Steve Guider, head coach of the Blaine girls' hockey team, will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Under-18 team next season.

Guider has more than two decades of coaching experience, including 10 seasons at Blaine.

He was named the Charlie Stryker Coach of the Year in 2004 and Butch Nash Outstanding Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008. He has been the head goalie coach at the USA Hockey girls' player development camps for the last 11 seasons.

The 2012-13 season includes two events in August: the USA Hockey Women's National Festival and the Women's Under-18 Series, a three-game competition against Canada. Both take place at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine.

The season culminates with the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World U18 Championship next January.

Benilde-St. Margaret's boys' hockey going independent

Benilde-St. Margaret's boys' hockey team is leaving the North Suburban Conference and will play an independent schedule next season.

Activities director Jerry Pettinger said the independent schedule will be tried as a "one-year experiment."

A private school in St. Louis Park, Benilde-St. Margaret's went 75-4-2 in seven seasons of conference games. The Red Knights outscored opponents 96-6 in 10 conference games this season.

Red Knights coach Ken Pauly said, "I think everyone is a winner in this."

Bartlett to leave Elk River

Jenn Bartlett, the gymnastics coach at Elk River/Rogers/Zimmerman, has decided to step down.

Bartlett has been the head coach at Elk River since 1997. She remained as head coach for the combined program when the district split into three high schools in 2003.

She cited family issues as the reason for her resignation. "I've got sons in fifth and seventh grades," she said. "With my husband's work schedule and my daughter going away to college this year, someone needs to be around for the boys."

Wrestlers earn honors

Three north metro senior wrestlers were selected to the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association All-State Academic Team: Jonathan Dill (Maple Grove), Adam Hammer (Osseo) and Austin Leibel (St. Francis).

All 28 honorees will be awarded plaques at the RiverCentre in St. Paul during the state tournament later this week.

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574