The Burnsville and Prior Lake boys hockey programs will have members in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League rosters.

Senior Grant Ahcan will be represent the Blaze playing on the TDS Transportation team. Junior Matt Beaty will represent the Lakers on the MAP South Hockey squad.

The regional league was founded in 2007 to give the state’s top players another way to reach top-flight competition and exposure without leaving their homes or missing all of the great experiences that high school hockey provides.

Training camps are held in August, and games run September through October. There are nine teams in the league — seven from Minnesota High School teams, one from Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault and another from Wisconsin.

Last fall, Burnsville and Prior Lake didn't have players invited to play in the league. It was the first time Burnsville was not represented since the league began. For Prior Lake, it was the first time in seven seasons without at least one player on a roster.

Ahcan will be entering his third varsity season this winter for the Blaze. Last season, Ahcan led his team in goals scored (17) and in assists (22). As a sophomore, he recorded one goal and had six assists in 25 games played.

Beaty had five goals and two assists in his first varsity season with the Lakers last winter.

Overall, there are 15 South Suburban Conference players competing in the Elite League this fall, six more than last year and four fewer than in 2017.

Rosemount leads the SSC with six players competing, followed by Lakeville North with three and Eagan with two. Eastview has one player on a roster.

The SSC players include Jacob Ratzlaff, Mason Wheeler, Luke Levandowski, Will Tollefson, Charlie Stramel and Mason Campbell of Rosemount, Caden Smith, Mario Gasparini and Ben Monson of Lakeville North, Johnny Meiers and Derek Manzella of Eagan, and Joshua Eernisse of Eastview,

More on the Elite League and all the rosters can be found at hselitehockey.com.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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