One for the thumb: Hochsprung backstops Lakeville South to fifth straight Section 1AA championship

Jack Hochsprung made 31 saves and four different players scored as Lakeville South won the Section 1AA boys hockey championship game on Thursday at the Rochester Recreation Center.


ROCHESTER — The helmets and sticks and gloves littered the ice at the Rochester Recreation Center.

There were hugs and high-fives, back-slaps and pictures with a trophy as the centerpiece.

While Lakeville South’s players, coaches and fans soaked in a fifth consecutive Section 1AA boys hockey championship — courtesy of a hard-fought 4-1 win against rival Lakeville North — their thoughts were also with teammate Tate Pritchard. One of the Cougars’ top guns, an offensive star whom coach Josh Storm refers to as a potential NHL prospect, Pritchard left the game with 4 minutes, 5 seconds remaining.

The standout senior forward suffered a deep, severe cut to one of his hands, a skate blade having cut all the way through his glove. Pritchard skated off the ice and immediately went down the tunnel, then to the hospital.

South coach Josh Storm had no further information immediately following the game, but expressed his hope that Pritchard is able to recover fully, regardless of the timeline.


Pritchard is part of a big, 13-player senior class for the Cougars, all of whom seemed to contribute at some point in Thursday’s game. None stood out more, though, than goalie Jack Hochsprung.

Hochsprung was calm and collected throughout, making 31 saves, including 17 in the third period, to earn his 20th win of the season.

“The kid’s a stud, in my opinion one of the best around, if not the best,” Storm said. “Just his calmness all night. We had a few bad mistakes and he bailed us out, over and over again. ‘Hoch’ was the MVP tonight, no doubt.”

Lakeville South players, including senior Thomas Boisjolie (holding trophy) celebrate after beating Lakeville North 4-1 in the Section 1AA boys hockey championship game at the Rochester Recreation Center on Thursday, March 2, 2023. South has won five consecutive section championships.
Jason Feldman / Post Bulletin

South led 1-0 after one period on a goal by Pritchard, who redirected a point shot by Ryder Patterson past North’s sophomore goalie Carter Mayfield, who showed plenty of poise of his own, playing in his first section final.

South doubled its lead 6:25 into the second, when Jackson Ernst won a race to the puck in the corner to Mayfield’s right, then sent a perfect pass to Will Kortan at the near post. Kortan extended his stick with one hand on it and tipped the puck high past Mayfield to make it 2-0.

The teams traded goals in the final 1:09 of the period. North finally broke through, on a power play, when Griffin Kranz’s shot bounced off the endwall, directly to Tyler Arneson, who buried it in an open side of the goal.

But North’s momentum was short-lived, as on the next shift Dahms collected a pass from Ty Lafferty in the high slot, spun and ripped a shot past Mayfield to make it a 3-1 game.

That’s how it stayed in the third — despite North outshooting South 17-5 in the final 17 minutes — until South senior Thomas Boisjolie scored just his third goal of the season, into an empty net with 1:57 to go.


South had multiple other chances to extend its lead throughout the game, hitting three pipes (two by Pritchard, one by Dahms).

“Yeah, just win, that’s the end goal here,” Storm said. “The third period was weird, the oddest period of ice hockey I’ve ever been part of, from many different facets. I’m just really proud of our guys. We let one in, but they continued on and fought through and found a way to prevail. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

While four different players scored for the Cougars, Hochsprung took care of the rest on his end. He flashed his glove to rob Griffin Kranz on a wrist shot from close range with 5:51 to go, then squared up to stop Gavin Griffin on a 2-on-1 with Kranz just more than a minute later.

“I just try to keep calm as much as possible,” said Hochsprung, whose numbers are as outstanding as his play this season, 20-6-1, 2.24 goals-against average, .918 save percentage. “With stuff going on in front of me, I just tried to find the puck as quickly as I could and keep everyone calm around me. … It’s probably just the experience of having been through it. Last year I tried to stay as calm as possible, and tried to channel that again tonight and it worked out well.”

South (21-6-1) is now headed to state for a fifth straight year, while North’s season ends at 13-15-0.

“Things felt good tonight,” Storm said. “I loved our first two periods. Very veteran-type periods. We’ve been here before. There were two big mistakes in the second that could’ve led to goals (for North), but with the exception of that, I thought we outplayed them pretty substantially until the mess of penalties at the end.

“I’m happy with it; I thought our game was really good.”

NOTES: Lakeville split into two high schools in the 2005-06 school year. Every year since then, at least one of the two Lakeville schools, North or South, has played in the section championship. … One of the two Lakeville programs have won the section title in 13 of the past 14 seasons, the outlier being Farmington’s section championship in 2016. … North and South have played each other in 10 of the past 14 section finals. Farmington has been in the title game three times in that span (2014, 2015, 2016) and Hastings once (2020).



North 0-1-0 — 1

South 1-2-1 — 4

First period — 1. LS, Tate Pritchard 28 (Ryder Patterson 7, Aidan Willis 45) 10:18. Second period — 2. LS, Will Kortan 6 (Jackson Ernst 8) 6:35. 3. LN, Tyler Arneson 16 (Griffin Kranz 11, Gavin Griffin 14) 15:51 (pp). 4. LS, Ashton Dahms 25 (Ty Lafferty 31) 16:24. Third period — 5. LS, Thomas Boisjolie 3 (Dahms 20) 15:03 (en).

Shots on goal — LN 5-10-17—32; LS 16-12-5—33. Goalies — LN, Carter Mayfield (L, 6-4-0; 28 saves-32 shots); LS, Jack Hochsprung (W, 20-6-1; 31 saves-32 shots). Power play opportunities — LN, 1-for-3; LS, 0-for-1. Penalties — LN, 4-8 minutes; LS, 6-12 minutes.

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or
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