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Neudecker nominated for statewide honor

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Captain recognized as top-10 Minnesota senior

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Chants of “Mr. Hockey” erupted from the student section after senior hockey captain Bauer Neudecker scored a power play goal against Benilde Feb. 16 — the same day he was announced as a nominee for the state’s top hockey award.

The Minnesota Minutemen announced Neudecker as one of 10 nominees for Minnesota Mr. Hockey Feb. 16. The award recognizes the top boys’ hockey player in the state. The last Park hockey player to win the award was Erik Rasmussen in 1995.

Neudecker said his team feels excited for its captain to represent Park.

“(It’s exciting) to have another St. Louis Park kid up for it, kind of get the St. Louis Park name back on the hockey map,” Neudecker said.

Neudecker scored his 40th goal of the year in his team’s 5-3 Sections win against Benilde Feb. 23, after leading his team to a 17-7-1 regular season record and leading the conference with 39 regular season goals.

Neudecker said an atmosphere of teamwork helped him reach this milestone.

“Our coaches have tried to get the mentality of team first before any individual success, and if the team does well, individual success will come,” Neudecker said. “So I think it’s something the team’s all picked up on and done well on.”

Athletic director Andy Ewald said Neudecker worked hard to become an elite hockey player.

“He’s worked extremely hard for at least the time he’s been here and probably a lot longer when he was younger,” Ewald said. “He’s an active participant in our strength program (and) he exhausts himself away from the ice trying to become a better hockey player.”

Sophomore Jackson Hand, one of Neudecker’s teammates, said his captain inspires the team to work hard.

“Other than scoring, he’s a really good captain. He leads our team and the scoring just helps on top of that,” Hand said. “He leads by example. He just works very hard and does everything right at practice.”

Neudecker said hard work and team mentality are key to achieving success.

“It comes from years past and working hard with the team and doing the extra little things, which everyone else does as well,” Neudecker said.

Ewald said Neudecker’s nomination is exciting for the team and the athletic department.

“For the overall boys’ hockey program and for the (athletic) department, it’s just a nice accolade for someone to be getting because it’s a nice, free, positive press,” Ewald said.

Neudecker traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska after the season ended to join the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the North American Hockey League, where he will continue his hockey career.

Mr. Hockey will be announced March 12, according to a NHL press release.

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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School
Neudecker nominated for statewide honor