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Hill-Murray goalie Nick Erickson leads Metro Athletes of the Week for Jan. 25-30

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 02/01/21, 3:30PM CST


Also recognized: Logan Anderson (Forest Lake basketball), Jade Hill (Minneapolis South basketball), Addison Metcalf (St. Croix Prep basketball), Grace Sadura (Minnetonka hockey), Davon Townley (Minneapolis North) and Will Whittington (Stillwater swimming).

Hill-Murray goaltender Nick Erickson made a save in a Jan. 23 game against Grand Rapids. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine

Hill-Murray • hockey

As a sophomore last season, Erickson, a goalie, provided mostly bench support for the Pioneers in their run to the Class 2A state title. Knowing he would get his chance to play this year, Erickson spent most of his offseason free time at the rink, preparing.

“I played two, three times a day,” he said.

That work paid off over the weekend. Erickson and the Pioneers shut out Edina on consecutive nights, 1-0 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday. Erickson stopped all 59 shots he faced.

Erickson said he wasn’t surprised, considering the team he has around him.

“We have the best defense in the state,” he said. “We’re always practicing D-zone. They’re blocking shots they have no business blocking. With the defense they give me, I’ve got to play well.”

Being forced to step away from hockey for more than a month during the COVID-19 pause only made Erickson even more determined to play well this season.

“It was driving me crazy,” he said, adding that he spent many late evenings at a rink in Wisconsin, just to satisfy his need.

“Hockey is my escape,” he said. “There’s nothing better than being on the ice with your buddies.”

Forest Lake • basketball

The Rangers picked up two convincing road victories behind Anderson, a senior forward. She had 29 points, 15 rebounds, nine steals and seven assists in a 82-36 romp over Cretin-Derham Hall.

Minneapolis South • basketball

The ability to score clearly runs through the Hill family. The senior guard moved within 33 points of 2,500 for her career after scoring 72 points in a victory over Minneapolis North and 35 in a loss to Cooper. She is the younger sister of former South stars Tayler and Morgan Hill.

St. Croix Prep • basketball

The son of former U of M basketball player Rob Metcalf has developed some considerable skills of his own. The junior had 42 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in an 84-68 victory over Breck, and followed with 26 points and 10 rebounds in an 81-61 win over Providence Academy.

Minnetonka • hockey

The sophomore forward had two assists in a game Tuesday against Wayzata that was halted in the third period due to a medical emergency in the stands and will be completed on Feb. 6. Three days later, she had four goals and two assists in a 9-1 drubbing of Willmar.

Minneapolis North • basketball

As fans of two sports await his decision between collegiate football and basketball, the 6-6 forward showed off his hoops skills with back-to-back double-doubles. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 96-34 rout of Henry and 18 points and 16 rebounds in a 73-50 victory over South.

Stillwater • swimming

The senior had a record-setting outing in a 91-85 victory over Woodbury. He set a school and Suburban East conference record in the 200 freestyle (1:40.07) and conference records in the 100 butterfly (50.77) and while anchoring the 200 free relay (1:26.94).

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