Ham and eggs, chips and salsa, peaches and cream … some things just work as a combo.
Rosemount senior Trevor Brumm knows this. He knows when he’s lined up next to Luke Levandowski, good things tend to happen.
Things like crisp passes, myriad scoring chances and goals. Puck bags full of goals.
“For about half the season last year we were on a line together, and it was working pretty well,” said Brumm, a forward who had six goals and nine assists last season. “Especially at the beginning of the year. We were killing it.”
It only figures that no Rosemount player was more excited than Brumm to hear that Levandowski, the Irish’s leading scorer from last season and a University of Wisconsin commit, was returning for his senior year. Butch and Sundance ride again.
“When he told me he was going to be leaving (the USHL’s Chicago Steel) and coming back I got really excited because I know how well we work together,” Brumm said.
Excitement melted into disappointment when Brumm saw the lineup chart for Rosemount’s season opener against Burnsville. Levandowski skated on one line, Brumm on another in the 4-3 victory over the Blaze.
“I was a little disappointed in the first game that we weren’t together, but we talked to coach and got it together,” Brumm said.
Levandowski and Brumm teamed up to try to sell Rosemount coach Ricky Saintey on the merits of reuniting them. The pitch was a success, as Saintey teamed up the duo for the Irish’s second game, a 7-1 triumph over Shakopee on Jan. 16. Brumm scored twice and Levandowski had a goal and two assists.
“Like you saw, it worked really well,” Brumm said.
The Irish, ranked No. 17 in Class 2A, tied No. 7-2A Prior Lake 2-2 on Jan. 21 and beat Apple Valley 7-0 on Jan. 23. They are 3-0-1 heading into tonight’s matchup against No. 5-2A Lakeville South (4-0-0).
Rosemount’s strong start comes as something of a surprise, given the Irish’s massive losses to graduation (three top defensemen, No. 2 scorer Connor Kenefick and No. 1 goaltender Will Tollefson) and the early departures of standouts Charlie Stramel (a forward playing for the U.S. National Under-17 team), Broten Sabo (a forward with NAHL’s St. Cloud Norsemen) and defenseman Jake Ratzlaff (a University of Wisconsin football commit no longer playing hockey).
Top players leave. Returners take on heightened roles. Guys like Brumm step up their games.
"He’s a kid who competes," Saintey said about Brumm, who has three goals and two assists. "He works hard. He shoots it really, really well."
The importance of the return of Levandowski, a 28-goal scorer last season and one of 12 forwards selected to Legacy Hockey’s Preseason All-State Team, can’t be overstated. His scoring ability is among the best in the state. His speed rivals that of St. Thomas Academy dragster Jackson Hallum, a third-round NHL draft pick by the Vegas Golden Knights. St. Thomas Academy and Rosemount just happen to be the clear frontrunners to reach the state tournament of Section 3.
“I think they compare really well,” Brumm said about Hallum and Levandowski. “I mean they both are tremendous hockey players, there’s no doubt about that. Both have really good futures, especially for Mr. Hockey. It’s really close, but I give Luke the edge.”
Levandowski, who had a hat trick in the victory over Apple Valley and is No. 7 in Legacy Hockey's rankings of the state's top seniors, said the opportunity to play with his buddies, guys such as sidekick Brumm, and compete for chance to play in the state tournament swayed his decision to chose the Irish over the Steel.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play for my city, wear the C and have younger kids look up to me — just come back for the community,” Levandowski said. “I’m excited to be back, and a big part of it is just being able to finish out high school with my buddies.”