Lincoln Hjelm Commits to University of Nebraska-Omaha

Alexandria, MN (Nov. 28, 2022) 

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

 

Northstar Knights 16U forward, Lincoln Hjelm, has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Hjelm, an Omaha native, is no stranger to the Mavericks program, having grown up just 20 minutes from the campus. “Playing at UNO has been a dream of mine since I was little and it feels great to be one step closer to that with my commitment,” Hjelm said. “I am thankful for the people that God has implemented in my life to help me reach my goal. I am especially thankful to Northstar for making me a better man not only on the ice but off the ice as well.” Since arriving at Northstar in the summer of 2021, Hjelm has been an impact player for the 16U Knights. Last season, he ranked 2nd on the team in scoring as he put up 51 points (17G, 34A) in 47 games played. His production and work ethic displayed throughout the season caught the eyes of the Waterloo Blackhawks who selected Hjelm 94th overall in Phase 1 of the USHL draft last May. This season, he has continued his development, ranking 2nd on the team in scoring with 27 points (11G, 16A) in 24 games played and leading the team with 12 Power Play Points (5G, 7A).  “Lincoln is a tremendous young man,” said Coach Mark Abalan. “He is the kind of player you want in your culture. He is a hardworking competitor who is team first all the time. A total leader and winner. I can’t say enough about how special of a young man Lincoln is. UNO has got themselves a real gem.”

 

Catch Lincoln and the rest of the Knights in action this weekend at the Northstar Sports Complex for the Northstar Knights Showcase, Friday December 2 through Sunday December 4. 


Alexandria's Brayden Berg, tenders with NAHL's Oklahoma Warriors

Alexandria, MN (Nov. 8, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights are pleased to announce the first tender signing of the 2022-23 season with Alexandria native, Brayden Berg, tendering with the Oklahoma Warriors of the NAHL. “I'm definitely excited to get to know the staff and coaches down there and get to work,” said Berg. “I’d like to thank the family at Northstar and all others who have helped me to this point. I’d like to thank the Coaches who helped develop me into the player I am today and my parents for all they have sacrificed for me.” Berg is in his 3rd season with the Northstar Knights and is in his first on the 18U Prep team. Last season he led the 16U team with 53 points (30G, 23A) in 43 games played. This season, he ranked 5th on the 18U Prep team with 19 points (5G, 14A) in 17 games played. “We are excited for Brayden as a three year Knight to get this hockey opportunity at a place we believe will be a great fit for him.” said 18U Prep Coach, Rylan Galiardi. “Brayden has had a great season and career so far. However, it is his growth as a young man that we're most proud of. The character and leadership traits that he has demonstrated this year have been a joy to watch as he grows into a Godly young man.” 

Stay tuned for more Knights tender signings going forward this season! 




Resiliency and Tenacity lead to Menghini Division 1 Commitment to University of Minnesota Duluth

 

Alexandria, MN (Oct. 26, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights are pleased to announce that Alumni, Anthony Menghini, has committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Brainerd, MN native played in the Knights program from 2019-2021. In 87 games played, Menghini racked up 113 points (42G, 71A). In his first season with the Knights, Menghini led the team in scoring with 69 points (28G, 41A) while on a loaded team with division 1 commits in Ben Strinden (University of North Dakota, Nashville Predators), Talon Sigurdson (Arizona State University), Jakob Stender (Minnesota State University) and Jacob Napier (Western Michigan University). That season he also earned a nomination to play in the NAPHL All-Star game. “I had some ups and downs over the last few years,” said Menghini. “After completing my sophomore year at Brainerd High School, I transferred to Northstar Christian Academy to focus on both my faith and hockey. My junior year was a fantastic experience, but ended early due to COVID.” Menghini’s 2020-21 season with the Knight's was unfortunately limited to 30 games due to various injuries. “My senior year started out strong, but I had two significant ankle injuries and sat out for several months, followed by season ending surgery which was disappointing.” Although his games were limited, Menghini was still very productive as he put up 44 points (14G, 30A) which tied him for 2nd on the Knights in points-per-game with 1.47. His contributions also helped the Knights to their first NAPHL championship in program history. “I was so thankful to be at Northstar as I had never missed hockey for an injury before, and the support I received during that challenging time from the staff and my teammates was such a blessing.”

