Of the four Rau brothers, Chad and Kyle share a unique sibling rivalry in all things hockey.
Chad, a former Colorado College standout, once left his WCHA player of the week award on Kyle’s nightstand for his younger brother to wake up and find.
Kyle, a senior forward at Eden Prairie, completed a dream weekend by leading the Eagles to their second Class 2A state championship in three seasons. Rau’s diving goal beat Duluth East 3-2 in the first title game to go to three overtime periods. He finished the season with 41 goals and 40 assists.
And Sunday, Kyle Rau was selected Mr. Hockey from a group of 10 senior finalists. Rau’s keen hockey sense keeps him a step ahead on the ice. He was also quick to make a plan for paying back his brother.
“[Chad] is going to wake up to this when he gets home,” Kyle said.
Winning was a family affair for the Rau brothers this season. Kyle’s twin brother, Curt, helped solidify the Eagles’ veteran core of defensemen. The puck Curt shot from the blueline got behind Greyhounds goaltender JoJo Jeanetta, and Kyle pounced on the opportunity.
Rau’s play, one part hustle and one part skill, was magnified by the constant beating he absorbed from Greyhounds’ defenders. The 5-9, 160-pound Rau smiled for pictures Sunday with noticeable dressing over the wound on his chin.
“There will be a page for him in the history books for what he meant to the high school tournament,” Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said.
The chances of Rau making March magic seemed remote in November. The day before tryouts, he informed stunned teammates he was forgoing his senior season to play with Sioux Falls of the U.S. Hockey League. But the decision didn’t feel right the next morning, and Rau changed his mind. He will play for the Gophers next season.
“Your brother decides to stay, we win a championship and he wins Mr. Hockey,” Curt Rau said. “You can’t ask for anything better.”
The other nine Mr. Hockey finalists were: Josh Archibald (Brainerd), Ben Bahe (Hill-Murray), Jonny Brodzinski (Blaine), Tony Cameranesi (Wayzata), Patrick Daly (Benilde-St. Margaret’s), Max Everson (Edina), Steven Fogarty (Edina), Garrett Hendrickson (Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl) and Joseph LaBate (Holy Angels).
Lake of the Woods’s Alex Lyon won the Frank Brimsek Award as the top senior goaltender. Eden Prairie’s Andrew Ford was the other finalist.
White Bear Lake’s Tim Sager won Class 2A coach of the year. Bruce Plante (Hermantown) and Mark DeCenzo (Hibbing/Chisholm) shared the Class 1A award.
|2011||Kyle Rau||Eden Prairie|
|2009||Nick Leddy||Eden Prairie|
|2007||Ryan McDonagh||Cretin-Derham Hall|
|2006||David Fischer||Apple Valley|
|2003||Nate Dey||North St. Paul|
|2000||Paul Martin||Elk River|
|1998||Johnny Pohl||Red Winig|
|1997||Aaron Miskovich||Grand Rapids|
|1996||Dave Spehar||Duluth East|
|1995||Erik Rasmussen||St. Louis Park|
|1994||Mike Crowley||Bloomington Jefferson|
|1993||Nick Checco||Bloomington Jefferson|
|1992||Brian Bonin||White Bear Lake|
|1990||Joe Dziedzic||Minneapolis Edison|
|1985||Tom Chorske||Minneapolis Southwest|