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Stadstad Classic: Apple Valley, top prospects to return

The Herald Jason Stadstad Classic has been a showcase for some of the top hockey players in the state of Minnesota and next winter will be no different.

The Herald Jason Stadstad Classic has been a showcase for some of the top hockey players in the state of Minnesota and next winter will be no different.

Apple Valley -- a state-tournament team that features two of the top prospects in the Midwest -- is one of eight teams committed to playing in the fourth annual December tournament.

Hudson Fasching and A.J. Michaelson will be sophomore and junior forwards on next year's squad, giving the Eagles plenty of firepower in their bid to win the Stadstad Classic for the second year in a row.

Apple Valley will be joined by Grand Forks Red River, Grand Forks Central, Grafton-Park River, Fargo South, Bismarck High, Bismarck Century and Princeton (Minn.) in the tournament, which will be held in Ralph Engelstad Arena from Dec. 16-18.

Games will be played on both the main and Olympic ice sheets.

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UND hosts the U.S. Under-18 team in an exhibition on Dec. 18. The teams will be able to attend the game.

Two of the last three Minnesota Mr. Hockey winners have played in the Stadstad Classic. Roseau's Aaron Ness, a second-round draft pick of the New York Islanders, helped the Rams to the title in the inaugural Stadstad Classic.

Blaine's Nick Bjugstad played in the tournament in 2008. He will be a freshman at Minnesota in the fall and is expected to be a first-round draft pick in June.

Fasching and Michaelson should be candidates for the award in the future, if they choose to remain in high school.

Michaelson reportedly turned down an offer to join the U.S. Under-17 team in order to remain at Apple Valley for his junior year. He was named the No. 1 sophomore player in the state by Minnesota Hockey Hub last year.

Fasching was named the No. 2 freshman player last year and the No. 1 freshman forward.

The Eagles, who made it to the state semifinals last season, will be challenged by North Dakota's defending state champion, Central.

The Knights are expected to return their top three scorers from the state championship team.

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Times and pairings will be announced later.

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to bschlossman@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: HOCKEYPREP SPORTS
Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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