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Select 15 (Part 3) Review

By frederick61, 04/26/13, 12:30PM CDT


The puck goes wide of D3 goalie Sean Daley in the second period against their preliminary game against D2. D3 lost that game to D2 7-5

The Select 15 Festival opens play this weekend at Bramaer Arena in Edina.  The competition is divided into three pools.  The Red Pool was reviewed in Part 1 previoously posted, the White Pool was reviewed in Part 2, and the Blue Pool (D3, D4, D15, and D16) is review here in Part 3.

District 3 should be the big dog in this pool.  They just have too much fire power and should easily win all three games.  Look for a lot of D3 scoring in this pool.  But also note that since this Festival is not about teams winning games, but about how individuals play the game, each minute on the ice counts towards evaluation winning or losing.

District 15 and District 16 should mix it up for #2 in the Blue Pool with D16 the slight favorite.  The enigma in this pool is D4, but unfortunately for D4 they draw D3 in their first game Saturday morning and will need to hold it together playing a strong team in their first game.

YHH believes that D3’s Ben Meyers (#32) and Jack Kelly (#8); D4’s Chaz Smedsrud (#6) and Garret Malmquist (#25); D15’s Zach Pierskalla (#10) and goalie James Mrozek (#47); and D16’s Cole Hartje (#18) and Davis Beauchamp (#4) are the players to watch in the Blue Pool.  Some combination of these players will set the standard for moving on to St. Cloud.

District 3 Select 15 Team

District 3 was reviewed by YHH two weeks ago.  It can be read here.

District 4 Select 15 Team

District 4 Selects have nine players from D4 on the team, four from Marshall, three from Luverne, one from New Ulm and one from Windom.  The other 12 spots are filled by players from other districts.  The D4 numbers are down this year and YHH suspects one of the principle causes was the late spring snowstorms making travel difficult.

The remaining 12 spots on the D4 roster were filled by players from four other districts, but districts are all tough (D3, D6, D8, and D10).  All select teams are cobbled together in some way, and except for the travel involved, D4 is no different than the other district select teams.  The test will be how the D4 team play improves over the weekend.

The story with the D4 selects this year is Marshall.  The Marshall Varsity made it to the state tourney last season edging Luverne and Hutchinson in Section 3A play.  That team was loaded with senior players, so the four Select 15 players from Marshall (Dylan Criquet-Danielson, Mason Penske, Aaron Owen, and goalie Sam Kontz) will likely be the core of the Tigers over the next three seasons.  They all played for Tiger’s Bantam A team last season.

Luverne continues to struggle to translate their success at the youth hockey levels into success in post season play at the high school level.  The Cardinal high school team lost only four games last season, two to Marshall.  The second loss eliminated the Cardinals from a State Tourney entry.  This year Luverne have three players on the D4 selects (Jack Baustian, Andrew Reisch, and Chaz Smedsrud).  Baustian and Reisch played on the Luverne Bantam A team that lost to Redwood Falls in the District 5 playoffs.

Smedsrud posted 50 points playing for the Luverne Varsity last season.  Like the Marshall selects, the Luverne selects will be interesting to watch.  With these players and with Toby Sengvongxay, another Luverne varsity player, playing in the Final 54 this weekend plus a number of good players coming off the Luverne peewee A team that made it to the state last March, things are looking good for the Cardinals’ varsity.

The final two D4 select players from D4 are Brady Haberman from the Windom Bantam B team and Ethan Kraus from the New Ulm Varsity.  The Windom Bantam B team made it to the South Regional eventually losing to the St. Cloud Bantam A team.  Kraus was one of the 5 top scorers for the Eagles’ Varsity team last season.

The 11 imports to the D4 team come from D6, D3, D10, and D8.  These 11 players were smart enough to realize that opportunity to play at the Festival can be a career changer.  It has happened before where imports to the D4 selects made it to St. Cloud and went on to move up in the high school ranks.

D6 placed three players on the D4 team (Ryan Murray/Prior Lake Bantam AA, Zac Rodeheffer/Chaska Varsity, and Garret Malmquist/Edina Bantam A team).  Rodehefferer played a full season for the Chaska Varsity.  Malmquist played on the Edina Bantam A State Tourney runner up team that lost to Mahtomedi last March.

D3 also placed three players on the D4 selects, Mark Wilson/Orono, Bauer Neudecker/St. Louis Park, and Jeff Greeninger/Wayzata.  All three played bantam A/AA last season.  D10 placed Reese Grailer/Anoka and Conner Gagnon/Spring Lake Park.  Gagnon is the eighth Spring Lake Park player to play in the Select 15/HP-16 Festivals.

