Bryce Brodzinski grew up cheering for his older brothers at Blaine bantam games unless Andover was the opponent.
Aware that family friend Kathy Brodzinski never gave her youngest son quarters for the arena gumball machine, Andover varsity coach Mark Manney slipped him a 75-cent down payment for three periods of Andover support.
"Andover would score and Bryce would be banging on the glass and yelling," Manney said.
Manney watched Sunday at the St. Paul RiverCentre as Brodzinski received the 35th annual Mr. Hockey Award. The 6-1, 200-pound senior tallied 36 goals and 55 assists, leading the Bengals to third at the Class 2A state tournament. Brodzinski has committed to the Gophers.
"He's a first-class kid," said Manney, who won the John Mariucci Coach of the Year Award in Class 2A. "The best part about his game is that he's totally unselfish."
Brodzinski said of his legacy on and off the ice, "When people respect you and like you, it's a great feeling."
As the last of four elite hockey brothers, Brodzinski said this award gives him bragging rights over Jonny, Michael and Easton.
The other Mr. Hockey finalists were Minnetonka's Grant Docter and Josh Luedtke, Edina's Jett Jungels and Mason Nevers, Ryder Donovan of Duluth East, Aaron Huglen of Roseau, Jack Jensen of Eden Prairie, Mike Koster of Chaska and Charlie Schoen of Andover.
The Mr. Hockey Award is selected by a panel of NHL scouts, junior scouts, Minnesota high school coaches, referees and media members.
Minnetonka's Charlie Glockner won the Frank Brimsek Award, given to the state's top senior goaltender. The other finalists were Champlin Park's Brennan Boynton and Andover's Ben Fritsinger.
Both awards are presented annually by the Minnesota Minute Men.
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