We are pleased to announce our first set of MAP staff members for the summer. These 6 coaches are no stranger to the program. They continue to come back to improve their games, but also help to develop tomorrow’s future leaders. The goal is to help each of our members to reach their full potential on the ice, but more importantly off the ice. Below you can learn a little more about them and why they want to be a part of the North. Next week we will release the rest of the staff. Stay tuned!

Ben Marshall

Marsh started training with MAP as a freshman from Mahtomedi; which is now a whopping 11 years ago. Ben has been a coach now for 5 years. He keeps coming back because he enjoys working with kids that are passionate about the game and he enjoys being able to train at a premier hockey program. Ben is a very knowledgeable coach and very good at helping players enhance their skating and overall skillset.

Ben was drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 Entry Draft #201 overall by the Detroit Red Wings. He played three seasons for Mahtomedi High School (2007-2010) before joining Omaha Lancers. He supplied 11 goals, 32 points, 34 penalty minutes and a +20 rating in 56 USHL appearances for the Lancers in 2010-11 and was named to the All-Star and All-Rookie Teams. He played collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota, collecting 17 goals, 61 points, 127 penalty minutes and a +26 rating in 159 NCAA games played.

He was named Assistant Captain in his senior season and helped the Golden Gophers claim four Conference titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances. The last two years Ben has played professionally in both the ECHL (Indy and Atlanta) and the AHL (Providence). Next year he will be playing professionally out in Slovakia.


Taylor Richart

Taylor aka T-Bone to all the MAP faithful has been with the MAP program since 2006 when it was at Fogerty, so 12 years ago. This year will be his 3rd as a member of the coaching staff. His favorite part is the training environment. “Everyone is consistently eager to train or instruct which makes it fun and in turn helps to motivate you.” T-bone is a great role model for all our kids. If they can emulate his work horse mentality on and off the ice they are going to really improve their game.

Taylor played his association and high school hockey for the Blaine Bengals. From there he moved on to play Juniors in the NAHL for the Aberdeen Wings. After a successful year there he took his game to the Fargo Force in the USHL. In his junior career he amassed 28 points in 113 games. Taylor then received a D1 scholarship to play for the Miami Redhawks. He played 4 years there while establishing himself as one of the top Defensive D-man. Last two years he’s played in the ECHL for the Utah Grizzles.

This latest season he took his game to a new level he was named Assistant Captain and had 17 goals and 24 assists in 70 games. He also received a call up to the San Antonio Rampage (AHL). There he continued his torrid pace and add 3 points in 2 games. Look for T-Bone to be a regular in the AHL next season.


Blake Lizotte

Blake has been with the MAP program for 7 years now. These last two years he’s worked on the staff and also trained.  His favorite part about MAP is all the resources that are available that enables you to work hard and succeed. As a coach, his favorite part is seeing players work hard and seeing them improve immensely over the summer.  Blake is one of the hardest working and smartest hockey players you will meet. You can tell that in his attention to detail when he’s training and also when he’s coaching.

Blake is a 2016 graduate of Chisago Lakes H.S where he was a 7X letter and All-Conference award winner in tennis and a 2X letter and All-Conference winner in hockey during his high school career. Following high school, Blake left early to start his junior hockey career in the NAHL for the Minot Minotauros. During that time he put up 14 goals and 38 assists. After that he moved up to the USHL where he played two years from 2015-17.

He produced 12 goals and 34 assists his first year followed by 19 goals and 46 assists in his second year which earned him All-USHL Second Team and the honor of being named Captain of that squad. This past season was his first in a Saint Cloud State Huskies Jersey. He picked up where he left off in juniors by leading freshman on his squad with 27 points. Blake will begin his sophomore year this fall.


Tanner Vescio

Tanner or ‘Ves’ has been with the MAP program for 8 years. This year will be his first as an instructor. We are very excited to bring Tanner onto the staff as he knows exactly how we operate and can add very valuable insight to the kid. His favorite part about MAP is getting to know everyone through out the program. “As a player I enjoyed getting to know the coaches and having fun at the rink. MAP is a great place to work hard, have fun and learn a lot. Being on the other side as a coach, I really enjoy getting to know all the players. Its great to see players I recognize and to meet new players I haven’t met yet.”

Tanner hails from Blaine and played his association and high school for the Blaine Bengals. His senior year he had 32 points in 25 games and played in the Midwest Elite league. From there he played his last 2 seasons for the Bismarck Bobcats in the NAHL collecting 5 goals and 18 assists In 106 games. During this past season he also committed to play Division 1 hockey for the Northern Michigan Wildcats of the WCHA. He has one more season with the Bobcats before heading to Northern Michigan the following year.


Luke Posner

Luke or ‘Pos’ has trained with the MAP program for 4 years now. This year will be his first as a member of the staff. Luke has a lot to offer as a coach as he was a goal producing forward in high school with a great knack around the net. On top of that, his quickness, puck pursuit, and ability to pick an opponent’s pocket make him a terror for defenseman. Luke’s favorite part of training is the coaching staff’s knowledge and experience complimented by the fact that they are very accessible and easy to talk to.

He also likes how each week we have a different theme or focus to really helps take a player’s game to a new level. As a coach he enjoys working with the younger players because he is passionate about getting to know them and helping them improve. He also enjoys working with the staff and discussing the training and playing side of hockey. Pos grew up and played his high school hockey in Mahtomedi where in his last two years he stockpiled 78 points in 47 games. This past season he played in the NAHL for the Kenai River Bears where in 56 games, he had 27 points, which earned him an invite to the NAHL Top Prospect game. Next year Luke will be playing juniors.


Alex Koopmeiners

Alex aka Koop started training with us last summer after a 4 year NCAA Division 3 career that started him in Concordia and finished at Gustavus Adolphus College. Koop grew up in St. Cloud and played his high school hockey for St. Cloud Cathedral where he averaged over a point a game his senior year. From there he went on to play 3 years of juniors before starting his college career. Following college Alex took his game over to Sweden to play in the 2nd Pro division for Soderhamn where he amassed 35 points in 29 games. Next year Koop is planning to play professionally in the states.

Alex’s passion for the game of hockey and his dedication his personal training is matched by his enthusiasm and passion as a teacher of the game. This is Alex’s first year on the staff. He is very outgoing is always looking to push the kids to be at their best. Whether that is making sure the players are being held accountable on skating or challenging someone in the shooting lane to a game of pig. Rumor is he’s got the top score on the stickhandling machine with 38! When asked about his MAP experience Koop says:

“Favorite part about MAP is the community and atmosphere. You get to be around people all day that have the same goals as you and everyone pretty much has the same interests. This makes it a very fun place to be at all times, whether you are working or training, it is always enjoyable. The training part of MAP is something really special and I believe it’s hard to find something like this anywhere else.

Guys are super competitive and really work to push each other both in the weight room and on the ice. Having this type of high level competition paired with the knowledge and years of experience from the head staff makes for huge improvements to all aspects of your game throughout the summer. Lastly, you become best friends with all these guys throughout the year. You all put in countless number of hours and sweat throughout the summer, which makes it awesome to check up and watch everyone succeed during their seasons.

From a coaching stand point, it is awesome to work with the kids that are at such an exciting time in their careers. It is really rewarding to watch them develop and get better as the weeks pass by. You get to know each kid personally and have a lot invested in all of them, so watching them get better and going on to succeed is pretty special!”