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Detroit Lakes standout Lane commits to Blais, Nebraska-Omaha

Dean Blais may have left his head coaching position with the Fargo Force prior to last season, but his presence in the area is still felt.

Blais' latest recruit is Detroit Lakes, Minn., standout Tanner Lane, who verbally committed to Nebraska-Omaha while visiting the school last week.

"With his resume and producing NHL players, he's just a really good coach," Lane said on Tuesday about picking UNO over the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State.

Blais coached the Force's expansion season in the United States Hockey League in 2008-09 prior to taking the top job at UNO. He also spent 10 seasons as head coach at the University of North Dakota.

"He's a pretty straightforward guy," Lane said of Blais. "He tells you what he thinks of you. He's a competitor."

Blais can not comment on recruits until they have signed.

Lane cited UNO's move to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as another factor in his decision. The Mavericks will play their first season in the WCHA this year after leaving the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

"A big impact," Lane said of the conference change. "I wanted to play in the WCHA all along."

It's been a wild couple of weeks for Lane, who was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the sixth round of the National Hockey League's entry draft on June 27.

Lane still must decide where he wants to play hockey this winter.

He was drafted by the Force earlier this year. But he is still considering whether to join them for the upcoming season or play his senior season at Detroit Lakes.

"(Blais wants to) develop me into a go-to guy on the ice," Lane said. "I want to be a go-to guy to make the big plays at the end of the game."