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Lakeville South eyes 3-peat in Section 1AA

01/08/2021, 11:00am CST
By Let's Play Hockey

Cougars poised for deep postseason run

Griffin Ludtke is one of several top returning players for Lakeville South, who are favored to win Section 1AA for the third year in a row. Photo by Tim Kolehmainen/Breakdown Sports

Lakeville South returns five of their top six scorers as well as senior goaltender Cody Ticen as they lead the charge into the 2021 season as clear favorites of Section 1AA.

After reaching the state tournament for the second year in a row last season, the Cougars will look for a three-peat in a section that has been owned by Lakeville North and South for 9 of the past 10 years.

Lakeville South will no doubt be a top-10 team when the Let’s Play Hockey pre-season rankings come out next week; the question is will they be a top-5 team?

They have the talent. Griffin Ludtke, a Nebraska-Omaha commit, is one of the top defensemen in the state and will likely be in the running for the Reed Larson Award. Ticen, meanwhile, will likely be vying for the Frank Brimsek Award as the state’s top goaltender. Cam Boche returns as the top scorer after posting 12-25-37 last season and Cade Ahrenholz, a Colorado College commit, chimed in 18-15-33.

Lakeville North, meanwhile, will be down somewhat after losing their top six scorers and their starting goaltender from last season where they won 18 games. But a program like Lakeville North doesn’t rebuild, they reload, and will have plenty of talent coming through the pipelines.

A sleeper team that could pose an upset threat to South would be Hastings. The Raiders return Tyler McCarville, another goalie with Brimsek nomination potential, and Jonathan Peine, who tallied 23-25-48 as a junior last season when the Raiders won 18 games. Jake Harris, Jax Schauer and Jager Kendall all return as well after posting 20-plus points last year.

Northfield also returns some talent. Carson VanZuilen and Spencer Klotz both scored 55 and 52 points, respectively, last season. VanZuilen needs 33 points to break Jake Enebak’s school record.

But it is Lakevilel South's section to start. We will see if it is theirs when it ends.

Here is a team by team breakdown of Section 1AA:


Section: 1AA

Conference: South Suburban

Head Coach: Scott Macho

2019-20 Record: 6-18-2

Conference Record: 3-13-1

State Tournaments: 1994, 2000, 2016

Top returning players: Logan Weierke (12/F, 9-12-21), Dylan Dodson (11/F, 9-10-19), Carter Hendrickson (12/W, 6-8-14), Ryan Holmstrom (11/C, 2-11-13), Logan Lukasezck (12/D, 1-6-7), Tyler Conway (11/D, 1-1-2), Travis Ruesink (12/F), Brandon Straw (12/G, 0-0-0, 4.45 GAA/.833 SV%)

Graduation losses: D Kyle Berg, F Carson Blasing (All-SSC HM), F Ryan Gruber, F Aaron Marschall (All-SSC), G Dylan Modjeski, D Ryan Rouleau (All-SSC HM), G Zach Trewick

Team Outlook: The Tigers have lost 10 seniors from last years team but still return a couple of their top scorers. That includes Logan Weierke who had 21 points last season and Dylan Dodson had 19 of his own. There will be a battle between seniors Owen Reller and Brandon Runze to see who will become the starting goalkeeper this season.



Section: 1AA

Conference: Metro East

Head Coach: Adam Welch

2019-20 Record: 19-6-3

Conference Record: 8-2-1

State Tournaments: 1971, 1985, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Top returning players: Jonathon Peine (12/F, 23-25-48), Jake Harris (11/F, 13-12-25), Jax Schauer (12/F, 11-13-24), Jager Kendall (12/F, 8-13-21), Kyle Bauer (12/F, 5-11-16), Collin Stewart (11/D, 1-6-7), Joe Benson (12/D, 0-5-5), Jack Nicklay (11/D, 0-4-4), Stephen Reifenberger (11/F, 1-2-3), John Chorlton (11/D, 1-1-2), Simon Hedin (12/G, 0-1-1), Tyler McCarville (12/G, 0-1-1), Luke Savage (11/F, 0-1-1), Connor Stroffel (11/F, 1-0-1),  Holden Richardson (11/G, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA/1.000 SV%)

Graduation losses: D Alex Foster, F Chase Freiermuth (All-Metro East), F Jack Klimek (All-Metro East), D Terry Kuhn, F Keean LaFerriere, F Leo Otto (All-Metro East), D Cody Vieth, F Griffin Wise)

Team Outlook: Hastings will be a very competitive team in this section even though their defense was decimated by graduation. They bring back Tyler McCarville who is a potential Frank Brimsek winner and he will be able to help a young defense. Senior Jonathon Peine is expected to have a big season after coming off of a 48 point junior campaign. His main supporting crew includes Jake Harris, Jax Schauer and Jager Kendall who all had over 20 points last season.

