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BHS: Games of the Week (Feb. 8-10)

By Derek Felska, 02/08/24, 11:30AM CST


From Alexandria to Le Sueur, here are five games you should keep an eye on or take a chance to attend in person if you happen to be in the area.

Luverne at Minnesota River 
February 9 (6:30 PM) 

Can you kill two birds with one stone? That question may be answered this weekend as Luverne and Minnesota River face off in a rare home-at-home series on back-to-back nights, starting in Le Sueur on Friday and then at Blue Mound Arena in Luverne on Saturday. Can the Bulldogs pull off a sweep, or will the Cardinals fly right past them?

Luverne is coming off a 6-2 victory over Marshall and has won four out of their last five games. The Cardinals are led at forward by seniors Owen Sudenga (27 goals, 29 assists, 56 points), Patrick Kroski (12-27-39) and Elliott Domagala (16-14-30), junior Alexander Schlosser (5-15-20) along with sophomores Landyn Lais (17-22-39) and Maddux Domagala (19-13-32) give Luverne great scoring depth up front.

6'4" junior Blaik Bork (13-20-33) and sophomore Blake Sauer (7-3-10) moonlight between forward and defense for the Cardinals. Luverne is good on the power play, scoring 30.4% on the man advantage.

On defense, seniors Henry Hartquist (7-8-15), junior Layke Miller (0-2-2), sophomore Jaxon Lais (2-7-9), and freshman Benjamin Hartquist (8-12-20) are okay with taking risks to generate offense from the back end Despite their offensive assertiveness they can defend too as evidenced by their 85.7% penalty kill.

Senior Tyler Arends (.886 save percentage) has shouldered most of the workload for Luverne this season at goaltender. Still, they have given opportunities to sophomores Gavin Hoven (.908 save percentage) and Xander Remme (.917 save percentage).  

Minnesota River is coming off a 4-3 loss to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato and has just one win in their last six games. The Bulldogs are led at forward by seniors Drew Simonette (21-10-31), Travis Kotek (10-16-26), Diego Hettig (6-8-14), and Kellan O'Keefe (6-6-12) as well as sophomore Riley Kamm (11-10-21) provide Minnesota River solid scoring balance through its top two lines.

On defense, senior Hayden Stensrud (7-14-21) and Isaac Schaffer (8-8-16), as well as juniors Cole Goecke (9-8-17) and Logan Fahey (2-8-10), are a well-rounded group that is effective at both ends of the ice.  

Senior goaltender Ayden Christ (.898 save percentage) has made nearly every start for the Bulldogs this season.  

Tyler Arends, Luverne

Monticello at Alexandria 
February 9 (7:15 PM)

The Moose travel northwest along I-94 to Runestone Community Center to take on Alexandria in an intriguing Class A matchup. The Cardinals are always tough at home. Can the Moose earn a big road victory?

Monticello is coming off a 10-0 rout of Northern Edge and has won nine out of their last ten games. The Moose are led up front by seniors Roman Thompson (29-22-51), Micah Sieben (8-7-15), and Gunnar Simon (15-34-49), as well as junior Landen Scherber (21-28-49), who will be leaned upon to carry most of Monticello's scoring. Monticello has found the back of the net on the power play 25.9% this season.  

On defense, seniors Cam Schmitz (1-9-10) and Brody Mich (4-13-17), as well as junior Adam Widmark (3-8-11), sophomore Levi Welle (1-7-8) and freshman Nicklas Nelson (4-16-20) are showing lots of early promise on Monticello's back end and help the Moose transition efficiently.  

Senior Owen Soderholm (.917 save percentage) has carried most of the goaltending duties for the Moose this season.

Alexandria is coming off a 3-2 victory over Duluth Denfeld and is riding a four-game win streak. At forward, the Cardinals are led by seniors Leo Kompelien (6-10-16), Gavin Olson (13-5-18), Kasen Muscha (4-9-13), and Evan Anderson (14-7-21), as well as freshman Grady Olson (5-9-14) carry most of the scoring load for Alexandria.  

On defense, seniors Jack Lamski (3-16-19), Gage Castle (3-2-5), and Bennett Hagen-Olsen (0-2-2), as well as sophomore Niklas Schultz (1-4-5) keep it simple in their end of the ice but don't mind dishing out the hits. Alexandria's penalty kill doesn't give up much, as it has shut down 86.8% of opposing power plays this season.  

At goaltender, senior Brady Metcalf (.922 save percentage) has made most of the starts this season for the Cardinals.  

Jack Lamski, Alexandria

Rosemount at Shakopee 
February 10 (2:00 PM) 

The Irish travel to Shakopee in this clash of South Suburban clubs. The Sabres prevailed, 2-0. The last time these two clubs faced one another was on January 9th. Can Shakopee pull off the sweep?

Rosemount is coming off a 9-0 rout of Farmington and is riding a six-game win streak. The Irish's forward group is led by seniors Hans Hedlund (9-25-34) and Luca Salak (8-9-17), as well as juniors Christian Garrity (15-13-28) and Benny Rutzick (9-9-18), are athletic and use their speed well give Rosemount solid scoring depth through their top two lines.  

On defense, seniors Owen Durigan (9-14-23) and Kade Lotysz (5-7-12), as well as junior Josh Toll (6-17-23), who moonlights a bit at forward and defense, are active in the offensive zone and likes to shoot the puck. 

