Logan Luner, Marshall.
This team can roll three lines and not miss a beat on offense, with speed and tenacity to burn. The defensive unit is technically sound and should provide quality cover for goaltenders Luke Carrithers and Brady Krey. The team features several skaters from the Euro American Red AAA program, including AAA State 2008 Division leading scorer Dylan Dean (16 points). Fellow Marshall teammate Logan Lutner totaled 11 points during the AAA State Tournament, good for third overall.
Moorhead features a handful of players from last season’s Mahtomedi Squirt A team that took home the District 2 title, including forward Ryland Demars and defensemen Casper Lang, Henry Sampair, and Jimmy Egan. Forward Nate Chorlton teamed with Demars to help the Minnesota Generals capture the 2008 Division championship during AAA State.
Ramsey should be able to find scoring from both its offensive and defensive groups, a balance that bodes well against a talented field. On the front end, Ramsey has some great speed, with burners Cole Braunshausen and Casey Vandertop, with anchoring defenders behind them in Andrew Benolkin and Mason Minor.
Skill up front should be the calling card for Richfield, considering so many of the players on the team can handle the puck. The team has several players rostered who played in this summer’s North American Hockey Showcase. Gavin McNeil and A.J. Francisco skated for champion Great Plains, and Avinash Kasargod playing defense for Team International.
Logan Smith (11 points) and Charlie Engstrom (10 points) finished among the leading scorers during last year’s Squirtacular, as did Cale Braid (9 points). There’s a combination of skill and grit throughout the lineup that should make the Williams team formidable this weekend, with quality players at every turn.
Casey Vandertop, Ramsey.