Hanowski Leads Huskies Into Series With Schmidt, Minnesota (AUDIO)
Little Falls native Ben Hanowski is the all time leading scorer in Minnesota high school history with 405 points in just 117 games. He also smashed Dave Spehar's high school career goal record of 171, finishing with 196 in 2009.
As a member of the #8-ranked St. Cloud State Huskies, Hanowski has posted 104 points in 142 games played, good for 21st on the Huskies all-time scoring list.
This weekend the #1-ranked Minnesota Gophers come to town, including former St. Cloud Cathedral star Nate Schmidt. Schmidt was the second-leading scorer among defensemen the same year Hanowski scored 196 goals
The Huskies are currently in first place in the WCHA with the Gophers in third place, five points behind SCSU and two points behind Nebraska-Omaha. It is important to note, however, that Minnesota has played two less games than SCSU.
To up the ante further, barring a playoff matchup this is the last time the Gophers and Huskies will ever meet as WCHA rivals. The league is essentially disbanding after this season, with the Huskies going to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and the Gophers to the Big 10.
Hanowski knows the tensions will be high come game time, and notes it will be important to keep a level head leading up to the game.
Coincidentally, bitter rivals Little Falls and Cathedral will meet Saturday at the MAC for a matinee. Hanowski remembers the rivalry with Cathedral, and Schmidt, fondly.
A third round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hanowski has led the Huskies to first place in the WCHA with the season winding down. A major part of the team's success this season has been the freshman class combine for over 80 points. Hanowski credits the younger players skill, along with their character, for the team's success.
The Gophers have gotten the best of the Huskies over the last few meetings, but Hanowski expects an exciting series this weekend.
Check out the full conversation with Ben, including his thoughts on the Gopher series, the freshman class, rivalry with Cathedral and his brother at BSU.