The All-Metro first team gathered at the Roseville OVAL for a photo shoot (pictured left to right): Wayzata’s Aaron Dingmann, Burnsville’s Teemu Kivihalme, Minnetonka’s Max Coatta, Benilde-St. Margaret’s Grant Besse (the player of the year) and Hill-Murray’s Zach LaValle. Not pictured is Minnetonka’s Tommy Vannelli.
Wayzata, senior goalie
An imposing presence at 6-4, Dingmann guided the Trojans to their first state appearance in nine years. Won 17 games, stopped 93 percent of shots faced and allowed 1.81 goals per game. “We don’t have to worry if a guy gets loose once in awhile because Aaron is going to make a save,” Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary said.
Burnsville, junior defenseman
Considered by some as the state’s best skating defenseman. Served as the backbone of Burnsville’s defense. Capable of controlling games. Scored nine goals and added 22 assists to help Blaze reach the section finals. Said one opposing coach, “He plays with his head up and he is unselfish.”
Minnetonka, senior forward
Holds program career marks with 88 goals and 99 assists. Set personal bests with 28 goals and 31 assists this season. More grit than flash, “Moose” endeared himself to coaches and teammates by competing hard in all three zones. Helped Skippers go 8-0 against Lake Conference opponents.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s, senior forward
Selected as the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. NHL-caliber shot helped him score 48 goals playing one of state’s toughest schedules. One the most productive offensive players in high school hockey history. Ranks fifth in state with 163 career goals and seventh with 272 career points. Made improvements as a playmaker and took occasional shifts as a defenseman.
Hill-Murray, senior forward
Became Hill-Murray’s career leading scorer and enters state with career marks of 82 goals and 111 assists. Intense competitor who does all the little things well. “You like being on his line because he just gets the job done,” Pioneers coach Bill Lechner said.
Minnetonka, senior defenseman
Superior lateral movement and knack for getting the puck to the open man made Vannelli lethal on the power play. Scored eight goals and added 23 assists. “His skating ability, hockey I.Q. and patience with the puck make him a potential top-three round NHL draft pick,” Skippers coach Brian Urick said.