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Ex-UMD standouts meet again as pros

  • October 24, 2013 - 11:10 PM

Justin Faulk, Justin Fontaine and Mike Connolly, who won a national championship together at Minnesota Duluth, lived together near Lake Calhoun two years ago as they trained for their coming hockey seasons.

“We had a pretty nice three-bedroom place,” Fontaine, the Wild forward, said before adding with a laugh, “[Faulk] was making a lot more money than I was, so he picked up the most percentage. We pitched in our 30 percent.”

Faulk, the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2010 second-round pick and top-minute defenseman from South St. Paul, and Fontaine, starting on the Wild’s first line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu, got to go head-to-head Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center.

“I’m really happy for [Fontaine],” Faulk, 21, said. “I know he worked hard for it. He spent the last few years in the minors. I know it looked like the Wild were calling up quite a few guys and his name just didn’t quite ever get the call. But it’s nice that he’s getting a shot up here and even has started producing.”

Coach Mike Yeo hopes it continues.

“Part of why we kept [Fontaine] is we feel we can put him in different parts of our lineup,” Yeo said.

Connolly, who played in two NHL games for Colorado, is currently playing in Germany.

Fighting words

Defenseman Nate Prosser and center Zenon Konopka got into a bark-fest during Tuesday’s pregame warm-ups with Nashville’s Rich Clune. Clune ultimately fought Konopka during his first shift after Konopka jumped to the defense of Jared Spurgeon, whom Clune took a run at.

“[Clune] was sitting at our red line staring us down and he started yapping and we started yapping back,” Prosser said. “[Konopka] got us all into it with that good fight and shut him up.”

MICHAEL RUSSO

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