Staff Directory 6370593

Brian Stensaas

Digital editor, producer, reporter | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4127

Brian Stensaas has been with the Star Tribune since 2004. He is a digital editor and sports reporter, with experience covering high schools, the NHL, NBA and professional golf.


A native of Stoughton, Wis., Stensaas graduated with a degree in communications from the University of Minnesota where he covered a variety of Gophers sports teams for the Minnesota Daily. He lives in Apple Valley with his wife and daughter.
Recent content from Brian Stensaas
Anderson's hat trick propels Stillwater boys' lacrosse past Cretin-Derham Hall

Anderson's hat trick propels Stillwater boys' lacrosse past Cretin-Derham Hall

The Ponies' Aidan Anderson scored three times, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter.
Chanhassen at Benilde-St. Margaret’s May 04, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

Girls' lacrosse: Chanhassen turns back slow start to beat Benilde-St. Margaret's

After falling behind 2-0, the Storm rattled off 11 goals to finish the first half with a commanding lead over the Red Knights.
Stillwater softball edges East Ridge to remain unbeaten

Stillwater softball edges East Ridge to remain unbeaten

Cat Smetana hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to push the Ponies past the Raptors in a Suburban East Conference matchup.
Minnetonka at Eden Prairie. April 27, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

Boys' lacrosse: Minnetonka's late scoring surge puts away Eden Prairie

The Skippers had seven goals in the second half to run away with a victory over the Eagles.
Baseball: Argento leads Wayzata to victory over Minnetonka

Baseball: Argento leads Wayzata to victory over Minnetonka

Nick Argento allowed just one run and struck out nine batters, helping the Trojans secure a 4-1 win over Minnetonka
Girls' lacrosse: Henry Sibley/Gentry Academy beats Hermantown/Proctor

Girls' lacrosse: Henry Sibley/Gentry Academy beats Hermantown/Proctor

The Warriors used an 18-goal first half to build a comfortable lead over the Stealth on Friday.
Prior Lake boys' lacrosse hangs on to top Lakeville North

Prior Lake boys' lacrosse hangs on to top Lakeville North

Ben Mickett scored twice for the Lakers in the victory.
Robbinsdale Armstrong at Robbinsdale Cooper April 16, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

Girls' lacrosse: Armstrong puts up 12 goals before halftime, routs rival Cooper

The Falcons flew to their first win of the season with six players scoring two goals apiece.
Pitchers' duel ends with Chanhassen victory over Northfield

Pitchers' duel ends with Chanhassen victory over Northfield

The Storm capitalized in extra innings to beat the Raiders 1-0.
Gentry Academy forward Barrett Hall (15) took a shot on goal while being defended by Dodge County defender James McPeak (20) in the second period. ]

Boys' hockey: 1A finalists bucked trend as first-year entries

Gentry Academy and Dodge County had atypical success in reaching the title game in their first state tournament appearance.
Proctor/Hermantown players swarmed senior forward Alyssa Watkins (22) after she scored the game winning goal in double overtime. ]

Girls' hockey notes: Proctor/Hermantown just fifth public school 1A champ

Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the last day of the girls' state hockey tournament.
Eden Prairie forward Carter Batchelder (11) scored the winning goal on Maple Grove goaltender Jack Wieneke (1) during overtime. ] LEILA NAVIDI • lei

Eden Prairie punches last, knocks out Maple Grove 6-5 in overtime

The back-and-forth game featured a wild third period with the teams scoring four goals in 99 seconds.
Community hockey alive and well in small-town Minnesota

Community hockey alive and well in small-town Minnesota

Little Falls and Dodge County offer examples of kids forming deep bonds starting when they were old enough to skate.
Day 2 boys' hockey All-Tournament Team

Day 2 boys' hockey All-Tournament Team

Eden Prairie, Lakeville South and Maple Grove each have two players listed among those who excelled in Class 2A quarterfinals.
Minnehaha Academy’s Chet Holmgren (34) goes up for a first half dunk against Totino-Grace Friday night. Holmgren had 11 points in the first half as

Boys' basketball story lines: Minnehaha Academy chasing fifth title in as many state tournament trips

After a one-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, the boys open theirhigh school basketball state tournament Wednesday with 16 quarterfinals games across four classes.
Ron Haggstrom handicaps the boys' basketball state quarterfinals

