High-SchoolMinnesota: Hockey

Updates on Jack Jablonski's recovery

January, 20, 2012
Benilde-St. Margaret's JV hockey player Jack Jablonski, who was paralyzed after a hit during a holiday tournament earlier this year, has drawn outpourings of support from the Minnesota hockey community. Here's a few highlights.

*This year's Hockey Day Minnesota, scheduled for Saturday, has been dedicated to Jablonski with fundraising efforts across the state set up to help his family with medical expenses.

*Members of the Minnesota Wild have visited Jablonski in the hospital, and the team will wear decals on their helmets during its Hockey Day Minnesota home game against the Dallas Stars. (Here's a link to the decals; thanks to John Millea of the MSHSL for the link on Twitter.)

*Jablonski's family tells the Star-Tribune he's "making progress," and Jablonski says the injury is "like a calling almost."

*Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick visited Jablonski recently, and players around the NHL have tweeted and sent cards and messages to show support. Singer Taylor Swift has also sent Jablonski a signed photograph.

*You can donate to the Jack Jablonski fund at jabby13.com.

Minnesota hockey player paralyzed during JV game

January, 4, 2012
Benilde-St. Margaret's junior varsity hockey player Jack Jablonski, a sophomore, was scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday following a hit that left him partially paralyzed during a game last week.

In a game against Wayzata, Jablonski was checked from behind, reportedly severing his spinal cord and fracturing two vertebrae.

For full coverage of the story, click here.

Benilde hockey hoping to finally top section, state

November, 29, 2011
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Minnesota edition.

Last season, Benilde-St. Margaret’s was very good. The Red Knights had talent, depth, speed and were ready for a deep playoff run.

Problem was, so was everyone else in Section 6AA. It’s a group that includes top teams such as Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and several others.

“Last season went pretty well,” says head coach Ken Pauly. “Except the ending.”

The Knights, beset by injuries, lost in the section semifinals to Wayzata. But there’s another opportunity this winter, and the Red Knights are hoping to take advantage. Leading the charge is a stellar player, junior GRANT BESSE, who was second on the team in points last year with 33 goals and 20 assists.

“I really feel like he is going to have a breakout year,” Pauly says. “He’s on target to be the all-time scorer in school history. He’s just a pure sniper, and people are going to be surprised. He put on some size and strength.”

Fellow junior DAN LABOSKY, who added 10 goals and 33 assists last winter, is another player who will be pivotal to this team’s success.

“My phone’s been ringing off the hook about him,” Pauly says. “He’s a small-ish player, but he’s got explosive speed. If you’re playing against him, you probably don’t like him much.”

Anchoring that impressive line is junior T.J. MOORE (17 G, 20 A last year). And then there’s senior CHRISTIAN HORN, who is expected to graduate as the school’s all-time leading scorer — that is, until Besse challenges the mark next year. Sophomores RYAN COLLINS and JACK GLOVER will be pivotal to the defensive effort, as the unit isn’t deep but has enough talent to contend.

“You’re always building toward something in our section,” Pauly says. “You only get so many windows of opportunity, but we think we have a two-year window, and we have to step through it.”

Christopher Parish is an associate editor with ESPNHS magazine. You can reach him on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.

Minnesota by the numbers

September, 20, 2011
Every once in a while we'll take a tour of some of the state's best stories and the numbers that follow. If you've got something you think we should mention, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.

18: Goals scored by Orono soccer player Nick Manzoni last season. He also had 10 assists. But the senior was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and has been forced to miss his senior season. You can read his story here.

21: Consecutive losses for the Watertown-Mayer football team, a streak that was snapped over the weekend as the team earned a 35-7 win over Jordan.

29: Points scored last season (13 goals, 16 assists) by Edina junior hockey player Lou Nanne. The standout forward verbally committed to play hockey at the University of Minnesota — the same school his grandfather and father played at.

99: Career victories for Westbrook-Walnut-Grove football coach Carter Ross as well as Detroit Lakes football coach Flint Motschenbacher. The two coaches will be attempting to win their 100th games this weekend.

253: Receiving yards posted by Breck senior wide receiver Kasey Robinson. He had 10 catches in the game and scored twice, but Breck lost to Concordia Academy, 43-34.