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Metro area players to watch

By Star Tribune, 11/26/12, 11:17PM CST




Willie Benjamin, sr., G, Edina
Keeps shooting angles and his emotions in check. Won 18 games in 2011-12 and stopped 91 percent of shots faced.

Travis Brown, jr., D, Rogers
Makes good first pass and plays strong at both ends of the rink. Committed to Michigan Tech.

Alex Copa, jr., D, Blaine
Quarterbacked the Bengals football team in the fall. Fastest skater on the roster.

Jack Dougherty, jr., D, St. Thomas Academy
Fierce competitor whose stock is rising. Played with Team USA's Under-16 team at Five Nations Cup.

John Dugas, sr., G, Hill-Murray
Helped Pioneers to state championship game and stepped up his game this fall. Competitive and technically sound.

Shane Gersich, soph., F, Holy Family
One of the state's top underclassmen. Used speed and skills to score 30 goals last season.

Jake Jackson, sr., F, Tartan
One coach said the Michigan Tech recruit can "skate from here to Alaska and not look tired." Produced 25 goals last season.

Dan Labosky, sr., F, Benilde-St. Margaret's
Great speed overshadows a good head for the game. Finished with 45 assists last season. Committed to Colorado College.

Zach LaValle, sr., F, Hill-Murray
Strong leader and solid in all aspects. Finished second on his team in goals (28) and points (64) last season.

Thomas Lindstrom, sr., F, Breck
Nose for the net (32 goals as a junior) but not afraid to get nose bloodied in tough areas.

T.J. Moore, sr., F, Benilde-St. Margaret's
Stepped out of talented linemates' shadows by leading Elite League in goals (19) and points (33).

Frankie Mork, sr., D, Holy Angels
Makes good decisions and gives an honest effort on every shift. Contributed 40 points last season.

T.J. Roo, sr., F, Totino-Grace
One coach considers him an "overlooked Division I talent." Compiled 23 goals and 48 assists as a junior.

Darian Romanko, sr., F, Mounds View
Led Mustangs and placed second in the Suburban East Conference with 21 goals. A bull with the puck who wins battles.

Jimmy Schuldt, sr., D, Minnetonka
At his best when physical but also skates well and makes good passes out of the defensive end. Committed to St. Cloud State.

Tyler Sheehy, jr., F, Burnsville
Intelligent player expected to contribute in all situations. Second on team in goals (21) and assists (28) last season.

Steve Spinner, jr., F, Eden Prairie
Tough competitor notched 20 goals in his varsity debut last season. Committed to Nebraska-Omaha.

Sam Valerius, jr., F, Maple Grove
Hard-working player must help Crimson overcome huge personnel losses. Scored 15 goals as a sophomore.

Hunter Warner, jr., D, Eden Prairie
Impact player who can play a physical game while providing offense. Committed to Minnesota State.

Andrew Zerban, jr., F, Elk River
Used speed and shiftiness to find open areas and score a team-best 24 goals last season.

-- David La Vaque, Star Tribune staff writer 

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