The plan was hatched about 13 months ago somewhere on the roads between the South St. Paul and Mankato.

If the three friends liked what they saw and heard during their visit to Minnesota State University later that day, they decided, they were going to commit — together — to play hockey there the following fall.

Maggie Fisher, Felicia Nelson and Ashley Young were indeed impressed, told Mavericks coach Jeff Vizenor so that same day and promised to return to the school in a year.

“Everything just kind of fit perfectly,” Young said. “It felt like home. It didn’t feel strange. It felt comfortable.”

Over the 12 months that followed the triple play, the South St. Paul Three would become Vizenor’s most heralded recruits since he became coach in 2001.

The linemates each scored at least 101 points during their senior year, and they led the Packers to the Class AA high school state title.

In five years of varsity hockey together, Fisher, Nelson and Young helped turn South St. Paul into a prep dynasty. The trio combined for 1,004 points, were part of a state-record 86-game unbeaten streak that spanned three seasons and won three state championships.

Their unique hockey abilities and their unique decision to remain teammates in college earned them and Minnesota State much notoriety throughout the state.

“It’s had such a positive affect for us on the ice, and it’s helped us with recruiting for the ’06-07 season and down the road,” Vizenor said. “It’s given us a name recognition we did not have before.”

When they arrived in Mankato, the trio joined a pair of former Packer teammates, junior Sammy Miller and sophomore Amanda Stohr. Some have given Minnesota State the nickname South St. Paul South.

But their plan, they said, is not necessarily to turn the Mavericks’ purple and gold bull into the Packers’ maroon and white one.

“We’re at a new period of our lives now and a new period of hockey,” Young said. “We can’t keep dwelling on the past. We have to keep looking forward.”

Said Nelson: “This is different than high school.”

Each player brings a different style to the Mavericks, according to Vizenor.

Young, he said, is a playmaker with good rink vision. She had 77 assists last season and “is an all-around good offensive player.

Fisher “is a great skater who can just fly. She’s tough on her skates and finds the net.”

Nelson “is a prototypical power forward with a good shot who’s always competing and battling.”

“We weren’t used to getting knocked around in high school,” Fisher said.

They also didn’t skate apart too often. Vizenor said he plans to break up their line a bit at the start of the season in order to get them used to college hockey, especially the defensive part of the game.

He initially put Young and Fisher on a line with junior Shera Vis and Nelson with Stohr and Kristina Bunker, the Mavericks’ top two returning scorers.

Young, however, injured her shoulder during practice this week and won’t be able to play in this weekend’s season-opening series at fifth-ranked Mercyhurst.

“I think they’ve shown on the ice that they’re ready to compete and play at this level,” Vizenor said.

He added that the three have been just as comfortable off the ice, too, joking around with teammates and coaches, alike.

“All the freshmen have come in with a sense of confidence,” Vizenor said. “They’re unique kids who are confident with who they are and who are not afraid to be who they are.”

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