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Frozen Four invasion

By Staff, 04/08/13, 8:45PM CDT


Nineteen state high school alums converge on Pittsburgh in quest for NCAA championship

Former Minnetonka star Andrew Prochno is now a top defenseman for Frozen Four qualifier St. Cloud State University.

When the NCAA Frozen Four gets underway at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center, Thursday, there will be 19 Minnesota high school hockey alums taking part with their respective teams.

Leading the charge is St. Cloud State, which features 14 Minnesotans on its 26-play roster, all of whom completed their senior season with their high school team before moving onward with their hockey careers.

The Huskies rosters features the top two goal scorers in state history in Ben Hanowski (Little Falls) and Midwest Region most valuable player Joey Benik (St. Francis).

In addition to over half of its roster hailing from Minnesota, St. Cloud State’s entire coaching staff has roots in the state’s high school hockey tradition.

Head coach Bob Motzko hails from Austin where he played for the Packers. Mike Gibbons spent his prep career at White Bear Lake while Garrett Raboin hails from Detroit Lakes and goalie coach David Rogalski led Benilde-St. Margaret’s to a state Class A title in 1999.

Top-ranked Quinnipiac features four Minnesotans on its roster while Yale sports one player in Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Tommy Fallen, who had a team-high four shots in the Bulldogs’ regional semifinal win over Minnesota and assisted on the game-winning goal in the regional championship win over North Dakota.

In all, 18 percent of the players converging on Pittsburgh this week have their roots in Minnesota high school hockey and 18 of those 19 players graduated from their Minnesota high school.

Minnesotans at NCAA Frozen Four

Player Hometown High School NCAA Team NHL Rights
Ben Arnt Oakdale North Quinnipiac
T.J. Belisle Andover St. Francis SCSU
Joey Benik Andover St. Francis SCSU
Jonny Brodzinski Ham Lake Blaine SCSU
Brandon Burrell Brooklyn Park North Metro (Park Center) SCSU PHI
Tommy Fallen Plymouth Robbinsdale Armstrong Yale
Ben Hanowski Little Falls Little Falls SCSU CGY
Eric Hartzell White Bear Lake White Bear Lake Quinnipiac
Nick Jensen Rogers Rogers SCSU
Taylor Johnson White Bear Lake White Bear Lake SCSU CLB
Drew LeBlanc Hermantown Hermantown SCSU
Jacob Meyers Chanhassen Benilde-St. Margaret's Quinnipiac
Nick Oliver Roseau Roseau SCSU
Joe Phillippi^ Shoreview Hill-Murray SCSU
Andrew Prochno Minnetonka Minnetonka SCSU CLB
Ethan Prow Sauk Rapids Sauk Rapids-Rice SCSU
Joe Rehkamp Plymouth Breck SCSU
Cory Thorson Crystal Robbinsdale Armstrong SCSU
Zach Tolkinen Lino Lakes Centennial Quinnipiac

^-Frank Brimsek Award winner (top senior goaltender)