Boys hockey: Doherty named MVP, leaves as Cards' all-time leading scorer
The Alexandria boys hockey team had plenty to honor this winter season after proving themselves as a top-10 team in state.
The Cardinals were 20-6 overall and in the Let's Play Hockey top-10 rankings all year. They ran into the best Class A team in Minnesota in the section title game as St. Cloud Cathedral proved that by breezing through the state tournament for a title after a 4-1 win over the Cardinals in the 6A championship on Feb. 28.
Alexandria was led by a good group of seniors this winter, and none of them leaves with a more decorated career than center Ben Doherty. Doherty led the team in scoring this season with 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists), right in front of junior Caleb Strong (17 goals, 27 assists).
Doherty brought home a bunch of hardware from the Cardinals awards banquet as he was named this team's MVP, top scorer and also shared the Shriver Strong Award with fellow senior forward Jack Westlund (20 goals, 21 assists). That award goes to players who best exemplify strength, humility and kindness to others.
Doherty and Westlund played alongside each other on varsity starting in their freshman season and will leave this program as two of the best to ever come through it. Doherty set the new career scoring record in Alexandria as he finished with 168 total points (67 goals, 101 assists) during his Cardinals career. The guy he passed for that top spot is his uncle, Jon Cullen, who had 156 points (46 goals, 110 assists).
Westlund also leaves as one of the most potent goal scorers for Alexandria as his 136 points (71 goals, 65 assists) is third all-time in program history. Both Doherty and Westlund are looking at playing in the North American Hockey League in the near future as Westlund signed an NAHL tender with Minot, and Doherty is heading out to Alaska with the Kenai River Brown Bears for next season.
Fellow senior Alex Jost earned Alexandria's Most Improved Player Award. Jost finished with 17 points this season on nine goals and eight assists. Senior Hunter Croonquist (1 goal, 1 assist) earned the Cardinals' Most Inspirational Player Award.
Senior goaltender Bailey Rosch got the team's Defensive Player of the Year Award. Rosch had a 16-6 record overall. He posted a 1.92 goals-against average with a .919-save percentage during the regular season before bettering those numbers to a 1.67 GAA and a .938 save percentage during the three playoff games.
Another senior, Zach Wosepka, rounded out the team-award winners by earning both the Hardest Worker and Hobey Baker Awards. Wosepka saved his best for last by leading the team in scoring through three playoff games with four goals and one assist. That was after a 14-point regular season on six goals and eight assists.
Westlund, Doherty, Rosch and Strong were all named All-Central Lakes Conference players after Alexandria finished 11-2 in league play. Andrew Revering, Wosepka, Matthew Carlsen and Jost were honorable-mention selections.
Doherty and Revering, a junior defenseman, were both selected first-team All-Section 6A. Westlund and Rosch were named to the second team, and Carlsen, Jost, Strong, sophomore Joe Westlund and Wosepka were all-section honorable mention.