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Bemidji State men's hockey announces signing of two big defensemen

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Bemidji State men's hockey announces signing of two big defensemen
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji State University men's ice hockey program Thursday announced the signing of defensemen Matt Prapavessis of Oakville, Ont., and Sam Windle of Maple Grove, Minn., to national letters of intent. Both signed NCAA National Letters of Intent with the Beavers during the early signing period and will join the Bemidji State program for the 2011-12 campaign.

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Prapavessis is a 6-foot-2 blueliner for the United States Hockey League's Lincoln Stars. Windle is a 6-foot-4 defenseman for the Chicago Steel also of the USHL.

"Both Matt Prapavessis and Sam Windle bring great length, talent and presence to our blue line," said BSU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ted Belisle. "They both are talented defenders with USHL experience and we are excited to welcome them to Beaver hockey."

Prapavessis is in his first year with Lincoln and through 12 games he has netted two goals and four assists for six points to lead all Stars defensemen, while he is tied for the team's lead with a pair of power-play goals.

A true offensive threat from the blue line, Prapavessis has recorded a point in five of his first 11 games with the Stars. He has posted an assist in each of the Stars' last two outings helping to extend the team's winning streak to four games. At 7-5-0, Lincoln currently sits fifth in the USHL's Western Conference but is just four points off the pace set by first-place Dubuque.

Prior to this season, Prapavessis spent two seasons with the Mississauga Chargers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. During his time in the OJHL, he piled up 77 points, which included a career-best 43 points in 49 games to rank fourth on the Chargers' roster in 2009-10.

"Matt comes to us from Lincoln where he has had a great start to his first year in the USHL," said Belisle. "He possesses a good ability to run the power play from the blue line and has the knack of creating offense for his teammates whenever he has the puck. We are certainly excited about his potential."

Windle is in his first season with Chicago and has had one goal and one assist to rank second among Steel defensemen after only 10 games played.

Windle's goal this season came in just his third game in the USHL and stood as the decisive tally in a 2-1 victory over Indiana. The blueliner has posted a negative plus/minus rating in only two games this season and carries a plus 5 rating into the Steels' game tonight against Cedar Rapids.

Windle was also selected to participate in the 2010 World Junior A Challenge Nov. 8-14 in Princeton, British Columbia, where he helped the United States Junior Select team to a perfect 5-0-0 record en route to capturing the gold medal.

Windle is ranked 19th in a recent release of NHL Central Scouting's rankings of Tier I Junior A leagues in North America, setting the future Beavers up as a potential NHL pick in the upcoming draft.

A native of Maple Grove, Minn., Windle played high school hockey for former Beaver captain Mark Phenow (1998-2001) at Osseo High School, where he recorded seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points.

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Pioneer staff reports
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