1998-1999 Hill-Murray Hockey
Section 3AA Champion
Edina Holiday Classic Champion
- Hill-Murray started the season by winning its first 13 games and had the #1 state ranking at midseason. The line of Matt Koalska, Dan Miller, and Derek Larson carried the team in scoring, and Dan Kehler and Landon Franzmeier backstopped the team during the streak.
- In one of the best finishes to a section final ever, Hill-Murray took the lead on a goal by #28 Dan Miller with 28 seconds remaining in the third period. Miller batted Joe Kaufman's pass out of midair seconds after Roseville had missed on a breakaway. It was Roseville's third loss to Hill-Murray, and they only lost one other game all season.
- Three times the team rallied from a two-goal third period deficit. They scored six unanswered goals after being down 4-1 at Roseville, and scored the winning goal with three seconds left in the final game of the regular season against Maple Grove. Hill-Murray also came back from a 4-2 deficit against Mounds View, scoring the tying goal in the final minute as goalie Dan Kehler set up the play with a clearing pass while on his way to the bench for an extra skater. But Hill-Murray's failure to win the Mounds View game cost them a share of the conference title, which went to Roseville despite the Pioneers' two victories in the head-to-head games.
- A strong forechecking and defensive team, Hill-Murray did not fare well on large rinks; 3 of their 5 losses came on Olympic ice sheets.
- The state tournament was held at the Target Center in Minneapolis for the first of two years as the Xcel Energy Center was being built in St. Paul.
- The Twin Cities Suburban went back to counting only games within the division toward the standings, but with 8 teams in the west and 6 in the east, Maple Grove played in the east to even things out.
- Elk River, led by Paul Martin, beat the Pioneers twice, once in the state tournament and once at Elk River when the teams were ranked #1 and #2. The Elks lost in two overtimes to Hastings in the state semifinal, and Roseau then defeated Hastings for the state title.
- Tom Dickhudt became the first eighth grader in school history to play varsity hockey, but only played one other season (his sophomore) at Hill-Murray. He later played for Bentley College of the Atlantic Hockey League.
- Matt Koalska played for three national champions in four years after graduating from Hill-Murray - one with the Twin City Vulcans of the USHL in 2000 and two with the University of Minnesota in 2002 and 2003. Koalska scored on his first shift with the Golden Gophers, which was also the first goal ever at the new Xcel Energy Center on Oct 7, 2000. In the 2002 national championship game, also at the Xcel Energy Center, Koalska scored the tying goal in the final minute of regulation and also drew the penalty that led to the winning goal in overtime. Following the goal, he honored the Hill-Murray tradition of skating directly to the bench to celebrate.
|12/10||Champlin Park||10-2||W||Champlin Arena|
|12/19||White Bear Lake*||6-2||W||Aldrich|
|12/29||Bloomington Jefferson||5-3||W||Braemar Arena|
|1/16||Forest Lake*||10-2||W||Forest Lake Arena|
|1/21||Maple Grove*||2-3||L||Maple Grove Arena|
|1/28||White Bear Lake*||3-4||L||Aldrich|
|1/30||Elk River||2-5||L||Elk River Arena|
|2/4||Mounds View*||4-4||T (OT)||Columbia Arena|
|2/6||Stillwater*||3-2||W||St. Croix Rec. Center|
|Section 3AA Playoffs|
|3/4||Elk River||1-5||L||Target Center|
Final Record 21-5-1
Twin Cities Suburban Conference Standings
Coach: Bill Lechner
Assistant: Pat Schafhauser
|1||Landon Franzmeier||G||10||5' 11" ||155|
|7||Casey Regan||D||11||5' 9" ||165|
|8||Ted Dickhudt||F||10||5' 9" ||180|
|9||Kyle Holzinger||F||10||5' 10" ||150|
|10||Christian Toll||F||11||6' 0" ||170|
|11||Andy Nolan||F||11||5' 10" ||170|
|12||Matt Krengel||D||11||6' 2" ||185|
|14||Tom Dickhudt||F||8||5' 10" ||180|
|16||Steve Czech||D||11||6' 1" ||190|
|17||Matt Shillings||F||10||6' 0" ||190|
|18||Adam Nelson||F||12||5' 11" ||180|
|19||Bobby Ahmann||F||11||6' 0" ||185|
|20||Brad Holzinger (C)||D||12||5' 11" ||185|
|21||Dan Kehler||G||11||5' 11" ||170|
|22||Adam Rhein||D||12||6' 0" ||200|
|24||Matt Koalska (C)||F||12||6' 0" ||190|
|25||Derek Larson (C)||F||12||6' 2" ||220|
|26||Mitch Frokjer||D||11||6' 1" ||210|
|27||Joe Kaufman||F||12||6' 0" ||185|
|28||Dan Miller||F||12||6' 2" ||190|
Pioneer Press All-state: Matt Koalska (1st team)
Honorable mention: Steve Czech, Brad Holzinger, Derek Larson, Dan Miller
Mr. Hockey finalist: Matt Koalska
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