With the section playoffs fast approaching it’s time to take a look at which goalies could get hot down the stretch to help lead their team to the State Tourney. Remington Keopple of Hill Murray and Tyler Steffens of White Bear Lake have had tremendous seasons this far and looked poised for a section 4AA rematch. Should this happen, expect to see one of the best goalie battles we have seen in the state all year. Below is our list of goalies though who have flown under the radar so far this season but could make some noise in the playoffs. Everyone knows you need good goaltending to be successful in the playoffs, and here are some of the goalies who could make a big impact come sections. Here is our top goalies to keep an eye on the remainder of the season and into sections.
Cody Ticen – Lakeville South
The Junior goaltender has exploded onto the scene recently for the Cougars. After splitting games for the first half of the season, Ticen as emerged as the starting goalie for Lakeville South and has started 6 of their last 7 games. He has a season GAA of 1.32 and an incredible SV% of .945. Look for South to have a great chance to return to the X this year.
Dominik Caspers – Marshall
Marshall has been in the section final or semifinal in 4 of the last 5 seasons, but has been unable to make it to the tourney during that span. Caspers, entering his 3rd year as the starter, is having a tremendous season currently posting a 14-8 record with a 1.75 GAA and .931 SV%. He has also faced 568 shots this season with an average of just under 25 per game. Could this be the year he helps Marshall finally get over the hump and into the Tourney?
Ben Dardis – Mahtomedi
After losing in the State semi-final last season Mahtomedi returns looking for redemption this season. After a solid season last year, Dardis returns this season and has started every game for the Zephyr’s this season. Dardis currently has a 14-7 record with a .925 SV%. Dardis has some big wins this season as well against AA teams including Hill-Murray and St. Thomas. Expect Mahtomedi and Dardis to challenge for a State Championship this year.
Noah Rupprecht – Thief River Falls
The road to state for section 8A has run through Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks in recent years. It appears this year we are headed for a 3 horse race between Warroad, East Grand Forks, and Thief River Falls. While Thief River has lost to both Warroad and East Grand Forks this season, Rupprecht gave his team a chance to win stopping 72 of 79 shots he faced in both games combined. Rupprecht also has an astonishing 7 shutouts this season and is currently riding a 3 game shutout streak. If Rupprecht remains hot look for Thief River Falls to have a chance at getting to the X this year.
Bennett Weestrand – Eastview
After a slow start to the season, Eastview has been on a role as of late. They’ve won 6 of their last 7 and are currently on a 4 game winning streak. A big part of their success has been because of their senior net minder. Weestrand has averaged over 30 shots a game this season and currently boasts a .925 SV%. Eastview and Weestrand appear to be getting hot at the right time. If Weestrand can steal a game for them, look for Eastview to be a dark horse team in section 3AA.