A dozen players who could be difference-makers in the Section 1 boys hockey playoffs
The Section 1 boys hockey postseason begins Tuesday, with three first-round games in Section 1A and one in Section 1AA. Here are 12 players to watch as the section playoffs get underway.
The brackets are set. The pucks are on ice and ready to be dropped tonight, signaling the beginning of the Section 1 boys hockey playoffs.
Here are a dozen players to know — six each from Section 1A and 1AA, in alphabetical order — as the Trek to The X begins:
• Dixon Ehlers, Red Wing: The senior has been outstanding in goal for the Wingers, making 1,039 saves this season, an average of 41.6 per game. He is 11th in the state with a .924 save percentage and has six games of 50-plus saves this season.
• Wyatt Farrell, La Crescent-Hokah: The star sophomore forward is the state’s second-leading goal-scorer, with 44. He has helped the Lancers (13-10-1) finish better than .500 for the first time since 2016-17. Farrell has seven game-winning goals this season and has been lethal on special teams (16 power-play goals, 6 assists, 4 short-handed goals).
• Dakota Jahnke, Albert Lea: In a section filled with talented goalies, Jahnke is up there among the best. The junior is 17-7-0 with a 2.25 GAA, a .920 save pct. and six shutouts. His 17 wins are ninth-most in the state and his .920 save pct. is tied for 20th.
• Charlie Kielty, Lourdes: The senior defenseman has been on fire over the past month. Kielty leads Lourdes with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists). He has 21 of those 40 points over the past eight games, including two hat tricks.
• Spencer Klotz, Northfield: The state’s leader in assists (56) is also second in total points (85). Klotz helped the Raiders go 19-5-1. He has 18 points in the past five games and averages an incredible 3.40 points per game this season.
• Teis Larsen, Winona: One of the top scorers in the section, Larsen enters the postseason with 17 goals and 44 points this season. The sophomore forward has at least one point in 20 of the Winhawks’ 25 games.
• Tate Cothern, Mayo: The senior is 11-4-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and two shutouts. His save percentage is tied for seventh-best in the state. He had a 43-save shutout against Farmington — Mayo’s quarterfinal opponent — back on Dec. 23, in a 3-0 Mayo win.
• Kyle Doll, Lakeville North: The junior forward leads the Panthers in goals (20), points (41), special teams points (12) and game-winning goals (5). Doll has five goals and 11 points in the past six games.
• Matt Donovan, Dodge County: Donovan’s numbers aren’t as eye-popping as they were a year ago, when he centered a line with University of Minnesota-bound Brody Lamb, but Donovan has also missed half of this season due to injuries. The Bemidji State University football commit still enters the playoffs averaging 1.36 points per game (9-10—19 in 14 games).
• Matt Haun, Century: The senior defenseman is Century’s second-leading scorer (TJ Gibson has a team-best 30 points) and a team leader. Haun, a three-year varsity regular has 11 goals and 28 points through 23 games for the seventh-seeded Panthers. Haun has three two-goal games and five multi-point games this season.
• Jack Hochsprung, Lakeville South: The junior goaltender has been outstanding this season, posting an 18-3-0 record with a 1.42 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and six shutouts, while playing in the rugged South Suburban Conference. He is fifth in the state in wins (18), third in GAA and sixth in save percentage.
• Stephen Reifenberger, Hastings: The senior averages 1.46 points per game from the blue line on 16 goals and 19 assists. He has tendered to play for the Chippewa Steel in the North American Hockey League next season. He has 10 special teams points and four game-winning goals.