Following his time at Northstar, Menghini moved on to play juniors with the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL where he put up 3 points in 16 games (2G, 1A). “I started last season at Des Moines, but was released after three months, and ended the season in the NAHL with the Austin Bruins.” During his time with the Bruins, Menghini reunited with former Knights teammate, Jens Richards, where he put up 31 points (20G, 11A) in 37 games. “Last year tested my confidence, and I feel that without my faith, I would have really struggled with everything,” said Menghini on the trials of the season. But thanks to his resiliency, scouts and coaches in the USHL took notice and he was rewarded by being drafted by the Fargo Force 188th overall in Phase 2 of the USHL draft. “Last spring I was drafted by the Fargo Force and I spent the summer training, both at home and at Northstar which prepared me for Main Camp and where I made the roster.” Since making the Force out of training camp, Menghini has been off to a hot start, as he is tied for 2nd on the team with 6 points (4G, 2A) in 7 games. Once again, coaches took notice of Menghini’s play, this time by NCAA division 1 schools. “Following this, I was contacted by multiple schools which was a little overwhelming. The coaching staff and Rick Randazzo were fantastic resources and helped me so much with the process. Finally, committing to the University of Minnesota Duluth this week is the beginning of the next chapter in my story. I feel like it is truly my testimony of trusting that God has a plan for me…and I need to wait on His timing. I am so thankful for this opportunity and for the foundation and support I have received from Northstar. Forever a Knight!” 

Tim Jackman, who coached Menghini for 2 seasons at Northstar, has seen first hand the grit and determination that the forward has displayed. “Congratulations to Anthony. It is a great testament to patience and endurance through ups and downs and injuries,” Jackman said. “His work ethic and discipline over the last 4 years has helped him accomplish this dream of his. All the best to Duluth with him and they are getting a tenacious competitor and a young man of God.” 

Menghini now becomes the 10th Northstar Knight to commit to an NCAA division 1 program joining Talon Sigurdson (Arizona State University), Joey Dosan (Army West Point), Jakob Stender and Reese Laubach (Minnesota State-Mankato), Ben Strinden and Cody Croal (University of North Dakota), Jens Richards (Vermont), Austin Moline (University of Northern Michigan) and Jacob Napier (Western Michigan University). Congratulations Anthony!




Knights Continuing to Build on Recent Success

Blake Steinbring - Bulldog Photography

 

Alexandria, MN (Oct. 19, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights 16U AAA and 18U Prep swept their opponents this weekend with the #24 ranked 16U Knights taking on the #121 ranked Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (Troy, MI) and the #2 ranked 18U Knights taking on the #73 ranked Team Minnesota.

The 16U Knights kicked the weekend off on the right foot defeating the Jr. Grizzlies 2-1. Jaxson Kaebel scored his first goal of the year and Jake Spraetz added the game deciding goal off a power play snipe from the right circle. Merik Grinaker turned away 14 of 15 shots on goal. On Saturday evening, the Knights offense exploded with 7 goals as well as pitching a shut out thanks to a 22 save performance from Brady Krey. Through 3 games, Krey has posted a SV% of .943 which ranked #7 in all of 16U AAA hockey in goaltenders who have played in less than 10 games and also holds a record of 3-0-0 with 1 shutout. “The defense has been awesome and probably the best I have ever had playing in front of me”, said Krey. “I love being here and how everyone backs each other up.” Scoring for the Knights were Ben Likness, Evan Leden, Jacob Peterson (2), Carter Sanderson, Jake Spraetz and Grady Stallman. Likness and Peterson had 3 point games and Bode Laylin added 4 assists. On Sunday, the Knights took down the Jr. Grizzlies for the 3rd time by a score of 2-1 with goals coming from Jacob Peterson and Michael Mathison. Stefano Carranza stopped 19 of 20 shots for the win in net. Through 13 games, Peterson has posted 9 goals and 2 assists for 11 points and is already 2 points away from surpassing his point total from last season. “I feel more comfortable and got faster over the summer,” Peterson said of the improvement he has made this season. “I like how the team has bonded in such a short time.”

