Boys' hockey preview: Five story lines

  • Updated: November 26, 2012 - 11:18 PM
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There will be plenty of talent on the ice when Edina and Minnetonka hook up. Senior defenseman Matt Nelson, right, is a big part of a stacked Hornets team that is No. 1 in the Star Tribune’s preseason rankings, while senior forward Max Coatta, left, leads the fourth-ranked Skippers.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune file

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1 EDINA ALL IN

Last season the Hornets hit the ice with two seniors. There are 11 this season, helping make this one of the physically largest yet fastest-skating Edina teams of recent memory. But the Hornets will get contributions from several classes. Senior defensemen Matt Nelson (Princeton) and Parker Reno (RPI) are Division I recruits. Junior forward Connor Hurley should have his pick of colleges, while sophomore linemate Dylan Malmquist is a rising star. Junior forward Miguel Fidler's father, Mike, played for the North Stars, and senior forward Bo Brauer ranked among the Elite League's top scorers.

2 DEFENDING CHAMPS GO INDEPENDENT

A history of lopsided victories in the North Suburban Conference motivated Class 2A champion Benilde-St. Margaret's to pursue an independent schedule. The Red Knights will face at least 10 teams ranked in the Associated Press preseason top 10 in Class 1A or 2A. That includes No. 10 Grand Rapids, host of Hockey Day Minnesota on Jan. 19. The game is set to be played on Lake Pokegama.

3 FIRST IN GENERATION TO THREE-PEAT?

With proven players and budding stars throughout the lineup, small-school powerhouse St. Thomas Academy is favored to become the first team in either class to win three consecutive state titles since the Bloomington Jefferson dynasty of the early 1990s. The Cadets will be seasoned after leading all high school programs with nine players in the fall Elite League.

4 BIG-NAME COACHING CAROUSEL

Former North Stars defenseman Gordie Roberts replaces Elk River's colorful and controversial coach Tony Sarsland, who stepped down last spring. ... Minneapolis Edison standout Joe Dziedzic returns to his city roots by taking the Minneapolis Novas job. ... Dave Snuggerud is back in Chaska. He coached the Hawks for 10 seasons but left in 2007 to spend time with his young family. ... Pete Aus, 70, took over the Roseville job. Former coach Jeff Pauletti resigned amid allegations of mistreated players. Pete's son, Dave, coaches at Blaine. ... Brad Stepan, whose son Derek plays for the

New York Rangers, is now behind the Rosemount bench.

5 NEW HEAD CONTACT RULE

The Minnesota State High School League took unprecedented steps midway through last season mandating stiffer penalties and zero tolerance for three dangerous hits: checking from behind, boarding and contact to the head. This season, referees have more discretion in contact-to-the-head situations. Direct contact will result in a five-minute major penalty and potential 10-minute disqualification. If referees believe the contact is indirect, they can call a minor penalty. The rule change also applies to girls' hockey.

DAVID LA VAQUE

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Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
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New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
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Miami 15
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Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
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Washington
Ottawa 12:30 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
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Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
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Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
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(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
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Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

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