Ron Haggstrom handicaps the boys' basketball state quarterfinals

The quarterfinals aren't seeded 1 through 5 with three random selections like in the past. They are broken down into two groups (North and South), with each being seeded 1 through 4.
Little Falls Flyers goaltender Dane Couture (35) tried to get a glove on the puck before Delano Tigers forward Gunnar Paulson (12) could get his shot

Little Falls edges Delano in 1A quarterfinals

Junior defenseman George Moore scored midway through the third period and gave his Flyers the winning goal.
Rosemount girls' basketball upsets previously unbeaten Farmington

Rosemount girls' basketball upsets previously unbeaten Farmington

The Irish's 52-44 victory was the program's first in a state tournament since 1990.
Hopkins girls' basketball matches state record with 78th straight victory

Hopkins girls' basketball matches state record with 78th straight victory

The Royals opened their pursuit of another title with a convincing 76-44 victory.
Dodge County Wildcats forward Brody Lamb (7) scored his six goal of the game, unassisted in the third period on Hermantown Hawks goaltender Ben Ryan (

Six-goal outburst for Lamb sends Dodge County past undermanned Hermantown

Brody Lamb, the state's scoring leader, led his team to a 7-3 victory over a No. 1 seed playing mostly with junior varsity players.
Chaska guard Kennedy Sanders (2) attempted a shot during the first half Tuesday against Stillwater. ] AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.co

Chaska defeats Stillwater to advance to 4A girls' basketball semifinals

Kennedy Sanders scored 31 points to lead the Hawks in the battle of unbeaten teams.
Minnetonka’s Grace Sadura (7) gets off a shot for a third period goal agains Holy Family Saturday evening. Sadura added an assist in the Skippers’

Minnetonka defeats Holy Family to return to 2A girls' hockey state tourney

Minnetonka is headed to the Class 2A state tournament for the third consecutive season after knocking off Holy Family Catholic 4-1 on Saturday.
Newhouse powers Minnetonka past Prior Lake in boys' hockey section semifinal

Newhouse powers Minnetonka past Prior Lake in boys' hockey section semifinal

Hunter Newhouse scored twice for the Skippers, sending them to next week's Class 2A, Section 2 championship game.
High School Girls Hockey

New varsity program Gentry Academy advances to 1A girls' hockey state tournament

The Stars' Cara Sajevic scored the game-winner late in the third period against South St. Paul to complete a hat trick and send the program to the state tournament in its first year of varsity competition.
Cooper returns to 4A, Section 6 boys' basketball title game after win over Armstrong

Cooper returns to 4A, Section 6 boys' basketball title game after win over Armstrong

The Hawks led by 22 points at the half over the Falcons and didn't let go of the lead in the second.
Girls' hockey: Benilde-St. Margaret's defeats Wayzata to make Class 2A, Section 6 finale

Girls' hockey: Benilde-St. Margaret's defeats Wayzata to make Class 2A, Section 6 finale

The Red Knights scored first, took a 2-1 lead into the third period and got a pair of insurance goals 1 minute, 34 seconds apart
Three-goal second period leads Lakeville South upset of Maple Grove

Three-goal second period leads Lakeville South upset of Maple Grove

The Cougars, led by Tanner Ludtke's two goals, remained undefeated as they beat the Crimson.
Hill-Murray’s Dylan Godbout (17) circles in the offensive zone moments before scoring his second goal of the game against St. Thomas Academy Tuesday

Godbout notches two goals in Hill-Murray victory over St. Thomas Academy

Dylan Godbout led the Pioneers to a 7-3 rout of the Cadets, including a five-goal second period.
Stillwater girls' hockey rides three-goal second to win over Cretin-Derham Hall

Stillwater girls' hockey rides three-goal second to win over Cretin-Derham Hall

Freshmen Myah Krueger and Brooke Nelson each scored for the Ponies on senior day, showing how important the team's underclassmen are to success this season.
Maple Grove at Andover. March 04, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner

Two goals from Kukkonen helps Maple Grove boys' hockey defeat of Andover

Kyle Kukkonen, the state's No. 2 points producer with 55 this year, powered the Crimson past the rival Huskies.
Hart's second-half effort helps Farmington girls' basketball launch past Rosemount

Hart's second-half effort helps Farmington girls' basketball launch past Rosemount

