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Smash and dash

By Loren Nelson, 04/07/20, 12:45PM CDT


Hard-hitting Jake Ratzlaff and speedy Luke Levandowski are superb talents for No. 17 Rosemount

Rosemount junior defenseman Jake Ratzlaff is a Division I-caliber hockey and football player. Photo by Loren Nelson,

Our too-early look at Class 2A continues as we count down the top 25 big-school teams for the 2020-21 season.

17. Rosemount

2019-20 Record: 20-7-0
Playoffs: Lost 3-1 to St. Thomas Academy in Section 3AA semifinals
Seniors lost: 8
Early departures: 1
Goals for: 100
Goals lost: 40 | Goals returning: 60
Goals against: 54
Goalie minutes lost: 1218:31 | Goalie minutes returning: 151:01
Power-play percentage: 21.3
Penalty-kill percentage: 84.5

Rocket-fueled forward Luke Levandowski is a bona fide Mr. Hockey Award candidate, hulking defenseman Jake Ratzlaff has the size and shot of an NHLer and super-pest Broten Sabo is an early frontrunner for trash talker of the year.

How all of that translates into the 2020-21 season for Rosemount is the great unknown. The Irish have the makings of a section championship contender. On the flip side, because of heavy losses to graduation and a key early departure, they could be headed for a significant decline and another early playoff exit.

We’re betting on another solid season from the Irish and, perhaps, an extended playoff run. Our optimism rests mostly on the shoulders of Levandowski (committed to Wisconsin) and Ratzlaff (committed to Minnesota), juniors who are top-ten talents in the state in their age group. 

Levandowski scored 28 goals and finished with 51 points (both team highs) last season as he routinely terrorized opposing defensemen with his speed and relentless worth ethic. He joins Blake’s Joe Miller on the short list of forwards who will be locks to earn Mr. Hockey finalist status next season.

Ratzlaff, a football star drawing interest from several top Division I programs, is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound block of granite who scored seven goals and added nine assists last season. With the departure of seniors Mason Campbell (21 points), Garrett Horsager (16 points) and Mason Wheeler (13 points), Ratzlaff is the last of the Irish’s Big Four corps of defensemen. 

Forward Connor Kenefick (19 goals, 18 assists) and goaltender Will Tollefson (sparkling 1.76 goals against average and .926 save percentage) represent two more significant senior departures.

Freshman forward Charlie Stramel, who scored six goals and added 15 assists last season to finish fifth on the team in scoring with 21 points, has accepted an offer to play for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program next season.

Levandowski and Ratzlaff will receive plenty of support from Sabo, a world-class agitator who can also play some hockey — he scored eight goals and added 22 assists last season. Junior Trevor Brumm (15 points) and sophomore Owen Hendrickson (14 points) showed promise at forward, as did junior Brady Johnston at defense. Junior Zach Dosan saw limited action (three-plus games) last season in goal as Tollefson’s backup.

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