PREP BOYS HOCKEY: Daily Globe 2013 All-Area Boys Hockey
#14 Austin Maxwell, Senior
Often tasked with stopping the opponent's top offensive threat, senior defenseman Austin Maxwell was always up for the challenge for the Luverne Cardinals.
"Austin is without a doubt the top player in southwest Minnesota," Luverne co-head coach Derrick Brown said. "He was a shut-down defenseman who controlled the game from the blue line. He played major minutes for us since he was a freshman.
"In games Austin played in during his career, Luverne's record was 73-21-4, while the team was 0-8-0 in games that Austin missed over the four years due to injury. He is an outstanding player that is very deserving of this honor."
Maxwell not only excelled at shutting down the opposition, as he also helped set up his teammates with 35 assists on either snipes from the blue line that created rebound opportunities or with crisp passes to the open man.
Maxwell added six goals, including three game-winners, in totaling 41 points his senior year. He ended his career with 121 points (32 goals, 89 assists), which is the most in Cardinals' history for a defenseman.
"Shoot low; help the team out and help the goalie out," Maxwell said of his team-oriented playing style. "We had a nice season, and we were able to beat some high-level competition.
"It was nice, because you knew if you played your role on the ice, everyone else would play their role."
Maxwell, who is undecided about his future plans, added, "It's a pretty big honor to be selected All-Area. There are a lot of good players in the area."
#9 Travis Janssen, Senior
Leading Windom Area in total points in both his junior and senior seasons, senior forward Travis Janssen totaled 106 points (63 goals, 43 assists) over two-plus seasons for the Eagles.
"Travis had a special career," Eagles' head coach Jon Ammerman said. "He worked extremely hard day in and day out to become a better hockey player. Travis also pushed his teammates to improve daily."
While Janssen gave a glimpse of his potential in his junior year with 23 goals and 17 assists, he exploded this past season with 38 goals (fifth-most in the entire state) and 25 assists, averaging 2.74 points per game in 23 contests played. His points total was tops in Section 3A and third-best in the Southwest Conference, while also ranking 12th in Class A and 16th statewide.
"It's really incredible to be honored as an All-Area selection," Janssen said. "There are a lot of good forwards in the area. It's quite humbling, and it shows that hard work pays off."
Janssen was also quick to credit his fellow Eagles for his success.
"A lot of it comes from my teammates," he said. "I really worked well with Zach Bartosh throughout my career and was blessed to have many good teammates on my line.
"I didn't score many unassisted goals and that's a credit to the team for getting the puck up ice, moving the puck well in the offensive zone and finding the open man."
Janssen's future plans include enrolling in online college classes while continuing to play hockey at the junior hockey level.
#33 Rylan Scholtes, Senior
As a three-year starting goalie for the Trojans, senior Rylan Scholtes faced over 2,000 shots on goal for Worthington.
"It's exciting," Scholtes said of playing in net. "All of your teammates depend on you and when you can stop the other team's breakaway, that's a great feeling."
Scholtes turned in a save percentage of .852 his senior season by stopping 585 of 687 shots, which included 68 shots in WHS's second game of the year against Luverne and 67 in the Trojans' season-ending loss to the Cardinals.
"I've seen more shots than a lot of goalies in the state of Minnesota," Scholtes said. "You see a lot of shots and you let a lot of goals in, but that's what helps you improve and get better as a goalie."
While Scholtes had a 5-12-0 record as a junior and a 4-14-0 mark as a senior, he was in net for every Trojans' victory the past three seasons, including first-round playoff wins the last two years.
"Rylan is arguably one of the best goaltenders in the Southwest Conference," Worthington coach Nate Grimmius said. "He faced a ton of shots on a team that struggled defensively."
Scholtes recorded five career shutouts -- three against Sioux Center, Iowa, with one in each respective season. He had another blank slate over Waseca his junior year and a final shutout in February over Fairmont in the opening round of the Section 3A playoffs.