Three D8 players, Logan Severson/Lakeville North, Chase Johnson/Farmington, and goalie Nick Hart/Rosemount, made the D4 selects.  All three played bantam AA hockey last season.

District 15 Select Team

Last spring, Moorhead placed seven players on the D15 selects, five played varsity for the Spuds this past winter.  One player, Alex Mehnert, is in the HP-16 Final 54 this weekend at the PIC.  This spring, the Moorhead Association placed two players from their Bantam AA team (Alex Erickson and Jack Fahrendorf) and one player from their Bantam A team (Joseph Franklin) on the Select 15’s.  Smaller numbers can happen when a number of good players come through the system, the good players at bantam and peewee levels will “drown out” the players trailing by a year.  Some associations abide by that philosophy by selecting (what they think are their best players) and making the group their A level players year after year as a way of developing their program.
It is doubtful that Moorhead does that, in this case it just happened.  It will be interesting to watch this group of Spuds over the next two years.

If it isn’t Moorhead in D15, then it is usually Brainerd.  But the Warriors also managed to place only three players on the D15 selects this year (Brandon Kalenberg, Eric Stout, and Mitchel Andres).  All three played Bantam AA hockey last season.

Detroit Lakes placed two players (Samuel Boomgaarden and Andrew Dahl) off their Bantam A state tourney team; Little Falls placed two players also, Landon Bjorge and Daniel Marod, from their Bantam A team.

Four Alexandria bantam A players made the D15 Selects; Mackenzie Strong, Jack Steffl, Gavin Wilkins, and Wyatt Wittenburg.  Alexandria edge Detroit Lakes to win the D15 regular season title, Detroit Lakes came back to edge Alexandria for D15’s #1 seed to the West Regional.  Moorhead AA and Brainerd AA bantam teams were the only two teams in the D15’s Bantam AA league last season.

The remaining five D15 selectees all played varsity last season.  Two Park Rapids varsity players, Kiefer Miller and Matt De La Hunt made the selects.  Both played a full season on the Panther varsity team.  A third varsity player is Zackary Pierskalla from Prairie Centre High School (a combination of Long Prairie and Sauk Centre players).  Pierskalla was a top 5 scorer for the North Stars.

Northern Lakes Varsity placed Derrek French on the D15 Select team.  French was a top 10 scorer for the Lightning playing a full season on the varsity team.  Goalie Ben Thoma played varsity for the Bagley/Fosston Flyers and shared the nets with two other players.  Thoma posted a 2-4 record and a GAA of 5.43.

Goalie James Mrozek from Bloomington Kennedy is the second goalie on the D15 team.

District 16 Select Team

District 16 select team this year has only one varsity skater on the team; Christian Larson from Bagley/Fosston varsity.  Larson was a top 5 scorer for the Flyers last season; but when watching the D16 team play think Bemidji with a hint of Green Wave.  Eleven Bemidji and East Grand Forks players made the 20 D16 select spots this year.

The Bemidji Association was the big winner this season and that tracks with what happened the past two years, the Bemidji peewee and bantam teams have done well.  The Lumberjacks placed six players from their Bantam AA team on the selects; Nickolas Leitner, Tarron Baker, Joshua Lusby, Cole Hartje, Jack Johnson, and Brady Tatro.  The bantam AA team won the D16 regular season title but could not beat Duluth East in the North Regional to get to the state tourney.  They lost twice to the Hounds and were eliminated.
East Grand Forks Association’s Bantam A team placed five players on the selects; Davis Beauchamp, Ethan Kringlen, Branden Shea, Bauer Brown, and Thomas Pace.  The Green Wave bantam A team made it to the State Tourney and lost to rival Thief River Falls in the consolation championship game 3-2.  Three Thief River Falls players on the State Consolation Championship team, Brendan Bushy, Lucas Magnusson, and goalie Kade Nelson made the select 15.

Roseau placed four players on the District 15 team, Bryden Stoskopf, Vladimere Olson, Brandon Lund, and goalie William Woolever.  Warroad placed a single player, Beau Wilmer, from their bantam A team on the D16 selects.  Goalie Ben Thoma played varsity for the Bagley/Fosston Flyers and shared the nets with two other players.  Thoma posted a 2-4 record and a GAA of 5.43.

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