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BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE Minneapolis 2004 - Erica McKenzie

Housley. Broten. Chorske. Hendrickson. All legendary--if fairly recent--names of Minnesota high school hockey. And of course, being men, they all went on to greater successes in the Olympics or the NHL. But in recent years, the girls' game has been churning out players who, in certain circles, have become household names as well. That's certainly the case with Erica McKenzie, the Hastings senior who was named the state's Ms. Hockey in February. Awards are nothing new to McKenzie, who was twice named the Metro player of the year by the Star Tribune, and also nabbed the St. Paul Downtown Lion's Club's female athlete of the year honor. But McKenzie has ice cred to boot, racking up 58 goals last year, and improving on that feat with 68 this season. Add in 22 assists, and McKenzie notched 90 points this season (this year's Mr. Hockey had 40 goals and 53 assists for 93 points), giving her 362 for her career. If there's one asterisk in the forward's career thus far, it's that she never led her team to the state tournament. But she carries on to the University of Minnesota next year, and McKenzie hopes to make the Olympics after that. In time, perhaps her name will be alongside all the other famous names from Minnesota that made hockey a national obsession all those years ago.

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