The 18U Knights defeated Team Minnesota 8-1 on Saturday afternoon. Scoring for the Knights were Landon Dauner, Gavin Hruza, Joe Stauber, Kaleb Pitman, Caleb Elfering (2), Dawson McCann and Nate Farrell. Pitman added 3 assists for a 4 point game while Ryan Murphy added a team high 4 assists. Beck Lidén stopped 12 of 13 shots for his 6th win of the season. On Sunday, the Knights put up 8 goals again winning 8-3. Landon Dauner and Bronson Hunt scored 1 goal a piece and Gavin Hruza, Ryan Murphy and Jacob Lundeen each added 2 goals. CJ Sehlke started his first game in net for the season and stopped 16 of 19 shots. “We are playing simple and efficient right now,” said Shane Burns of what the key to the team’s success has been. “Our chemistry is getting better, goalies are making an impact and the boys are putting pucks in the net to help us win games,” Burns added. Through 12 games this season, the 18U Knights are 11-1-0, have won 10 games in a row, are outscoring their opponents 75-22, and boast a power play percentage of 33%. 

 

The Knights return back home this weekend to take on the Minnesota Blades at 4:30PM (16U) and 7:00 PM (18U) on Saturday night and at 9:30AM (16U) and 12:00PM (18U) on Sunday.




Northstar Knights Break Ground on Dormitory

Alexandria, MN (Sept. 29, 2022) 

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

After years of prayer, the Northstar Knights are excited to announce the groundbreaking of their state-of-the-art family dormitories. The dorms will be used to house not only Knights players in season, but also for coaches and families that come to visit FCA Hockey from all over the country. “This Project will be a tremendous asset for both the Knights program as well as FCA Hockey, impacting players and coaches from across the world for years to come.” said Northstar Director and Co-Founder, Rick Randazzo. The facility will total 26,000 square feet and will feature 28 rooms with the ability to accommodate 60 athletes, an industrial kitchen, lounge areas, and laundry rooms and game rooms. “We pray that it is a safe place for athletes and coaches to connect with the Lord during their time at Northstar,” Randazzo said. A vital new member to the Northstar Knights staff has been the Director of Development, Brian Downer. Alongside Randazzo, Downer has been instrumental in raising the funds to initiate the building process. “We're incredibly grateful for the immense generosity of our faithful donors and trust that they will be blessed beyond measure for stepping out in faith in support of the kingdom work happening here,” Downer said. “We will continue our fundraising efforts as the foundation of the dorm is completed this fall, and we will begin to build from the ground up when the weather warms this coming spring.”

Phase one of the dormitory project will be completed by early November 2022 and includes all of the groundwork preparing the site for a spring build.


Knights Undefeated in Home Opener 

Alexandria, MN (Sept. 29, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights 16U and 18U Prep swept the Minnesota Lakers in their home opener this past weekend. 

The 16U Knights battled hard in an even matchup against the 16U Lakers winning both of their games 4-3. On Saturday, Tyler Dahms and Evan Ledan scored goals while Grady Stallman added 2 with his second being the game winner with 1:11 remaining in the game. Lucas Schoenborn contributed with 2 assists and Merik Grinaker stopped 29 of 32 shots to win his first game of the year. Sunday was another close matchup as the Knights were tied 3-3 as regulation time ended. In overtime, Lincoln Hjelm took advantage of a power play opportunity as he fired a one timer from the left circle that beat the goaltender for his second time that game and to give the 16U Knights a 2-0 record for the weekend. Michael Mathison and Bode Laylin were the other goal scorers in the game and William Bisset added 2 assists, both of which came on the Power Play. Grady Stallman leads the Knights with 8 points (5G, 3A) and owns 26% of the Knights goals on the season. William Bisset is second on the Knights with 6 points (1G, 5A) followed by Lincoln Hjelm (2G, 3A) and Jake Spreatz (1G, 4A) with 5. 

