Hockey: Northstar Knights wrap up winning seasons at 18U and 16U levels

Both programs had dominant winning records, with the 18U program finishing 51-5-3 and with a second straight Dixon Cup title in the NAPHL.

Reese Laubach
Northstar Knights' 18U forward Reese Laubach, a Minnesota State Mankato commit, handles the puck during a game played during the 2021-22 season. Laubach helped the Knights finish with a 51-5-3 overall record as he scored a team-high 102 points on 51 goals and 51 assists.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Northstar Knights 18U and 16U hockey programs wrapped up their competitive seasons recently as both teams put together impressive records.

The 18U Knights won a second straight Dixon Cup title in the North American Prep Hockey League, and they finished with a 51-5-3 record overall. Northstar outscored opponents 311-111 with a 5.27 goals-per-game average.

Reese Laubach, a Minnesota State Mankato commit , led the offense with 102 points (51 goals, 51 assists), while Cody Croal was right behind him with 101 points on 42 goals and 59 assists. Those point totals are second and third, respectively, in all of 18U AAA hockey for the 2021-22 season. Dylan Cook also had a big season with 94 points on 35 goals and 59 assists.

The Knights had five players with 20 or more goals on the 18U team. Caleb Elfering (62 points) and Ashton Christman (50 points) each had 22 goals. Brian Morse led the way on the blue line with 74 points. His 61 assists were a team lead.

Logan Verpoort and C.J. Kier led the way in goal. Verpoort had a 22-2 record, while Kier finished 27-2-1 with a 1.16 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. Both those numbers ranked first in 18U AAA hockey this season.


The Knights’ 18U team saw 11 players sign tenders with North American Hockey League programs.

Northstar’s 16U team finished the season with a 43-8-6 overall record in their second season.

Brayden Berg
Alexandria's Brayden Berg brings the puck into the offensive zone for the Northstar Knights' 16U program during a game played on Jan. 28, 2022. Berg led the 16U Knights with 53 points this season on 30 goals and 23 assists.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Alexandria native Brayden Berg led the team in scoring with 53 points (30 goals, 23 assists). Lincoln Hjelm had 51 points (17 goals, 34 assists), Tanner Hunt had 46 (14 goals, 32 assists), Sam Kartch 44 (23 goals, 21 assists) and Gavin Hruza 39 (21 goals, 18 assists).

Northstar’s 16U team outscored opponents 200-90 behind a deep trio of goaltenders. Alexandria’s Beck Liden posted a 19-4-4 record as one of three goalies for the team. Liden had a 1.57 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

Max Weilandt was 19-3-2 with a 1.48 GAA and .935 save percentage. Merik Grinaker was 7-0 in net with a 0.75 GAA and a .941 save percentage.

The Knights’ 16U team will have 14 players move on to the 18U program next season.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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