Lakeville South

Section: 1AA

Conference: South Suburban

Head Coach: Janne Kivihalme

2019-20 Record: 21-9-0

Conference Record: 13-4-0

State Tournaments: 2002, 2003, 2004 (as Lakeville), 2008, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2020

Top returning players: Cam Boche (12/F, 12-25-37), Cade Ahrenholz (12/F, 18-15-33), Jack Novak (12/F, 5-26-31), Griffin Ludtke (12/D, 9-16-25), Jack Malinski (12/D, 9-15-24), Tanner Ludtke (10/F, 6-11-17), Eli Miller (10/F, 12-5-17), Jed England (12/F, 6-9-15), Ashton Dahms (10/F, 4-7-11), Mason Johnson (11/D, 3-7-10), Brett Johnson (12/D, 1-7-8), Camden Dean (11/F, 1-5-6), Joe Guentzel (11/D, 1-1-2), Jacob Gunderson (12/D, 0-1-1), Ben Portner (11/F, 0-1-1)

Graduation losses: F Reis Calderon, F Tommy Kroll, F Zack Oelrich (All-SSC), D Caden Rubischko (Reed Larson Finalist), F Ryan Williams

Team Outlook: The Panthers are the favorite to win this section and they return a ton of talent across the board. One of those talents is goaltender Cody Ticen who is a candidate for the Frank Brimsek award. They return a solid core group of seniors in Cam Boche, Cade Ahrenholz, Jack Novak, Griffin Ludtke, and Jack Malinski who have the aspiration and legitimate chance to make a deep postseason run.

Lakeville North

Section: 1AA

Conference: South Suburban

Head Coach: Jake Taylor

2019-20 Record: 18-8-1

Conference Record: 11-5-1

State Tournaments: 2002, 2003, 2004 (as Lakeville), 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 State Champions, 2018

Top returning players: Mario Gasparini (12/D, 4-10-14), Luke Jech (11/F, 4-10-14), Ben Monson (12/D, 1-13-14), Ben Davidson (12/D, 0-5-5), Zach Enebak (11/D, 0-4-4), Tyler Kochevar (12/F, 1-3-4), Wesley Brunello (11/D, 1-2-3), Ben Tousignant (12/F, 1-3-4), Thomas Nelson (12/F, 1-1-2), Chase Camilli (11/F, 1-0-1), Kaleb Hurd (11/D, 0-1-1), Griffin Pehrson (12/F, 0-1-1), Max Reddan (12/D, 0-0-0), Skylar Vetter (12/G, 2-0-1, 1.27 GAA/.953 SV%)

Graduation losses: F AJ Anello (All-SSC HM), F Sam Enebak, F AJ Haider, F Ben Konik, F Keaton Kranz (All-SSC HM), G Caleb Mayer (All-SSC), D Cole Pearson (All-SSC), F Tom Shandorf, F Caden Smith (All-SSC)

Team Outlook: The Panthers lose seven of their top nine scorers from last season which will hurt them tremendously on the offensive end but they return an experienced defense which will be the strength of their team. Another big hole for this team will be at the goaltender position as last season’s starter Caleb Mayer has graduated. 



Section: 1AA

Conference: Big 9 

Head Coach: Mike Luckraft

2019-20 Record: 15-11-0 

Conference Record: 13-3-0

State Tournaments: 2017

Top returning players: Carson VanZuilen (12/C, 16-39-55), Spencer Klotz (11/F, 28-24-52), Josh Kruger (12/D, 8-18-26), Will Tidona (12/W, 5-16-21), Ryan Will (12/W, 10-9-19), Isak Johnson (12/D, 5-8-13), Bohbe Hasse (12/W, 6-5-11), Davis Royle (12/D, 2-9-11), Matthew DeBuse (11/D, 2-5-7), Joel Gehrke (12/F, 2-1-3), Joey Malecha (11/D, 1-1-2), Jacob Kluzak (12/F, 0-1-1)

Graduation losses: F Griffin Amy, D Kai Anerson, F Nate Fink, G Cal Frank, D Kearic Gargrave, W Teague Nelson, F Ethan Severson 

Team Outlook: The Raiders will be another competitive team in the section as they return a majority of their roster and are led by stellar upperclassmen Carson VanZuilen and Spencer Klotz. VanZuilen had a team leading 55 points last season on 16 goals and 39 assists. Klotz racked up 52 points on 28 goals and 24 assists.


