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Mahtomedi defenseman Ben Marshall, a Gophers recruit and one of the top players in high school hockey, will not return to Mahtomedi for his senior season. He will join the Omaha Lancers of the U.S. Hockey League for one season then join the Gophers for the 2011-12 season.
"Coach Lucia said he wanted Ben to skate a year of juniors, either instead of his senior year or the year after," said Scott Marshall, Ben's father. "Ben wanted to stay with his peer group going into Minnesota."
Marshall led Mahtomedi to the past two Class 1A state tournaments. He scored 20 goals and added 39 assists as a junior last season. His younger brother, Sawyer, will be a goaltender with the Zephyrs again next season.
Eden Prairie forward Kyle Rau and his family used to hold Gophers men's hockey season tickets, allowing Kyle to visit Mariucci Arena "at least once a weekend."
Now Rau is on track to make more frequent appearances at that rink. Rau, a 5-9, 165-pound center, said he committed to the Gophers for the 2011-12 season on Sunday. He will play his senior year with the Eagles and will enter college as a true freshman.
"It's always been a dream to play for the Gophers," said Rau, whose older brother, Chad, played at Colorado College.
Rau tallied 77 points last season and emerged as one of the state's most electrifying players. He helped the Eagles win a Class 2A state title as a sophomore and led them back to the section finals last season.
Rau, a Star Tribune all-metro first team selection, chose the Gophers over Denver and North Dakota.
Brandon Mileski, producer of The Common Man Progrum on KFAN AM 1130, was hired to coach the Coon Rapids boys hockey program. Mileski, 30, spent the four previous seasons as an assistant coach at Robbinsdale Cooper.
Coon Rapids went 7-46 the past two seasons and recently lost several bantam players to Blaine. But Mileski hopes to build a program that makes kids excited to become Cardinals.
"It won't be easy; there are no quick turnarounds," said Mileski, who was a standout defenseman at Totino-Grace. "But it's my goal to form a great relationship with the youth program. I think kids are going to want to play here."
Mileski said he hopes to make his KFAN and coaching schedules mesh. He produces the Dan "The Common Man" Cole from 12 p.m. to 3 during the week and hosts the "Beyond the Pond" hockey show from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
The weather out there has turned chilly on us again, so why not some May hockey talk?
The list of Minnesota players who will attend the USA Hockey National Player Development camps this summer has been announced. The Select 17 camp will be held July 7-13 while the Select 16 camp will be held in June. Both camps are in Rochester, N.Y.
A full release from USA Hockey can be found by clicking here
By David La Vaque
Minneapolis East boys’ hockey coach Bill Ross enjoyed the past four seasons’ worth of intense games against rival Minneapolis West. Next season, the two programs will be combined into one.
The Minnesota State High School League approved a co-op involving all seven school Minneapolis public schools beginning in the 2010-11 school year. John Washington, the Minneapolis school district’s citywide director of athletics, said projected numbers of players do not support two teams.
“Our teams graduated a lot of seniors and our youth program is not producing the numbers to fill in,” Washington said. “We do not have enough players to field a JV and varsity team at both programs.”
Said Ross: “The worst thing about having one team is that it’s too close to zero. The best thing is that everyone coming out will be dedicated to earning that jersey and playing time. There is a lot of enthusiasm around this and now it’s time to get down to the business of being a good program.”
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