Sophie Hart scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half to help the Tigers remain unbeaten this season.
Chaska’s Mallory Heyer spins for a layup against Wayzata Friday night. Heyer had a team-high 18 points in the Hawks’ 61-59 victory over the Trojan

Heyer's big second half lifts undefeated Chaska girls' basketball past Wayzata

After just scoring two points in the opening half, Mallory Heyer went off for 16 points to help her Hawks rally back to beat the Trojans.
Edina girls' hockey storms back in third period against Benilde-St. Margaret's to stay unbeaten

Edina girls' hockey storms back in third period against Benilde-St. Margaret's to stay unbeaten

For the second time in nine days, the Knights were stung by a two-goal third period from the Hornets.
Minnetonka boys' hockey scores just before time expires, skates to tie with Wayzata

Minnetonka boys' hockey scores just before time expires, skates to tie with Wayzata

The Skippers' Hunter Newhouse had a rebound goal with less than a second on the game clock to tie the game at 3 in the third period.
Minnehaha Academy’s Hercy Miller (15) is fouled by Hopkins’ Elvis Nnaji (15) as he drives for a layup Wednesday night. The Redhawks defeated the R

Balanced Minnehaha Academy attack puts away Hopkins boys

Five Redhawks, led by Chet Holmgren who had a game-high 19 points, scored in double digits.
Cretin-Derham Hall guard Tre Holloman (5) was defended by Cole Sorensen (35) of Mounds View.

Holloman's triple-double paces Cretin-Derham Hall to boys' basketball win

Behind Tre Holloman's strong effort, the Raiders beat previously unbeaten Mounds View, avenging an early loss
Centennial girls' basketball squeezes by Maple Grove 63-60 in overtime

Centennial girls' basketball squeezes by Maple Grove 63-60 in overtime

The Cougars had 14 points at the half but clawed back 49 points to get the three-point victory over the Crimson.
Columbia Heights boys' basketball beats DeLaSalle 62-60

Columbia Heights boys' basketball beats DeLaSalle 62-60

Donnavin Hinsz tied the game at the free throw line and went on to hit the game-winner.
Class 1A, Section 5 Final Breck vs. Orono. February 12, 2020. Photo By Earl J. Ebensteiner

Coach of 3-time defending champion Breck girls' hockey team resigns

Steve Persian, who helped lead the Mustangs to their last two state titles, left the program along with "the majority of the staff,'' he said in a text.
Holy Angels’ Francesca Vascellaro (1) drives toward the basket during the first half of Friday night’s game against DeLaSalle. Vascellaro had a ga

Girls' basketball: Vascellaro pours in 24 points in Holy Angels' rout of DeLaSalle

In addition to Francesca Vascellaro's performance, the Stars got big outings from Kassandra Caron and Grace Massaquoi who had 21 and 19 points, respectively.
Late three-pointer helps Woodbury boys' basketball escape with win over East Ridge

Late three-pointer helps Woodbury boys' basketball escape with win over East Ridge

Bradley Cimperman's three-pointer with seconds left in Friday's game gave the Royals the win after they surrendered a second-half lead as big as 12 points.
Hopkins at Minnetonka. February 18, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner

Hopkins girls' surge past Minnetonka for 72nd consecutive victory

Taylor Woodson scored 21 points for the Royals, and teammates Amaya Battle and Maya Nnaji added 20 points apiece.
Duluth East’s Mattie Thompson (31) puts up a short jump shot against Bloomington Jefferson. Thompson had 21 points in the Greyhounds’ 63-54 victor

Duluth East boys' basketball overwhelms Bloomington Jefferson in second half

The Greyhounds got a game-high 22 points from Noah Paulson and Mattie Thompson chipped in 21 points.
Eastview scores lone goal in overtime victory over Lakeville South

Eastview scores lone goal in overtime victory over Lakeville South

Avery Chesek clinched the victory for the Lightning 28 seconds into the overtime period.
Eden Prairie boys' hockey hands Benilde-St. Margaret's first loss of the season

Eden Prairie boys' hockey hands Benilde-St. Margaret's first loss of the season

Carter Batchelder's two goals led Eden Prairie to the victory Tuesday night.
Eastview boys' basketball defeats Shakopee, extends unbeaten streak to 10 games

