The Litchfield / Dassel-Cokato boys’ hockey team has become a scoring juggernaut in the playoffs.
L / DC, the second seed in the Section 3A tournament, scored 14 goals in the first two playoff games last week as it progressed to the championship.
The Dragons, 9-8-2, will meet best-seeded Hutchinson, 12-6-2, Wednesday at 7pm at Burich Arena in Hutchinson with a spot in the State Class A Hockey Tournament at stake.
L / DC reached the section championship game with a flurry of foul, rolling past Luverne 8-0 on Thursday and then bouncing 6-0 at New Ulm in Saturday’s semi-final at the Litchfield Civic Arena.
The Dragons have lived off a balanced scoring attack all season, and it has continued into the postseason. Seven different players scored against Luverne, with junior forward Gavyn Lund being the lone repeat scorer.
Against New Ulm, all six goals were scored by another player, although Logan Benson had three assists in the second half to go along with an unassisted goal. Benson has 22 points in the season, including a team leader on eight goals and 14 assists. Jack Hillmann has 18 points on eight goals and 10 assists.
The Dragons’ dominance of both playoff games was reflected in shots, with L / DC outwitting its two opponents 118-35.
They will have to continue their aggressive style of play if they hope to get past Hutchinson.
The Tigers defeated Worthington 8-1 in the first round of the sectional tournament, then Willmar was eliminated 6-2 in the semi-final on Saturday.
The teams met twice in the regular season, with Hutchinson having the advantage of a win and a draw. A 3-3 tie came in the first meeting on February 2, while Hutchinson defeated the Dragons 5-4 two weeks later.
In the second meeting, Hutchinson jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first period before L / DC came back with three consecutive goals to even the match, only to have Hutchinson score late in the third to claim the win.
The teams also have a post-season history, with Hutchinson beating the Dragons 8-1 last season in the Section 3A championship match that opened a close game with six third-period scores. The teams also met in the semifinals of the section in 2016, with L / DC claiming a 5-4 win en route to the state tournament.
Both teams have come into contact with heat and cold this season.
L / DC started the season 4-1, but then hit a four-game winless streak (one tie and three losses), along with another three-game losing streak that gave the Dragons six losses in seven games. But they won four out of six when they entered the section finals.
Hutchinson has a three-game win streak, the fourth of the season. But the Tigers have also had tough times, including a four-game winless streak (three losses and a draw) just before the current win streak.
The Tigers are led by junior forward KK Starretts 14 goals and 15 assists. Junior Brady Knorr has 15 goals and seven assists.
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