Changes Abound for New-Look Skippers


Originally published in the 2015 Minnetonka football season program and on on Aug. 21, 2015

It will be a season of firsts for the Minnetonka football team, which heads into the 2015 season with a combined 16 new starters on offense and defense and ushers in a new era of district football.

Gone are the days of the Lake Conference, which is being replaced with the West Metro District. The Skippers are in the South Division of the district, joined by familiar faces in Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, and Wayzata, along with Bloomington-Kennedy, Maple Grove, Prior Lake, and Shakopee.

The Minnesota State High School League’s move to district football eases the scheduling burden on its teams. No longer do schools have to make long, out of state road trips in order to fill their schedules. In recent seasons, Minnetonka has travelled to places like Milwaukee, Kansas City, Superior, Wis., and Fargo, N.D., for games.

“Our longest bus ride is 30 minutes,” Minnetonka head coach Dave Nelson said.

With the new set-up, though, comes what Nelson called “the toughest schedule in school history” this season. In addition to their traditional Lake Conference foes, the Skippers will square off with perennial playoff contenders Maple Grove and Prior Lake, as well as Champlin Park and Shakopee. They’ll do so with promising, albeit inexperienced, groups on both sides of the ball.

The learning curve will be steep, but Nelson believes that if Minnetonka lives up to its potential, it will be a dangerous team come playoff time.

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Wisconsin hockey inks six for 2015-16

Originally published by SBN College Hockey on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015

CaptureAfter a summer of bleeding players, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team announced the signing of six players to National Letters of Intent for the 2015-16 season on Wednesday.

Forwards Tanner Barnes (Eagan, Minn.), Will Johnson (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Zac Keryluk (Verona, Wis.), and Jarod Zirbel (Green Bay, Wis.), defenseman Patrick Sexton (Ottawa, Ontario), and goaltender Matt Jurusik (La Grange, Ill.) bring the Badgers’ roster for next season to 28 players, something head coach Mike Eaves called a “different type of philosophy” born out of UW’s disastrous 2014-15 campaign.

“That allows us, during the course of the week, to run a real high-tempo full scrimmage,” Eaves said in the team’s release on the decision to carry more players on the roster. “That will make it very competitive. The message being sent is that unless you are willing to do the things that we need to do in terms of hard, smart, and play as a team, then we are going to make changes in our lineup.”

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​Carr to Lead Boys Basketball

del_tonkaMFormer NBA player takes over behind the bench for the Skippers

Originally published by Minnetonka Public Schools on June 15, 2015

carr_chrisMINNETONKA — Former NBA player Chris Carr has been hired as head coach of the Minnetonka boys basketball program, Minnetonka High School Activities Director Ted Schultz announced Monday.

“Coach Carr brings an extensive basketball pedigree and has great knowledge, experience, and passion to lead us forward in the Lake Conference,” Schultz said. “Equally important, Coach Carr brings the desire to develop our students into tremendous young men who play the game with passion and effort, while being outstanding citizens and students in our school community.”

Carr, age 41, comes to Minnetonka after leading the Eden Prairie girls basketball team to 100-plus wins over the past five seasons. He also owns and operates 43 Hoops Basketball Academy in the Twin Cities and has mentored hundreds of Minnesota basketball players who have gone on to play both collegiately and professionally.

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Freshman Sensation: McClure Hat Trick Leads Minnesota State to Title

Originally published by College Hockey News on March 22, 2015

mnk-0322ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State breaking Michigan Tech’s heart has become a recurring theme in the WCHA this season and it played out again Saturday night, as the Mavericks captured their second-straight Broadmoor Trophy with a 5-2 come-from-behind victory.

Down, 2-1, entering the third period, Minnesota State scored four-straight goals to close out the game, including a natural hat trick from freshman forward Brad McClure, who finished the tournament with six points (5-1—6) to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.

MSU head coach Mike Hastings said that, in speaking with one of McClure’s former coaches, he discovered the Stratford, Ontario, native’s nickname was “Captain Clutch” — a moniker he lived up to in St. Paul.

“He’s a guy that has a history of scoring big goals and he has a history of scoring a lot of them,” Hastings said of McClure. “I’m happy he’s wearing our jersey.”

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Motte Meant A Lot to Ferris State

End of Illustrious College Career Comes in Loss to Minnesota State

Originally published by College Hockey News on March 21, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The cliché in college hockey says it’s hard to end another team’s season. No. 2 Minnesota State found that out Friday night in a hard-fought, 4-0, win over Ferris State in the WCHA semifinals.

The loss ends a roller coaster-like campaign for the Bulldogs. MacNaughton Cup champions just a year ago, Ferris State struggled to find consistent sources of offense this season, which again reared its head against the Mavericks. The FSU attack had been better recently, with 14 goals in its last four games, but couldn’t get anything going against Minnesota State.

The Bulldogs’ defense and senior goaltender C.J. Motte kept it close, but could only tread water against the high-powered Mavericks for so long. For Motte, who stopped 21-of-24 shots on the night, the loss ends his time in a Ferris State uniform. He ends his career as arguably the most decorated player in program history. The St. Clair, Mich., native was a First Team All-WCHA selection and Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalist a season ago, and leaves with the most wins in Bulldog history.

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