 1970
Roy Nystrom Eveleth 1961
Rob Ohno Bloomington Jefferson 1982
Pat O'Leary Robbinsdale Armstrong 1998
Wally Olds Baudette 1967
Larry Olimb Warroad 1988
Jim O'Neill Cretin 1974
Todd Okerlund Burnsville 1983
Steve Orth St. Cloud Tech 1983
T.J. Oshie Warroad 2005
Dave Otness Edina 1973
Doug Palazzari Eveleth 1970
Mark Parrish Bloomington Jefferson 1995
Jeff Pauletti Hastings 1986
Mark Pavelich Eveleth 1976
Tom Pederson Bloomington Jefferson 1988
George Pelawa Bemidji 1986
Bryan Peltier Forest Lake 2000
Doug Peltier St. Paul Johnson 1968
Tom Peluso Greenway 1970
Ben Persian Orono 2008
Toby Petersen Bloomington Jefferson 1996
Joe Phillippi Hill-Murray 2008
Lance Pitlick Robbinsdale Cooper 1986
Derek Plante Cloquet 1989
Shawn Pogreba St. Paul Johnson 1996
Mike Polich Hibbing 1971
Shjon Podein Rochester John Marshall 1986
Johnny Pohl Red Wing 1998
Joe Poole Thief River Falls 1955
David Preuss St. Thomas Academy 1981
Mike Ramsey Minneapolis Roosevelt 1978
Paul Ranheim Edina 1984
Ville Rantanen Mankato West 2011
Erik Rasmussen St. Louis Park 1995
Kyle Rau Eden Prairie 2011
Jim Rhoades Minnehaha Academy 1981
Damian Rhodes Richfield 1987
Todd Richards Robbinsdale Armstrong 1985
Scott Richart Irondale 1980
Tom Riley International Falls 1954
Don Ross Roseau 1960
Steve Ross International Falls 1966
Erin Roth Grand Rapids 1975
John Rothstein Grand Rapids 1975
Tom Rothstein Grand Rapids 1980
Blaine Rude Fergus Falls 1986
John Russell Breck 2010
Gene Sack Cretin 1947
Gary Sampson International Falls 1977
Scott Sandelin Hibbing 1982
Gary Sargent Bemidji 1972
Craig Sarner North St. Paul 1967
Ron Sauvageau Centennial 1990
Marty Sertich Roseville 2001
Bill Schmitz Farmington 1974
Bill "Buzz" Schneider Babbit 1972
Tim Schroeder East Grand Forks 1971
Joe Schuman Benilde-St. Margaret's 2000
Tim Sheehy International Falls 1966
Brad Shelstad Minneapolis Southwest 1970
John Sheridan Minneapolis Patrick Henry 1972
John Shewchuk South St. Paul 1973
Randy Skarda St. Thomas Academy 1986
Dale Smedsmo Roseau 1969
Sandy Smith Brainerd 1986
Wyatt Smith Warroad 1995
Dave Snuggerud Hopkins 1984
Dave Spehar Duluth East 1996
Ben Stafford Edina 1997
Robb Stauber Duluth Denfeld 1986
Brad Stepan Hastings 1986
Eric Strobel Rochester Mayo 1976
Greg Stutz Centennial 2004
Jeff Taffe Hastings 1999
Dean Talafous Hastings 1971
Dom Talarico Proctor 1997
Jeff Teal Rochester John Marshall 1978
Billy Thayer Edina East 1974
Doug Torrel Hibbing 1988
Steve Torrel Hibbing 1986
Steve "Pokey" Trachsel Duluth Cathedral 1969
Dan Trebil Bloomington Jefferson 1992
Steve Ulseth Roseville Kellogg 1977
Chris VandeVelde Moorhead 2005
Tom Vanelli St. Paul Academy 1973
Ernie Vargas Coon Rapids 1982
Phil Verchota Duluth East 1975
Mike Vukonich Duluth Denfeld 1987
Dewey Wahlin St. Paul Johnson 1984
Peter Waselovich International Falls 1973
Billy Watt Duluth Morgan Park 1966
Dan Welch Hastings 1999
Dale Wennberg Thief River Falls 1960
Erik Westrum Apple Valley 1997
Patrick White Grand Rapids 2007
Travis Winter St. Cloud Tech 2003
Steve Witkowski Blaine 2000
Gary Wood International Falls 1965
Doug Woog South St. Paul 1962
J.T. Wyman Blake 2004
Ken Yackel St. Paul Humboldt 1949
Billy Yon Roseau 1981
Bob Young Hill-Murray 1971
Tom Younghans St. Agnes 1971
Doug Zmolek Rochester John Marshall 1989