Hansen makes All-State squad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Despite expectations of a Big Nine Conference title and a return trip to the state tournament, the Austin boys' hockey team did not come away empty-handed.

AHS senior defenseman Eric Hansen was named to the All-State boys' hockey second team released on Tuesday by the Associated Press.

Hansen, who scored 20 goals and had 22 assists in 24 games for the Packers this season, was effective on offense because of his superior defense.

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"He was a very smooth transitional player," said AHS first-year coach Troy Holtz. "I think that's what makes him a dangerous player.

"I think Eric Hansen is the best defenseman I've ever coached."

Holtz was the assistant to former 12-year head coach Denny Laumeyer before replacing him this season. Holtz said he or Laumeyer could not recall an Austin player ever making an All-State team aside from honorable mention notoriety.

"I think that's great," Holtz said. "If he plays hockey at the next level I think he'll play as a defenseman, that's just where he's at. He has a great chance to be successful."

Hansen and teammates Brad Wiechmann and Cole Hughes will have a chance to showcase their talents at the Great Eight hockey tournament at the end of this month. Holtz said the event is frequented by scouts from all levels of hockey.

"Eric is a great kid, hopefully he has a future in hockey," Holtz said. "He did a great job this year. We moved him to forward for the playoffs. Eric would do anything to help the team win."

Hansen was second on the team to Wiechmann in both goal-scoring and assists, while defensive linemate Hughes was third on the team in overall points and assists.

The Packers finished the season 15-8-1 overall and runner-up to Rochester John Marshall for the Big Nine conference title. All-Conference teams are to be released today.