Alexandria, MN (Oct. 12, 2023) 

For more information, contact: Johnny Van Atta, Director of Hockey Operations (615) 830-1113, [email protected] 

The Northstar Knights 2023-24 season is officially underway. During the first month of play, the Knights competed in the Minnesota Blades Showcase (Brooklyn Park, MN) and the Fargo Force Showcase (Fargo, ND) as well as home games against the Minnesota Lakers and Minnesota Blades. Returning behind the benches are coaches, Dallas Steward (16U), Mark Abalan (16U), and Rylan Galiardi (18U) along with incoming coach, Joe Cullen (18U). The 16U Knights, made up of 07 and 08 birth years. return a core of Deegan Hoffbauer, Bode Laylin, and Jaxon Kaebel along with highly touted newcomers from all over the United States from Minnesota, California, North Dakota, Colorado, Alaska and Washington. The 18U Knights, who feature 05 and 06 birth years, will lean on returners William Bisset, Dylan McCann, Andrew Leung, Alex Klimek, Gavin Hruza, Ryan Murphy, Michael Mathison, Jake Spraetz and Titus Keyes. “Every year the beginning is exciting yet building the foundation and how to play the game the right way takes time”, said 16U Coach, Dallas Steward. “The outcomes of the games create opportunities for the team and players to grow and be coached. The heart of Northstar is built on this belief.” 

The #24 ranked 16U Knights are off to a 6-4-2 start earning victories against #17 Bishop Kearney, #54 Anaheim Jr. Ducks, #75 Minnesota Lakers, #40 Minnesota Blades, #76 Colorado Thunderbirds and #14 Chicago Reapers. Through 12 games played, the Knights early success is reflected in out-scoring their opponents 46-32 along with strong special teams (24% PP, 93% PK). Leading the charge on offense is Hunter Rudolph with 17 points (11G, 6A) followed by Jaxson Kaebel with 12 (7G, 5A) and Hudson Routh with 8 (5G, 3A). Defensively, the Knights are led by Bode Laylin with 13 points (2G, 11A) and Zaide Penner with 8 (2G, 6A). Rounding out the solid defensive core are Deegan Hoffbauer, Jaxon Johnson, Alex Schlafman, Elias Schutt, and Jonathan Gross. In net, the Knights have a solid goaltending tandem with Christopher Dean and Gavin Erickson who both post identical numbers with 2.00 GAA and .915 SV%. 

The #38 ranked 18U Knights finish off their month of play with a record of 5-5-0. Through 10 games, the Knights earned victories against #63 Little Caesars, #28 Minnesota Lakers, #36 Chicago Fury, #14 Chicago Reapers and #30 Phoenix Jr. Coyotes. Although the Knights got off to a 1-3 start at the opening Blades Showcase, the team has roared back to a 3-0 record in their last 3 games. On offense, Gavin Hruza and Michael Mathison lead the Knights in scoring with 9 points, followed by Alex Klimek and Dylan Toth with 8. Andrew Leung and Hunter Friedrich lead the blueline with 5 points a piece. The 18U goaltenders are heating up as Trenton Carr has allowed 2 goals or less in back to back starts and Trevor Torres is coming off a 17-save shutout against the Jr. Coyotes. “It’s phenomenal to have the opportunity our staff and 45 young men have had this first month as Northstar Knights”, said 18U Prep Head Coach, Rylan Galiardi. “Although on the ice both teams have had highs and lows, the growth that has already taken place as a group and individually has been astounding.”

The Knights will host SDP Minnesota this coming weekend with different than usual game times. The 16U Knights will play at 1:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and the 18U Knights will play at 3:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. To watch all Knights home games, please visit the following link