The 18U Knights defeated the Lakers 8-0 on Saturday night. Dawson exploded with a 4 point night (3G, 1A) and other Knights to score were Caleb Elfering, Bronson Hunt, Cooper Fredericks, Joe Stauber and Landon Dauner. Tanner Hunt and Bauer Berry each added 2 assists. Beck Lidén stopped all 20 shots he faced for his first shut out of the year. On Sunday, the Knights won by the score of 9-2. The Knights were led by 4 point games from Landon Dauner (2G, 2A) and Ryan Murphy (2G, 2A). Kaleb Pitman and Caleb Elfering also added 2 goals a piece. Jake Lundeen rounded out the scoring by adding his first goal of the year. Shane Burns, Bronson Hunt, Brady Jones and Dawson McCann added 2 assists each. Noel Friedman got his second win of the season by stopping 23 of 25 shots for a .920 SV%. Through the first 6 games of the season, Bronson Hunt leads the Knights with 13 points followed by Caleb Elfering (11) and Ryan Murphy (8). Landon Dauner leads the team in goals (6) and Bronson Hunt leads the team in assists (9). Through the 2 game weekend, the Knights outscored the Lakers 17-2 and outshot 104-45 on the weekend to go along with 4 power play goals on 6 opportunities. 

The Knights will return to action when they travel to Fargo, ND for the Fargo Force Showcase on October 7-9.




Knights name Captains for 2022-23 season

Alexandria, MN (Sept. 28, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights are pleased to announce the captains for the 2022-23 season. 

Leading the 16U Knights are Defenseman, Andrew Leung (Seattle, WA), Forwards, Lincoln Hjelm (Omaha, NE) and Alex Klimek (Alexandria, MN) and Goaltender, Merik Grinaker (Fargo, ND). All players are returning for their 2nd season with the 16U Knights. “These men provide a great foundation to develop the heart of the team helping them grow, showing them what it means to be a Knight.” said 16U Coach, Dallas Steward.

 

Captaining the 18U Knights are Defensemen, Nate Farrell (Wheaton, IL), and Luke Russell (Alexandria, MN), Forwards, Cooper Fredericks (Miltona, MN), Caleb Elfering (Richland, WA), and Nathan Huntington (Berkeley Lake, GA), and Goaltender, Beck Lidén (Alexandria, MN). All players are 3 year veterans in the Knights program and provide a solid leadership core to the team. “I am excited for each one of these young men to be named a captain but specifically a captain at Northstar.” said Coach Rylan Galiardi. “We have high standards here at Northstar so for these young men to be recognized says a lot about their character.”

 


Knights Kick off 2022-23 Season at Minnesota Blades Showcase

 

Maple Grove, MN (Sept. 21, 2022) 

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

The Northstar Knights 16U and 18U Prep teams traveled down to Maple Grove, Minnesota to play in the Blades Showcase over the weekend. The 16U Knights went 1-1 on the weekend to go along with 2 ties and the 18U Knights went 3-1-0. 

