For the second straight fall, the Prior Lake boys hockey team will be well represented in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
Last year, the Lakers had six players earn roster spots in the 10-team league, which was founded in 2007.
The league's goal is to give the state's top players another way to face top-flight competition and get more exposure without leaving their homes or missing all of the great experiences that high school hockey provides.
The five Lakers who will compete this fall are seniors Will Schumacher, Sam Rice, Alex Bump, Jackson Anderson and Trevor Boschee.
Training camps are held in August. The season starts in September and ends in late October.
Rice, Schumacher, Bump and Boschee played in the Elite League last fall, while this will be Anderson's first time.
Anderson, a defenseman, and Boschee, a goalie, will play for the TDS Transportation squad. Rice, Schumacher and Bump, all forwards, are on the SIT Mutual Funds roster.
Schumacher, Anderson and Bump will be the Lakers' captains this winter. Last season, Schumacher led Prior Lake in points with 36 (15 goals, 21 assists) in the team's 14-3-2 campaign (13-2-2 in the South Suburban Conference).
Bump finished with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists), while Rice had 31 (15 goals, 16 assists) and Anderson had 17 (2 goals, 15 assists).
Boshee had a strong first season in goal for Prior Lake last year, finishing with a 2.25 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage and three shutouts.
Prior Lake's five players in the Elite League are tied for the most among SSC schools with Lakeville South. Shakopee, Rosemount and Lakeville North each have one player.
The 13 SSC players are the fewest the league has had in the last 10 seasons.
Overall, Cretin-Derham Hall has the most players selected among the metro teams with eight, followed by Edina, Benilde-St. Margaret's and Andover with six and Maple Grove and Hill-Murray with five.
Two squads in the Elite League feature northern players from Section 7AA and 8AA. Grand Rapids leads the northern schools with 10 players selected, followed by Moorhead with nine and Hermantown with six.
More on the Elite League and all the rosters can be found at hselitehockey.com.