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Squirt: '16 Wiz Wyatt POTY Finalists Named

By Tony Scott, 03/23/16, 9:15AM CDT

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Landen Gunderson, OMG

Player: Landen Gunderson
Team: Osseo Maple Grove
Position: Forward
Birth Year: 2004
Grade: 5th
School: Basswood Elementary
Parents: Trent and Alecia

When you watch Osseo Maple Grove, you see a very fast and skilled team that moves the puck very well. They won every game this past season except one. If you watch Landen Gunderson play, he is a mirror of his team. He is fast, he moves the puck really well and he is a winner. He is the type of player that can both score, pass and defend. 

Gunderson is like a chameleon on skates, one minute he is taking the puck end-to-end, the next he is shutting down the opposing team's best player...all with short and energetic shifts.  He has great awareness of the entire game, all while playing at a high speed. "Landen has a great passion for hockey. He is always working to get better and takes pride to give his best effort," said Osseo Maple Grove coach Matt Margeneau. "Landen is a highly skilled hockey player that has a high level of hockey IQ."

Landen is a top student who puts his studies as a priority before sports and is a multi-sport athlete who plays both baseball and golf. 


Landen Gunderson, Slugger


Charlie Sandven, Edina

Player: Charlie Sandven
Team: Edina (White)
Position: Defense
Birth Year: 2004
Grade: 5th
School: Concord Elementary
Parents: Terry and Kathy

One of the most fun players we saw this year was Charlie Sandven, from Edina White. He was like a Tasmanian devil on skates....a constant energy player who never quits. If we had an All White Breezer team for kids who weren't afraid to lay it on the line, Sandven would be the captain. "Charlie is a natural leader who loves and respects the game. Whether it is a game or practice, he shows up ready to compete every time," said the Edina White coaches. "He is a special player and person we'll definitely miss him next year."

This year Edina White won three tournaments - the Super Rink Spectacular, the Edina Invitational and the Fargo International. In Fargo, they knocked off previously undefeated Osseo Maple Grove in an exciting championship game 4-3. "The biggest game brings out the best in Charlie. If we needed a big goal, a blocked shot or a clear...we knew we could put him out there and he'd get the job done," continued the coaches. 

When not playing hockey, Charlie has never met a sport he didn't like. Last year he played traveling baseball, lacrosse and football.


Charlie Sandven, Catcher


Gavyn Thoreson, Andover

Player: Gavyn Thoreson
Team: Andover
Position: Forward
Birth Year: 2004
Grade: 5th
School: Andover Elementary
Parents: Bill and Carrie

Last year at our YHH Squirtacular, Andover had this player that was a disruptive force for the Huskies. It was Gavyn Thoreson. He was fast, strong on the puck and relentless in the tough areas of the ice. When he made our all tournament team as a first-year hockey aged player, we knew he'd be special this season. Gavyn did not disappoint. The first time we saw him, he scored a game winner in the Eden Prairie tourney semifinal. This year at the Squirtacular he was on the all-tourney team again, leading the Huskies to third place of 32 teams. And in Fargo, he was a show stopper, too. One expert sent me a text about Gavyn, "I've spotted the best player in the tournament...it is number 12 from Andover...wow."

"Gavyn's ability to move the puck and create scoring opportunities is simply amazing," said Andover assistant Jay Ekman. "I haven't seen a 10 year old as talented as Gavyn." The praise from his coaches continued, "Gavyn is relentless on the puck, he's like a bulldog out there," said Andover assistant Jeff Martin. 

Off the ice, Gavyn also plays traveling soccer in the Spring and Summer.


Gavin Thoreson, Striker


Ty Tuccitto, Stillwater

Player: Ty Tuccitto
Team: Stillwater
Position: Forward
Birth Year: 2004
Grade: 5th
School: Stonebridge Elementary
Parents: Bobby and Jenny

When Stillwater showed up for their team picture at the YHH Squirtacular, they had this player that was big and looked like Benny the Jet from the Sandlot. Little did we know, he would take over the ice just like Benny would the ball field. Stillwater won their pool and then beat Rosemount in an epic game to gain the semifinals. 

Ty Tuccitto was the Ponies "Benny" leading them both on and off the ice all year. "He is a very unselfish player who excels at both offense and defense. Not only was he the leader of this team he's the leader of his football and lacrosse teams, too," said Bob Dustin Stillwater's head coach. "My favorite part about Ty is he takes pride in shutting down the other team's top player. He's a big strong kid who can already shoot the puck like a pro." 


Ty Tuccitto, Monster of the Midway


William Whitelaw, Rosemount

Player: William Whitelaw
Team: Rosemount
Position: Defense/Forward
Birth Year: 2005
Grade: 5th
School: Red Pine Elementary
Parents: Michael and Cheri

William Whitelaw is the most electric and dominant Squirt hockey player we've seen since Grant Slukynsky in 2013. If there is a skill to be measured, he is the best at it - speed, hands and shooting are just a few of the many. Besides the obvious skills his compete level is fun to watch...he's never seen a deficit too large or loose puck the he doesn't think he can win. 

"William is an awesome talent, this year he has done great being a leader on our team both on the ice and in the locker room," said one Rosemount coach. "William has a great future in the game of hockey."

In the off-season, William is also a great lacrosse player for the Irish and a top student at Red Pine Elementary. 


William Whitelaw, Attack

Year Player Team
2015 Tyler Haskins Rochester
2014 Brock Faber Osseo Maple Grove
2013 Grant Slukynsky Warroad

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