The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 22, 2013

Hockey alums return to Mankato


Other alumni playing in the event included Andy Hedlund, who spent several seasons in the American Hockey League before playing in Germany and Austria, as well as Justin Martin, B.J. Anderson, Todd Kelzenberg, R.J. Linder, Brian Kilburg and Matt Tyree — all players from the Division I era.

Backes returned for an event last summer, as did Chad Brownlee, who's turning into quite the country music star in his home country of Canada.

Sometimes it's hard to forget that Minnesota State has been playing at the DI level for less than 20 years. Carter, who played for Team USA in this past spring's world championships, said that the years right out of college can be hectic, whether guys are still playing hockey or are starting a different pro career, and it's easy to miss events like Monday's tournament. But now, he's expecting to see more former players take the time to return.

Mavericks coach Mike Hastings, who is preparing for his second season, certainly isn't overlooking the players from the previous regime.

He had the alumni stand up to be acknowledged among the boosters and thanked them for returning.

"You're what Minnesota State is all about," Hastings said, "and what we'll continue to build on."

Shane Frederick is a Free Press staff writer. Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter @puckato.

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