MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Defenseman Nick Austin and center Cade Gleekel were both named to the Minneapolis StarTribune All-Metro first team.
The duo of Benilde-St. Margaret's student-athletes were joined by second-team goalie Ryan Bischel and third-team defenseman Connor Mayer, after they led the Red Knights to an unbeaten regular season and the Metro West Conference championship.
"It's an honor for our program to receive four selections to the All-Metro team," head coach Ken Pauly said. "It's a testament not only those who were honored, but to the entire team which played so well together all season long."
Austin, in his fourth season of varsity play at BSM, scored 11 goals and 41 points to rank second among defensemen in the state in both categories. He did not miss a game for the fourth consecutive season, completing his career by playing 109 consecutive games. He also led the Red Knights in power-play assists (9) and points (13).
Second on the team in plus/minus rating (+49), Austin did not record a negative rating in any game during the 2015-16 season and was positive in 20 of 27 games.
He is also one of 15 finalists for this year's Reed Larson Award as the state's top senior defenseman.
"Nick brought his game to an entirely new level this season," Pauly said. "He rarely makes a mistake on the blue line and he combines that with great offensive instincts."
Following an eight-goal, 12-point junior season, Gleekel earned a spot on the All-Metro first team, along with a spot as one of 10 finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award, by leading BSM with 22 goals, 36 assists and 58 points.
Until injuring his shoulder early in the opening period of a 4-2 win at Wayzata, Feb. 11, Gleekel had put together a 22-game point-scoring streak. He also led the team with seven game-winning goals, including four consecutive game winners (Jan. 5-19).
"Cade had the type of year that should get the attention of colleges throughout the country," Pauly said. "He combines great size with a big shot and he added superior playmaking skills to his game this year.
"It was fun to watch both of them mature as players and young men. They were great leaders for us as well."
Bischel, a junior in his third varsity season, took over as the team's number one goalie and won a state-leading 23 games during the regular season. He set BSM single-season records for wins (24) and minutes played (1319:47) while posting 2.13 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.
"You can't go 25 games without being tagged with a loss without great goaltending," Pauly said. "We had more than a few off nights and Ryan was there to plug the hole when needed. He should have the inside track as the top senior goalie in Minnesota next year."
A portend to Mayer's junior season came in August when he was selected to player for the USA U-17 Select team at the Five Nations cup and he didn't disappoint.
Posting a positive plus/minus rating in 21 of 24 games, while being even in his other three games, Mayers scored 10 goals, 27 points and led the Red Knights with 51 blocked shots.
He ended the season on a 10-game point-scoring streak (7-11--18), which included seven multiple-point games.
"As good as Connor was this season, I believe he still has another gear in him," Pauly said. "With his speed and playmaking, he could be a dominant force in high school hockey as a senior. He is so exciting to watch that he will put people on the edge of their seats."
Nick Austin became just the second BSM defenseman to earn first-team All-Metro honors.
Cade Gleekel earned first-team All-Metro honors in addition to being one of 10 finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award.
Ryan Bischel is the first BSM goalie to earn All-Metro honors.
Connor Mayer is one of three Red Knights to earn All-Metro honors as a junior.
Tag(s): Benilde-St. Margaret's