Rochester Mayo

Section: 1AA

Conference: Big 9

2019-20 Record: 7-9-0

Conference Record: 10-16-1

State Tournaments: 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948 (as Rochester), 1982, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000 

Top returning players: Javan Hodge, (11/D, 11-18-29), Noah Grethen (6-10-16), Chandler Dennis (11/F, 5-8-13), Mark Olson (11/D, 4-2-6), Cooper Henderson (12/D, 2-3-5)

Graduation losses: F Bryce Baker, G Max Cothern, F Luke Kathmann, F Will Rowned, F Will Weick (All-Big 9)

Team Outlook: The Spartans bring back four of their top five scorers from last season and return a lot of varsity experience. This is a team that will use last seasons experience to jump forward towards a potentially successful season. They will be led by junior Javan Hodge who had 29 points last season and senior Noah Grethen who put together 16 points on six goals and 10 assists.


Rochester John Marshall

Section: 1AA

Conference: Big 9

Head Coach: Jay Ness

2019-20 Record: 5-12-0

Conference Record: 2-14-0

State Tournaments: 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948 (as Rochester), 1977 State Champions, 1978, 1979, 1988, 1989, 1996

Top returning players: Sam Eagen (12/F, 14-4-18), Sam King (12/D, 6-12-18), Ryan Hus (11/F, 4-1-5), Xander Yuhas (12/D, 1-4-5)

Graduation losses: F Sam Hanson, D Breken Magle, D Aki Oura, D Shawn Sutton (All-Big 9 HM), F Ben Terpstra, F Teejay Torgimson (All Big-9), D Deontae Veney

Team Outlook: The Rockets lose five of their top seven scorers from last season but will lean on seniors Sam Eagen and Sam King to help lead the team. Eagen put up 18 points last season on 14 goals and 4 assists while King had 18 of his own on six goals and 12 assists. They also bring back all three goaltenders from last season, giving them depth at the position. 


Rochester Century

Section: 1AA

Conference: Big 9

Head Coach: Josh Klingfus 

2019-20 Record: 20-5-2

Conference Record: 14-0-0

State Tournaments: 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948 (as Rochester), 2005, 2007, 2009

Top returning players: Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth (12/F, 30-42-72), Aidan Swee (11/F, 14-9-23), Owen MacDonald (12/F, 5-7-12), Matt Haun (11/D, 1-9-10) Isaiah Hunter (12/D, 6-4-10), Ben Ziebarth (12/D, 0-4-4), Owen Merges (11/F, 1-0-1), Per Boyum (12/F, 0-0-0), Sam Burmester (12/F, 0-0-0), Kroix Klingfus (10/F, 0-0-0), Chris Morreale (12/F, 0-0-0), Branigann Stalder (11/G, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA/.000 SV%)

Graduation losses: F Luke Corrigan, F Gavin Gunderson (All Big-9), D Riley Leif, F Joey Malugani (All Big-9), D Connor Olson (All-Big 9 HM), G Tim Pundt (All-Big 9), F Ty Trageser, D Sam Williams (All-Big 9)

Team Outlook: The Panthers lose three of their top four scorers from last season but bring back senior Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth who had a superb 72 points last season on 30 goals and 42 assists. He will be expected to lead the team offensively and shoulder a lot of the load.


Section: 1AA

Conference: Big 9 

Head Coach: Josh Storm

2019-20 Record: 19-7-0

Conference Record: 13-2-0

State Tournaments: 1998

Top returning players: Dom Valento (12/C, 20-22-42), Zach Kubicek (12/F, 23-17-40), Taylor Bogen (11/F, 9-20-29), Casey Johnson (12/C, 13-13-26), Tanner Stendel (11/F, 9-8-17), Wyatt Oldefendt (12/D, 10-5-15), Devon Rush (11/D, 3-6-9), Sam Sampson (12/F, 5-2-7), Brody Homan (12/D, 0-6-6), Grant Achterkirch (11/D, 1-4-5), Aaron Bangs (12/F, 0-4-4), Joey Dub (11/D, 0-4-4), Zach Kirsch (12/F, 2-2-4), Sam Knoll (11/D, 2-2-4), Casey Pederson (11/F, 0-2-2), Levi Kubicek (11/D, 1-0-1), True Gieseke (12/G, 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA/.960 SV%), Preston Meier(11/G, 1-1-0, 2.50 GAA/.889)

Graduation losses: F Austin Mundt, F Collin Pederson (All-Big 9), G Zach Wiese (All-Big 9)

Team Outlook: The Huskies will be a strong team in this section as they bring back a large portion of their roster from last season. They return two 40 point scorers in Dom Valento and Zach Kubicek as well as junior forward Taylor Bogen. Bogen recorded 29 points last season on nine goals and 20 assists. They will need to figure out their goaltender situation as starting goalie Zack Wiese has departed due to graduation.

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