"I've always had a fun time playing hockey," Scholtes said. "While it would've been nice to win a few more games, I've loved playing with the guys that have been my teammates since we were kids."
Honorable Mention Profiles:
In his second season with the Cardinals, Toby Sengvongxay joined forces with Austin Maxwell to form a formidable force along Luverne's blue line.
Sengvongxay totaled 43 points on 17 goals and 26 assists to set a Luverne record for most points by a sophomore. He has 64 career points (21 goals, 43 assists) through two seasons with the Cardinals.
One of the fastest skaters in the Southwest Conference, Levi Leach led the Trojans in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists.
Highlights for the senior forward included a four-goal hat trick against Sioux Center, Iowa, and a two-goal, three-assist game in Worthington's first win of the season at Fairmont.
Leach totaled 23 goals and 31 assists in his Trojans' career.
On a well-balanced Cardinals' team, two-time All-Southwest Conference selection Skyler Wenninger led Luverne in goals scored with 32.
The senior winger added 31 assists to finish with 63 points, which led Luverne for the second year in a row.
Wenninger amassed the sec-ond-most points in school history, finishing his Cardinals' career with 152 points on 75 goals and 77 assists.
Windom Area Eagles
After tallying 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) as a sophomore, Zach Bartosh improved that total by 30 in his junior season with the Eagles.
Bartosh was awarded with an All-Southwest Conference selection and combined with Travis Janssen to give Windom Area a strong one-two scoring threat. Bartosh finished with 21 goals and 24 assists for 45 points.
Logan Norman improved upon a 13-goal, 17-assist sophomore season by totaling 19 goals and 34 assists as a junior, which earned him an All-Southwest Conference selection.
With 83 points entering his senior season, Luverne co-head coach Derrick Brown said that "Logan will be a very dangerous player in the conference next season."
Luverne's Chaz Smedsrud led all freshmen in scoring -- not just in the Southwest Conference or in Section 3A -- but in the entire state of Minnesota.
Smedsrud earned honorable mention from the conference by posting 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points in his first season playing varsity.
The freshman winger rose to the performed particularly well in road games by scoring a hat trick in wins over section rivals Hutchinson and Marshall.
Kendall Meyer logged nearly 1,200 minutes in net for Luverne, helping the Cardinals earn a share of the Southwest Conference crown.
Meyer, who was an All-Conference Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore, earned All-Conference honors with 1.64 goals against average, .917 save percentage and a record of 19-4-1.
With 58 points on 22 goals and 36 assists, Gunnar Olson set a Luverne school record for most points as a junior.
Olson was honored as an All-Southwest Conference after being named honorable mention as a sophomore.
The Cardinals' winger sits just below 100 career points with 42 goals and 56 assists with one season left to play.
One of only five players in Luverne school history to top the 100-point mark, Jonny Solma turned in 13 goals and 28 assists as a senior.
Solma was an honorable mention selection for the second year in a row and finished his career with 42 goals and 72 assists.
Windom Area Eagles
In his senior season, Kyle Luhmann nearly doubled his career-point total while man-ning the Eagles' blue line.
With five goals and 12 assists as a senior, Luhmann finished his Windom Area career with nine goals and 25 assists in three seasons. The defenseman notched back-to-back playmakers (three assists) in Eagles' wins over Worthington and Morris/Benson Area early in the season.
Windom Area Eagles
As a freshman, Devin Nielsen certainly made an impact for the Eagles with 21 goals and eight assists.
Nielsen was selected as hon-orable mention by the South-west Conference. The Windom Area winger scored a hat trick in both games the Eagles played against Morris/Benson Area, while notching a five-point per-formance versus Fairmont.
In his year at the varsity level, Andrew Johnson immediately provided Worthington with a boost at forward.
Johnson played in all 20 of the Trojans' games and provided the club with 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points. He notched a hat trick in Worthington's win over Sioux Center, Iowa.