Monday, February 25, 2008

Park Rapids Standout, Zach Lehrke Among Minnesota Mr. Hockey (10) Finalists

Courtesy of Park Rapids Enterprise:

By: Vance Carlson

Zach Lehrke continues to reach milestones as a member of the Park Rapids-Menahga boys hockey team.

The senior forward became the all-time leading scorer in the history of the boys hockey program earlier this season.

On Monday, Lehrke was named as one of 10 finalists for the 24th annual Mr. Hockey Award. Lehrke becomes the first Park Rapids hockey player to receive that distinction.

Park Rapids’ Zach Lehrke (26) was named as one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Mr. Hockey Award. The award will be presented March 9 in St. Paul.

The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts, Division I college coaches and selected media members from around the state.

So far this season, Lehrke has 46 goals and 35 assists for 81 points. That is a single-season scoring record for the Panthers, breaking Tyler Lehrke’s 79 points during the 2003-04 season. Zach Lehrke’s 46 goals so far has shattered the single-season record he shared with his older brother of 34 and his 35 assists are approaching the school record of 45 set by Tyler Lehrke in 2003-04.

Lehrke is currently the top goal scorer in the state and is second in total scoring, trailing Mankato West’s Ricky Litchfield by one point and sitting three points ahead of Little Falls’ Beau Hanow-ski. Litchfield has 28 goals and 54 assists for 82 points while Hanowski has 37 goals and 41 assists for 78 points.

With his 81 points this season, Zach Lehrke has 194 in his career. Tyler Lehrke held the previous record with 192 career points, which included 89 goals and 103 assists. Zach Lehrke holds the school record with his 105 career goals and is second with his 89 career assists.

The other finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award are Tyler Barnes of Burnsville, J.T. Brown of Rose-mount, Cory Fienhage of Eastview, Jake Gardiner of Minnetonka, Joe Gleason of Edina, Justin Jokinen of Cloquet, Aaron Ness of Roseau, Drew Olson of Brainerd and Jake Youso of International Falls.

The 24th annual Mr. Hockey Awards Banquet will be held on Sunday, March 9 at noon at the Star Tribune Grand Ballroom at the River Centre in St. Paul. The Minnesota Wild and Acceleration Minnesota are co-sponsors of the Mr. Hockey Awards Banquet. The Mr. Hockey Award is hosted by the Minnesota Minutemen.

Other awards that will be presented at the banquet are the Frank Brimsek Award for the state’s top senior goaltender, the John Mariucci Awards for the Class A and Class AA coaches of the year, and the Cliff Thompson Award for the “Old Timer Coach” of the year.

Previous Mr. Hockey Award winners are Tom Corske (1985), George Pelawa (1986), Kris Miller (1987), Larry Olimb (1988), Trent Klatt (1989), Joe Dziedzic (1990), Darby Hendrickson (1991), Brian Bonin (1992), Nick Checco (1993), Mike Crowley (1994), Erik Rasmussen (1995), Dave Spehar (1996), Aaron Miskovich (1997), John Pohl (1998), Jeff Taffe (1999), Paul Martin (2000), Marty Sertich (2001), Gino Guyer (2002), Nate Dey (2003), Tom Gorowski (2004), Brian Lee (2005), David Fischer (2006) and Ryan McDonagh (2007).

For tickets to the banquet, contact Yvonne Feldkamp at (763) 422-9708 or Individual tickets for the event are $25.

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