The 16U Knights played the New Jersey Rockets (NJ), Windy City Storm (IL), Bishop Kearney (NY), and Chicago Mission (IL). In their first game, the Knights were defeated by the Rockets 7-1. Jacob Peterson got the lone goal coming on the power play, assisted by William Bisset and Jake Spraetz. The Knights then rebounded in game 2 on Saturday morning against Windy City where they tied 4-4. Grady Stallman led the way with 2 goals and Evan Leden and Bisset also added goals. Ben Likness contributed with 2 assists. In game 3, they took down Bishop Kearney 3-2 with goals from Peterson, Spraetz and Michael Mathison. Brady Krey was solid in goal for the Knights as he turned away 20 of 22 shots for a .909 SV%. On Sunday, the Knights took on a very strong opponent in the Chicago Mission where they tied 3-3. Goals were scored by Likness, Peterson and Stallman. Stefano Carranza saved 22 of 25 shots. Stallman and Peterson led the team with 3 goals over the weekend and Lincoln Hjelm, Bisset and Likness all led the Knights with 3 assists. After a humbling first game, the 16U Knights steadily improved over the weekend. “I’m very pleased with only being together for 7 days as a team with 18 new players to see how our team competed at a high level with a lot of room to grow.” Said Coach, Dallas Steward. “We are excited for the potential to grow as a team over the next 7 months.”

The 18U Knights took on the Florida Alliance (FL), Bishop Kearney (NY), Windy City Storm (IL), and Chicago Mission (IL). The Knights opened the showcase by taking down the Alliance 8-1. Landon Dauner and Shane Burns had 2 goals a piece and Bronson Hunt led the team with 4 points (1G, 3A). Beck Lidén and C.J Sehlke combined in net for the win. On Saturday, the Knights were defeated by Bishop Kearney 7-1 with the loan goal coming from a beautiful point shot from Max Evans. The Knights rebounded with a scrappy 3-2 win over the Storm as Bronson Hunt led the way again with 2 goals to go along with a goal from Dawson McCann. Newcomer, Noel Friedman, got the win in net, turning away 20 of 22 shots. The Knights closed out the weekend with a resounding win against the Mission, defeating them 7-2. Caleb Elfering opened up the scoring frenzy with 2 goals, with the other goals coming from Landon Dauner, Kaleb Pitman, Tanner Hunt, Dawson McCann and Nathan Huntington. Luke Russell led the team in points with 3 assists. Lidén returned back in net where he stopped 22 of 24 shots for a .917 SV%. With the weekend concluded, Bronson Hunt leads the team with 8 points (3G, 5A), and Shane Burns leads the defensemen with 5 points (2G, 3A). “The weekend was a great start to get our team back together and play some really good hockey games,” said Coach Tim Jackman. “We learned a lot about our group and each other and it was a great first step in our season!” 

The Knights play at home this weekend against the Minnesota Lakers on Saturday, September 24th at 4:30 PM and 7:00 PM and Sunday, September 25th at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM.


Strinden, Laubach become first Knights drafted into the NHL

 

The Northstar Knights made history Thursday, July 7th when forwards, Ben Strinden and Reese Laubach were selected in the National Hockey League Draft.

Strinden was selected by the Nashville Predators in the 7th round, 210 overall. The 6-3, 193-pound forward played for the Knights from 2018-2020 where he totaled 135 points (62 G, 73A) in 155 games played. He has played the last 2 seasons with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. After scoring 10 points (1G, 9A) in 23 games in the 2020-21 campaign, Strinden broke out this past season scoring 56 points (25G, 31A)  in 61 games while adding 7 points (3G, 4A) in 9 playoff games. His productive season caught the eyes of the Predators scouting department. “He’s a center with good size and is hard to play against,” Predators North American Scout David Westby said. “He’s another good competitor who we’ve targeted in this draft - great work ethic with speed.” Strindens former coach, Tim Jackman, had plenty of praise for his impact on the Knights program. “I had the pleasure of being one of Ben’s coaches for two years at Northstar,” Jackman said. “He has had a lot of firsts for the Knights…first ever goal, first-ever junior goal, first NCAA division 1 commit, and now the first player drafted in the NHL. I got to see firsthand a young man who goes about his business the right way every day. I believe Ben has the pain tolerance, determination, and joy for the game of hockey that he will make someone in Nashville look very smart. Ben’s a big-time player and an even better teammate and young man. Congrats to Ben, his family, and Nashville.” Strinden credits much of his hockey development to his time in Alexandria. “I would not have ever been in this position if it wasn’t for Northstar,” said Strinden. “That’s where I learned to be a hockey player, and most importantly to be a man of God and live out my faith in Jesus Christ." The Fargo, North Dakota native served as an alternate captain for the Lumberjacks this past season and is committed to playing collegiately at the University of North Dakota this coming season. 

