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Alt, Haula bring early departures from Gophers hockey team to 5

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The final count is in for the Minnesota men's hockey team. The Gophers have lost five players early to the pros.

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Defenseman Mark Alt and forward Erik Haula are the latest to leave. They signed over the weekend. Alt joined the Philadelphia Flyers organization on an entry-level contract. He was a second-round draft pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010 whose rights were later traded to the Flyers.

Haula signed an entry-level deal with the Minnesota Wild. The seventh-round draft pick in 2009 will join the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros.

Forwards Nick Bjugstad and Zach Budish and defenseman Nate Schmidt previously left the Gophers for pro contracts. All five players were juniors this season.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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