Eastview boys' basketball defeats Shakopee, extends unbeaten streak to 10 games

Eastview toppled Shakopee 60-51 at home, led by 17 points from Zach Spann.
South St. Paul Packers Keon Moore (3) grabbed a rebound past Mahtomedi Zephyrs Will Underwood (25)

South St. Paul improves to 9-0 with boys' basketball victory over Mahtomedi

Do-it-all junior Alonzo Dodd of South St. Paul turned Friday's game vs. Mahtomedi into a rout.
Minnetonka boys' hockey sails to defeat of Duluth East following three-goal first period

Minnetonka boys' hockey sails to defeat of Duluth East following three-goal first period

Hunter Newhouse scored twice, including a shorthanded goal with 7:04 remaining in the third periodas Minnetonka held off Duluth East 4-2
Totino-Grace at Champlin Park February 11, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner

Champlin Park boys' basketball holds off challenge from Totino-Grace to stay unbeaten

Champlin Park holds off challenger from Totino-Grace to stay unbeaten
St. Paul Como Park girls' basketball blitzes St. Paul Central with 39-point victory

St. Paul Como Park girls' basketball blitzes St. Paul Central with 39-point victory

Como Park, featuring Ronnie Porter who had a game-high 30 points, extended its St. Paul Conference winning streak to 67 games
Richfield boys' basketball overcomes six-point halftime deficit to beat DeLaSalle

Richfield boys' basketball overcomes six-point halftime deficit to beat DeLaSalle

Richfield,No. 5 in the Minnesota Basketball News' Class 3A ranking, defeated No. 4-3A DeLaSalle, 81-74
Holy Family vs. Centennial. January 30, 2020. Photo By Earl J. Ebensteiner

Centennial girls' hockey marches to 2-0 shutout victory over Blaine

The Cougars have won six of the past seven meetings between the two teams across the past five seasons.
Robby Kuchinski-Helgeson gets goals in the 'dirty zone' for Little Falls

Robby Kuchinski-Helgeson gets goals in the 'dirty zone' for Little Falls

At 5-10, 195-pounds, the burly Robby Kuchinski-Helgeson is adept at swatting pucks in the net from just in front of the crease, and did so for the Flyers again on Saturday in a victory at Mound Westonka.
Gentry Academy shocks Warroad girls' hockey

Gentry Academy shocks Warroad girls' hockey

The Stars took down Warroad 3-1 on Friday night at TCO Sports Garden in Vadnais Heights.
Stillwater boya' hockey holds on late to triumph over Cretin-Derham Hall

Stillwater boya' hockey holds on late to triumph over Cretin-Derham Hall

A pair of Ponies notched their first career varsity goals to help lift their team to a 3-2 victory.
Providence Academy downs Minnehaha Academy in 51-48 girls' basketball thriller

Providence Academy downs Minnehaha Academy in 51-48 girls' basketball thriller

Providence Academy madea late bucket and a free throw in the final minute of the second half to seal the victory
Shakopee dispatches Lakeville South in Class 4A boys' basketball top 10 bout

Shakopee dispatches Lakeville South in Class 4A boys' basketball top 10 bout

The fourth-ranked Sabers, who held the No. 7 Cougars to 51 points, have yet to surrender more than 58 points in a game this season.
Blake triumphant over host St. Croix Prep in Class 2A boys' basketball skirmish

Blake triumphant over host St. Croix Prep in Class 2A boys' basketball skirmish

Four Bears, led by Gabe Ganz who had 17 points, posted double-digit scoring totals in the victory
Edina’s Emma Conner (16) carries the puck into the offensive zone against Minnetonka Tuesday night. Conner had a goal in the Hornets’ 3-2 victory

Edina girls' hockey stays unbeaten thanks to quick response vs. Minnetonka

Lauren Zawoyski's goal just 15 seconds after the Skippers tied the game at 2-2 gave the Hornets the lead for good.
High-powered Maple Grove eases past Centennial boys' hockey

High-powered Maple Grove eases past Centennial boys' hockey

The Crimson, unbeaten this season, have scored seven or more goals in each of their contests to date.
Hill-Murray’s Ava Stinnett (19) chases a loose puck late in the third period of Saturday afternoon’s game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Stinne

Ava Stinnett's game-winning goal lifts Hill-Murray girls' hockey over Benilde-St. Margaret's