Laubach, a San Jose native, was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the 7th round, 217 overall, and will have the opportunity to play for his hometown team. “It’s super awesome to be drafted by my hometown team, the San Jose Sharks,” Laubach said. “Being from San Jose, it was always my dream to play for the Sharks one day, and for me to get picked by them, it’s truly a dream come true. It’s obvious that God has a plan for me, and He has always laid out my path in front of me.” In his two seasons with the Knights from 2020-2022, Laubach smashed the record books racking up 177 points (84G, 93A) in 100 games played. His 177 total points and 84 total goals rank first in Northstar Knights history along with ranking him first in points (102) and goals (51) in a single season, both coming in the 2021-22 campaign. Laubach spoke highly of his development with the Knights both in his game and in his Faith. “I was placed at Northstar, and in my two years there, I grew tremendously as a hockey player, but more importantly as a Godly man,” said Laubach. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without my coaches and teammates from my two years at Northstar. They pushed me every day to be my best on and off the ice. I’m truly thankful for them. Yes, it is a big deal to be drafted, but I know that being selected is just the beginning. Lots of work to go. I’m super humbled and honored to be drafted by the Sharks.” Knights 18U Coach, Rylan Galiardi, had high praise for Laubach. “Our program is proud of this recognition for Reese,” Galiardi said. “To have a current player drafted is a credit to everyone involved at Northstar, especially his teammates. We preach both being a selfless teammate but also a competitive one and iron sharpens iron. Reese is a competitor with all the necessary skills to one day be a pro hockey player. However, it is Reese’s character and leadership that stands out. The way he conducts himself in every situation illuminates what we’re all about here in disciplining young men for Jesus to go out and impact the hockey world.” Laubach will play for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL next season and is committed to playing collegiately at Minnesota State-Mankato in the 2023-24 season. 

The Knights are thrilled to see the hard work and dedication pay off for these incredible Godly men and look forward to the impact they will have on their respective teams!

 

Alexandria, MN (July 12, 2022) 

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

 

 


Jens Richards Commits to University of Vermont

Northstar Knights Alumni, Jens Richards, has committed to the University of Vermont. Richards played with the Knights from 2018-2020 and accumulated 105 Points (51 Goals, 54 Assists) in 104 games and was selected to the NAPHL All-Star game the 2019-20 season. “I’m forever thankful I got to coach Jens Richards for two years and more importantly got to know him personally”, said Coach, Tim Jackman. “I’m excited for him to take this next challenge on and grow in his maturity as a young man and player at the college level. Vermont is getting a special man and family to be part of their program.” The Detroit Lakes, Minnesota native spent the past 2 seasons with the Austin Bruins of the NAHL. After scoring 13 points in 49 games in the 2020-21 season, Richards exploded with 41 points in 51 games to go along with 100 Penalty Minutes. Standing at 6-2, 195 lbs, Richards will bring both grit and a scoring touch to the Catamounts next season. “I am extremely blessed to commit to the University of Vermont and so thankful for everything Northstar has done for me”, said Richards. “The entire staff has been a tremendous help for me and I wouldn’t be who I am today with them. All glory to God!”

The Knights now have 8 alumni to commit to NCAA D1 Universities with Richards (University of Vermont), Cody Croal and Ben Strinden (University of North Dakota), Reese Laubach and Jakob Stender (Minnesota State Mankato), Jacob Napier (Western Michigan University), Talon Sigurdson (Arizona State University) and Joey Dosan (Army). 

 

 
Alexandria, MN (July 1, 2022) 

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