At goaltender, the Irish have leaned on senior Trent Nelson (.906 save percentage) for most of the starts this season, but they have also utilized junior Cade Denny (.841 save percentage). 

Shakopee is coming off a 3-1 victory over Lakeville South and is feeling the momentum of a seven-game win streak. The Sabres' attack is led by juniors Cooper Simpson (North Dakota commit, 25-24-49), Peyton Chase (12-9-21), and Zach Docteur (9-4-13) as well as talented sophomores Cooper Siegert (23-22-45), Daylin Cline (4-16-20) and Nate Pederson (12-25-37) will have to carry most of the scoring for Shakopee up front. Shakopee's power play is dangerous, finding the back of the net at a 28.6% rate this season.

On defense, junior Will Youngberg (1-7-8), along with sophomores Carson Steinhoff (2-25-27) and Jack Kultgen (1-9-10), did a decent job of shutting down Rosemount's offense the last time. Can they do it again?

Senior goaltender Aleksi Huson (.940 save percentage) has been a source of stability and confidence for the Sabres all season long.

Jack Kultgen, Shakopee

Northern Lakes at Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper 
February 10 (5:00 PM) 

The Lightning go down to New Hope Arena to take on Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper in an exciting Class A vs. Class AA matchup. Can Northern Lakes demonstrate they can punch above their weight with a win over the Wings, or will Armstrong/Cooper tone down the Lightning?

Northern Lakes is coming off an 8-0 rout of Morris/Benson Area and have won two of their last five games. The Lightning is led at forward by seniors Logan Verville (9-9-18), Taylor Berg (11-9-20), and Kolby Severson (5-7-12) as well as juniors Drew Paulbeck (16-19-35), Jerome Martin (15-10-25) and Easton Anderson (6-5-11) give Northern Lakes quality scoring depth.  

On defense, senior Isaac Peterson (2-8-10), junior Wyatt Balmer (5-13-18), and freshman Grant Vershey (0-6-6) are a group that likes to get involved at both ends of the ice. The Lightning's penalty kill is solid, stifling opposing power plays at 86.3%.

Senior goaltender Nigel DeSanto (.893 save percentage) has made most of the starts this season, but the Lightning have used sophomore Hunter Moreland (.887 save percentage) too.

Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper is coming off a 5-1 loss to Spring Lake Park and has won three out of their last five games. The Wings are led at forward by seniors Tanner Rausch (22-15-37), Jameson Essen (11-23-34), Aidan Cooke (7-8-15), and Charlie Goergen (15-22-37) as well as speedy juniors Lewis Majkozak (11-9-20) and Dawson Franke (5-3-8) give Armstong/Cooper solid scoring depth. Armstrong/Cooper's power play lights the lamp at a 29.2% rate.

On defense, senior Dayton Franke (0-6-6), Andrew Morgan (0-4-4) and Jack Jangula (1-4-5), junior Logan Gatti (4-6-10) as well as sophomore Hobey Skulstad (1-5-6) are physical and love to go for the open ice hit.  

At goaltender, the Wings have leaned on junior Ryan Melsha (.844 save percentage) for most of their starts this season, but they have utilized fellow junior Braeden Cooperas well. 

Tanner Rausch, Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper

Maple Grove at Lakeville South 
February 10 (7:00 PM) 

This is an intriguing battle of northwest metro powerhouse Maple Grove as they make their way to Hasse Arena to face southeast metro powerhouse Lakeville South. This game should provide exciting comparables for many Class AA seeding meetings, but which crimson-and-gold-clad team will have more to boast about?

Maple Grove is coming off a 6-0 rout of Blake and has won four out of their last five games. The Crimson are led at forward by seniors Lucas Busch (UMass-Lowell commit, 17-16-33), Luke Giuliani (7-7-14), David Kukkonen (5-11-16), Jackson Kuznik (7-5-12) and Andrew Karkoc (12-12-24) as well as junior Brady Aubut (8-7-15) give Maple Grove a desirable mix of speed, size and skill up front.  

On defense, seniors Connor Stelljes (4-8-12) and Owen Smith (6-12-18), as well as sophomore Logan Lutner (4-8-12), are intelligent, capable puck movers who help keep the Crimson on the attack. The Crimson penalty kill is strong, shutting down opposing power plays at 88.9%.

Junior Zach Price (.926 save percentage) has shouldered most of the goaltending workload so far, but they have also utilized senior Henry Friese (2 shutouts).

Lakeville South is coming off a hard-fought 3-1 loss to Shakopee and has won five out of their last six games. At forward, the Cougars are led by senior Eiji Hoffmann (9-8-17) as well as juniors Jackson Ernst (18-11-29), Will Kortan (9-18-27), and Brayden Olsen (8-14-22), who carry most of Lakeville South's scoring up front. The Cougars' power play is potent, lighting the lamp at a 27.4% rate.  

On defense, senior Evan Kasal (1-6-7), junior Luke Johnson (0-15-15) as well as sophomore Emmett Hartmann (1-1-2) are a defensive corps that keeps it simple in their end of the ice and focuses more on limiting scoring chances than taking chances to join the rush. The Cougars' penalty kill shuts down opposing power plays at 87.3%.

At goaltender, the Cougars have split starts between senior Brooks Currie (.880 save percentage) and junior Carson Hauger (.937 save percentage) this season.  

Will Kortan, Lakeville South

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