A handful of standout players from southeastern Minnesota dot the state statistical leaderboards this week.
They also dot our Stars of the Week list after turning in some of the best performances over the past week. Here’s a look at those performances and this week’s Power Rankings, as well as Games To Watch, in this week’s High School Boys Hockey Focus:
3 STARS OF THE WEEK
1. Brody Lamb, Dodge County
The junior forward and University of Minnesota commit showed off his skill in three games over the past week. He combined for nine goals and 16 points in those three games, wins against Lourdes and La Crescent, and an 8-7 OT loss at St. Cloud Cathedral.
2. Tate Cothern, Mayo
The Spartans’ goalie has the best save percentage in the state after backstopping Mayo to a 2-0 shutout against rival John Marshall on Thursday. That came on the heels of perhaps his best performance of the season, making 29 saves in a 5-2 win at Northfield last Saturday.
3. Dom Valento, Owatonna
The Huskies’ talented forward totaled eight points in three games over the past week, highlighted by a two-goal, five-point game in a 6-3 victory at Albert Lea on Tuesday.
Honorable Mention (Alphabetical Order)
• Dixon Ehlers, Red Wing: The Wingers’ goalie has been outstanding over the past week. He made 40 saves in a loss against Mankato West, then he one-upped himself on Thursday, making 61 saves in a 5-2 win against Albert Lea.
• Wyatt Farrell, La Crescent-Hokah: The Lancers’ freshman continues to put up big numbers; he scored all three of his team’s goals in a loss to Winona on Thursday.
• Sam Jacobson, Mayo: The young forward scored twice and added an assist in Mayo’s win at Northfield last Saturday.
• Isaac Rogne, Dodge County: The junior forward from Byron showed up big-time in his return from an injury earlier this week, scoring two goals in a 5-1 win against Lourdes on Tuesday.
• Cohen Ruskell, Mayo: Another of the Spartans’ top young players, Ruskell had a goal and two assists in the team’s confidence-boosting win at Northfield last weekend.
(Editor's note: These are considered "pound-for-pound" rankings, similar to many rankings systems in boxing and mixed martial arts. They represent the best teams in southeastern Minnesota, relative to the class they play in. Teams in the Big Nine Conference, Section 1A and Section 1AA are considered for these rankings.)
1. Lakeville South (12-0-1)
The No. 3-ranked team in the state keeps rolling along, and finding ways to win close games. The Cougars tied Lakeville North and beat Rosemount in OT in the past week.
2. Lakeville North (8-5-2)
The Panthers played rival South to a 2-2 tie and routed Burnsville 6-0 this week. Like always, North is heating up at the right time.
3. Hastings (11-4-0)
Speaking of teams heating up, the Raiders rolled past South St. Paul, 7-0, this week, then got perhaps their biggest win of the season, topping No. 4-ranked Mahtomedi 3-2 on Thursday.
4. Rochester Mayo (11-3-1)
The Spartans are 8-0-1 in their past nine games. They picked up a big win against Northfield, then outshot Faribault two-to-one in a tie, before finishing off a season sweep of rival John Marshall.
5t. Dodge County (9-3-1)
The Wildcats are still trying to find themselves defensively. They played a wild 8-7 OT game in a loss at St. Cloud Cathedral last weekend, then dominated play in a 5-1 win against Lourdes on Tuesday. They have a stiff test tonight at Little Falls.
5t. Mankato East/Loyola (12-3-0)
The Cougars earned a big, confidence-boosting victory against rival Mankato West on Thursday night, shutting it out 6-0.
TUC (TEAMS UNDER CONSIDERATION)
• Mankato West (10-3-2): The Scarlets have played nearly every opponent tough this season, but rival East has its number.
• Northfield (9-4-1): The Raiders edged Owatonna 3-2 on Thursday in a rematch of a tightly played game from a month earlier.
• Owatonna (9-4-1): The Huskies fall just slightly behind the Raiders because of the recency of the head-to-head loss. Owatonna’s four losses are better than Northfield’s four losses, though.
• Faribault (7-5-2): Goalie Maclain Weasler is keeping the Falcons in games; they earned ties against Mayo and Mankato West in the past two weeks.
• Lourdes (7-5-1): The Eagles went 0-2-0 this week, but both losses were to teams ranked in the Class A state poll.
GAMES TO WATCH
• Dodge County at Little Falls (Today, 7:15 p.m.): Another stiff test for the No. 18-ranked Wildcats, who hit the road to face No. 4 Little Falls (8-2-1).
• Mayo at Owatonna (Monday, March 8, 7 p.m.): A rematch of Owatonna’s 5-3 on Jan. 21, in the second game of the season. A young Mayo team has improved drastically since then, and has gone 8-0-1 in its past nine games. Owatonna is 3-3-0 in its past six, but its losses are to Northfield, and state-ranked teams Gentry Academy (No. 2-A) and Minnetonka (No. 13-AA).
• Mankato East at Mayo (Thursday, March 11, 7:15 p.m.): A non-conference game, but a big one for both teams, confidence-wise. The Spartans are 8-0-1 in their past nine. East is 5-1-0 in its last six and is coming off a big 6-0 win against rival Mankato West.
STATS THAT STICK OUT
• .949: Save percentage for Rochester Mayo goalie Tate Cothern this season. That’s the best mark in the entire state, regardless of class. Cothern also ranks 11th in goals-against average (1.38).
• 10: Goals scored by Mankato East against its top rival, Mankato West, in two meetings this season. East beat the Scarlets 4-0 back on Feb. 4. They shut them out again Thursday night, winning 6-0 this time. Who thinks West would probably like a third chance to have a better showing against its rival?
• 26: Goals by Dodge County junior forward Brody Lamb, the third-most in the state. Lamb also has 48 points, the fourth-most in the state.
• 26: Assists by Mankato East’s Layten Liffrig, the sixth-most in the state. Liffrig has 43 points, good for the sixth-best mark in the state.
• 80: Penalty minutes in last week’s 15-0 win by Albert Lea against Austin. The rivals combined for 14 penalties, including six game misconducts, three for each team.