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Tourney Team Preview: Hill-Murray

The Pioneers rolled through the section tournament, outscoring their opponents 12-2 in three games.

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Hill-Murray goaltender Jack Erickson (33) blocks a shot against Andover during the first period Friday, March 11, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Section 4AA

Hill-Murray Pioneers


Coach: Bill Lechner

Most Recent Let’s Play Hockey Ranking: NR


Players to Watch: #33 G Jack Erickson, #15 F Brady Ingebritson, #18 F Jackson Reeves

33rd Appearance

Last Appearance: 2022

4 State Championships

Hill-Muray is back in St. Paul for the fourth straight season after beating Gentry Academy 3-0 in the Section 4AA final last Friday night.

The Pioneers rolled through the section tournament, outscoring their opponents 12-2 in three games.

Though the team isn’t particularly high scoring – only two players, Brady Ingebritson and Jackson Reeves, have 20 points or more – and it hasn’t had much success against the other tournament qualifiers, Hill-Murray found a way to get back to St. Paul for its state-best 33rd appearance at the state tournament.

Ingebritson leads the team with 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists), and senior goalie Jack Erickson is a key in net with a .924 save percentage.


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Hill-Murray forward Brady Ingebritson (15) carries the puck against White Bear Lake in the second period Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, during Hockey Day Minnesota in White Bear Lake.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Of the six Class AA state tournament teams that Hill-Murray played this season, all six beat the Pioneers. It’s worth noting that four of those eight matchups were one-goal games and one went to overtime.

The Pioneers have longtime head coach Bill Lechner behind the bench, and it’ll be up to him to pull the right strings and put together three solid games at the ‘X’.

With a good penalty kill and a power play that has struggled, the Pioneers are averaging fewer than three goals per game. That puts a bit of extra responsibility on Erickson in net to keep them in games.

The Pioneers don’t have any super high-scoring players to single-handedly carry them, but they’ve won the games to get to St. Paul and shouldn’t be overlooked with their goalie and coaching. They’ll face top-seeded Minnetonka in the first quarterfinal of the late session on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament coverage including game recaps, photos, brackets, schedules and more from The Rink Live

Ranked Wins (Based on Feb. 23 Let’s Play Hockey Rankings): No. 19AA Eden Prairie (2-1, Dec. 2), No. 11A Two Rivers (1-0, Jan. 7), No. 4A Mahtomedi (4-2, Jan. 25; 2-1 OT, Jan. 30), No. 10AA White Bear Lake (3-2 OT, Jan. 28)

Ranked Losses: No. 2A Hermantown (3-1, Dec. 3), No. 7AA Wayzata (2-1 OT, Dec. 8), No. 11AA Benilde-St. Margaret’s (3-2, Dec. 22), No. 13AA Lakeville South (5-4 OT, Dec. 27), No. 5AA Andover (5-2, Dec. 28), No. 17AA Champlin Park (3-2, Dec. 29), No. 1AA Minnetonka (5-0, Jan. 5), No. 8AA St. Thomas Academy (3-1, Jan. 12; 1-0, Feb. 11), No. 2AA Edina (2-1, Feb. 3; 2-1, Feb. 4), No. 4AA Maple Grove (5-2, Feb. 14), No. 15AA Moorhead (4-2, Feb. 18)

Ranked Ties: No. 18AA Stillwater (2-2, Jan. 17)

Eli is an audience engagement specialist for Forum Communications Co., with experience in producing and designing content on a variety of digital platforms. He works closely with team members to enhance content to improve audience experience.
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