Ava Stinnet's goal came early in the third period. Chloe Boreen and Lorelai VanGuilder also scored for the Pioneers.
Maple Grove at Andover January 29, 2021 Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner

After quiet first period, Andover girls' hockey throttles Maple Grove to remain undefeated

Defending Class 2A state champion Andover, the top-ranked team in the Class 2A coaches' poll, continues to dominate early this season.
Alexis Pratt of Stillwater drove with the ball to the basket during the second half. ] LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@startribune.com

Up-tempo Stillwater girls' basketball gets after it to reach 5-0 with win over Roseville

The Ponies' Alexis Pratt scored 23 points and directed the team's effective pressing attack in a 77-60 victory over the Raiders.
Minnetonka’s Desiree Ware (3) pushes towards the basket as Eden Prairie’s Destinee Bursch (1) applies defensive pressure in Friday night’s game.

Minnetonka girls' basketball sharp late, edges Eden Prairie

Ki'ani Lockett led the Skippers with a game-high 24 points while teammate Desiree Ware chipped in 16 points.
Unblemished Lakeville South boys' hockey triumphs over Rosemount

Unblemished Lakeville South boys' hockey triumphs over Rosemount

Thirteen Cougars skaters recorded at least one point against the Irish, led by Cam Boche who had two goals.
St. Thomas Academy rides seven-goal first period to defeat of South St. Paul

St. Thomas Academy rides seven-goal first period to defeat of South St. Paul

Tanner Brouwer and Jackson Hallum both recorded hat tricks for the Cadets in the first period. The duo combined for 10 total points in their team's victory over the Packers.
Grand Rapids deals defending Class 2A boys' hockey state champ Hill-Murray first loss of season

Grand Rapids deals defending Class 2A boys' hockey state champ Hill-Murray first loss of season

Senior defenseman Jack Peart, the Thunderhawks' leading scorer a season ago, tallied the game-winning goal in the third period.
Chisago Lakes girls' hockey starts fast, holds on to defeat Simley

Chisago Lakes girls' hockey starts fast, holds on to defeat Simley

Sydney Boyle scored just 28 seconds into Friday's matchup to get the Wildcats going, and teammate Dani Burgen took control from there with four goals to best the Spartans.
Hopkins forward Maya Nnaji (34) battled for a rebound against Wayzata forward Jenna Johnson (22) and guard Mara Braun (10). [AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.

Rolling on: No. 1 Hopkins smashes fourth-ranked Wayzata 102-52

Hopkins was led by 25 points from junior Maya Nnaji and 18 from freshman guard Liv McGill as the Royals led by 39 points at halftime and cruised to another lopsided victory.
Girls' basketball: Waterville-Elysian-Morristown erases double-digit deficit against Mayer Lutheran

Girls' basketball: Waterville-Elysian-Morristown erases double-digit deficit against Mayer Lutheran

The Buccaneers made some key free throws along with important defensive stops to take the lead over the Crusaders late in the game and finish with a win.
Gentry Academy boys' hockey slams on the gas pedal, records eight goals to put away Breck

Gentry Academy boys' hockey slams on the gas pedal, records eight goals to put away Breck

Zach Reim and Bailey McGraw each scored two goals, helping the Stars defeat the Mustangs in their season opener.
Chaska forward Spencer Goetz (32) eyed the basket as Robbinsdale’s David Osayameh (32) defended in the first half. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.sou

Chaska boys' basketball opens season with 67-49 victory over Cooper

Chaska's Spencer Goetz shined in a long-awaited season opener.
Wincentsen's two goals fuels South St. Paul girls' hockey to victory over Mahtomedi

Wincentsen's two goals fuels South St. Paul girls' hockey to victory over Mahtomedi

The Packers' Sarah Wincentsen scored the first two goals of the game, helping her team defeat the Zephyrs.
Mounds View dispatches Cretin-Derham Hall to win season opener

Mounds View dispatches Cretin-Derham Hall to win season opener

Kobe Kirk powered the Mustangs to victory with 20 points, including a game-high four three-pointers.
'Shot out of a cannon.' Prep sports returns after two months away

'Shot out of a cannon.' Prep sports returns after two months away

Parking lots replaced locker rooms for changing gear and livestreaming replaced going to the games for many fans as more than 400 teams finally got to play Thursday.