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Two-Man unveils its all-state team

By David La Vaque and Loren Nelson, 03/07/17, 2:00PM CST


Mix of metro, north makes for a talent laden, if volatile, combination

David La Vaque has covered all but one state hockey tournament game since 2009 and has worked as a Star Tribune high school sports reporter since 2004. His favorite tournament experiences include cheering for alma mater St. Paul Johnson in 1991 and staying for most of the Apple Valley/Duluth East marathon semifinal game in 1996. Loren Nelson has covered every state tournament since 2009 while working in a variety of roles for SportsEngine. He attended many, many other Tourney games as a high schooler from the far northern reaches of Minnesota making the annual pilgrimage south to the old St. Paul Civic Center in the 1980s.

The rare high school hockey player recognizable by a single name, Casey, as in Casey Mittelstadt, tops the Two-Man All-State team. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

Now that the annual All-Metro team has been unveiled, we wanted to give our take what an All-State team could, and should, look like.

The process? Mix some northern boys with the best of the Metro (always a volatile combination) and shake thoroughly.

The results? There’s no better time than now, Tourney Eve, to reveal our selections.


Two-Man All-State Team


Casey Mittelstadt

Eden Prairie | Senior | Forward

College commitment: Minnesota

Barring an envelope malfunction, he’s a lock to be named Mr. Hockey. And be selected in the first round of June's NHL Draft. The Star Tribune’s Metro Player of the Year, Casey is like a Brazilian soccer player in that he needs only a single name to be instantly identified.


Noah Cates

Stillwater | Senior | Forward

College commitment: Minnesota-Duluth

Top player on a high-powered Stillwater team that hovered around the top of Class 2A’s top 10 all season. The Mr. Hockey finalist’s mix of silky skating and puckhandling flair made life exceedingly difficult for opposing defensemen and goaltenders.


Micah Miller

Grand Rapids | Senior | Forward

College commitment: St. Cloud State

Miller’s most noticeable attribute? Speed. Speed. And more speed. Yep, he’s pretty fast. Miller can shoot, too, as evidenced by the Mr. Hockey finalist’s wicked section title-winning wrister that beat Duluth East in double overtime.


Nick Perbix

Elk River | Senior | Defenseman

College commitment: St. Cloud State

End-to-end rushes, bone rattling hits, precision passes . . . is there anything Perbix can’t do? Probably not. He logged insanely high minutes while leading an Elks team loaded with elite forwards in scoring with 40 points.


Nick Leivermann

Eden Prairie | Senior | Defenseman

College commitment: Notre Dame

Fast feet, quick hands and a riverboat gambler’s mentality when it comes to rushing the puck makes Leivermann especially unpredictable. And effective. He scored the winning goal in the Eagles’ epic section final matchup with Holy Family Catholic.


Jake Begley

Hill-Murray | Senior | Goalie

College commitment: Undecided

Begley’s presence gives the Pioneers better than a puncher’s chance at winning every time they step on the ice. Technically precise and fiercely competitive, Begley would rather chew thumbtacks than allow a puck to sneak past him.




Ben Meyers

Delano | Senior | Forward

College commitment: Maine

Meyers' toolbox is loaded to the brim. Skilled, tough, smart, competitive are all applicable adjectives for the four-year Tigers’ phenom. His 265 points puts him 11th on the state career scoring list, four behind Roseau’s Aaron Broten and eight back of Eveleth legend John Mayasich.


Ryan Sandelin

Hermantown | Senior | Forward

College commitment: Minnesota State

Thinks the game (always two or three steps ahead) like a pool shark fleecing unwitting opponents. Top forward on a team teeming with gifted forwards, he also has a knack for producing clutch goals.


Gavin Hain

Grand Rapids | Junior | Forward

College commitment: North Dakota

Irreplaceable cog on the Thunderhawks’ irrepressible top line, Hain is comfortable playing any style (he’s physical, fast and a tiny bit nasty). His 27 goals are tops on the Orange Crush trio that includes Miller and Minnesota recruit Blake McLaughlin.


Dylan Samberg

Hermantown | Senior | Defenseman

College commitment: Minnesota-Duluth

Combination of size (he stands 6-foot-3) and skating ability has pro scouts drooling over his potential. Always plays against opponent’s top forwards and almost always shuts them down.


Robbie Stucker

St. Thomas Academy | Senior | Defenseman

College commitment: Undecided

Not afraid to join, or lead, the rush. Not afraid to pound an opponent into the boards. Not afraid of anything, really. Especially deadly on the power play, where he has registered 12 of his 37 assists.


Lance Leonard

Moorhead | Junior | Goaltender

College commitment: Undecided

Not a household name. Yet. Leonard has the ability, not to mention the stats (sterling 1.48 goals-against average, .931 save percentage) to backstop the Spuds all the way to a state title. Posted three straight shutouts in the section playoffs.

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