Area lacrosse teams prepare for competitive section

Blaine boys’ lacrosse has been one of the shining programs in the north metro so far this spring.

The squad is 9-0, 7-0 at the top of the Northwest Suburban Conference and ranked in the top 10 after a 21-2 win at Coon Rapids May 13.

Andover’s Drew Michalski, right, tries to collect the ball against Spring Lake Park’s Skylar Fischer during the Huskies 12-4 win to conclude the regular season May 23.   Photo by Bill Jones

Andover’s Drew Michalski, right, tries to collect the ball against Spring Lake Park’s Skylar Fischer during the Huskies 12-4 win to conclude the regular season May 23.
Photo by Bill Jones

Thirteen different Bengals scored against Coon Rapids, led by Eric Zickermann’s six points (five assists) and James Warner’s four points (two goals). Tyler Cline added three goals and three others collected three points.

Zickermann not only leads the Bengals in points, with 53, but is tied for the state points lead with Rochester Century’s Drew Applegath. Zickermann’s 39 assists lead the state

For the third time this season, Blaine held its opponent to two goals, which is its season-low for goals against. They have yet to give up double-digit goals, reaching nine goals against three times.

Three nights earlier the Bengals beat out Holy Angles 10-9 for a non-conference win against a high-profile club in Richfield. Blaine attack Ben Bulman led the way with five points (four goals) and Brenden Nadeau picked up his fifth win of the season in goal.

The Bengals have a plus-85 goals differential, averaging 14,5 goals per game.

Austin Nastrom’s 4.17 goals against average ranks second in the metro behind Champlin Park’s Joey Dokken and Nastrom’s teammate Nadeau ranks 10th for goals against with a 6.61 average.

Andover

Andover is 2-6, losing its last three out of four games through a 10-7 Northwest Suburban Conference loss at Osseo/Park Center May 10.

The Huskies picked up wins against Owatonna (11-9, April 30) and 18-5 against Elk River, May 6.

Nick Tollinger and Adam Wilczek have provided much of the attack, accounting for 29 goals, 15 and 14, respectively. Tollinger leads the team with 20 points and Wilczek has 17 points. Jake Klockers has 10 points (eight goals) and 10 others have contributed to the scoring so far this season.

Senior defenseman Jared McComber leads the team getting to 62 ground balls in just eight games, including 10 in the loss to Osseo/Park Center.  He ranks seventh in the state in ground balls.

Andover goalie Ryan Olson has made 95 saves in 384 minutes in net for a .562 saves percentage.

Anoka

Anoka ran its winning streak to six games before dropping its last two games which came on the road against key Northwest Suburban Conference foes, Champlin Park and Maple Grove.

During the winning streak the Tornadoes averaged more than 12 points while giving up six goals against.

Senior Dan Horsch has 25 goals and 15 assists for 40 points which is good for the ninth most in the state through May 13. Junior Brandon Fleischman leads the state in ground balls, reaching 86 through eight games, which is nine more than Osseo/Park Center’s Boone Almquist who sits second in the state with 77.

Anoka goalie Dayne McCullough has a 6-3 record with a 7.32 goals against average and .504 saves percentage. He’s made 66 saves in nine games.

Coon Rapids

Coon Rapids might be 4-5 and the team has been outscored by 19 goals but the team is setting new program benchmarks winning back-to-back Northwest Suburban Conference games for the first time in program history, 14-9 at Centennial April 29 and 8-7 against Andover May 1.

The Cardinals earned a 12-11 overtime win against Spring Lake Park May 10 but followed that with a 21-2 trouncing at the hands of Blaine May 13.

Senior attack Max Polson is among the state leaders in goals with 31 (three goals behind Maple Grove’s David Corazalla and Burnsville’s Charlie Fredericks) and the team has four players with at least 11 goals through May 14. Polson scored five times against the Panthers. Erik Svoboda and Brett DeBaker each had two goals in the win. DeBaker and Chad Ziegler scored the only goals against Blaine.

Connor Kirkeide has 21 points (17 goals), DeBaker has 13 goals (14 points) and Robbie Randall has 21 points (11 goals).  Kirkeide and Randall lead the team with 22 ground balls each.

Senior goalie Ryan Weitgenant is 4-4 with an 11.07 goals against average but his .625 save percentage is among the state’s best.

Spring Lake Park

The Panthers opened the Section 7 tournament at Coon Rapids May 29 after compiling a 7-6 regular season which saw the club place third, 4-2, in the five-team North Suburban Conference standings.

Marcus Mulvihill led the offense with 49 goals and 55 points, while Skylar Fischer and Sam Faulkner proved to be key contributors with 33 and 31 points, respectively. Fischer reached a team high 67 ground balls and Faulkner collected 54 ground balls.

Goalie Blake Johnson posted a .661 saves percentage and made 197 saves in 594 minutes to compile a 7-6 record.

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