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Park Rapids' Zach Lehrke named Mr. Hockey finalist

Park Rapids Area's senior forward Zach Lehrke was named as one of 10 finalists for the 24th annual Mr. Hockey Award on Feb. 11.

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 in 25 games played this season, Lehrke has 48 goals and 40 assists for 88 points.

Lehrke is currently one of the top goal scorers in the state and is second in total scoring, trailing Mankato West's Ricky Litchfield by one point and sitting five points ahead of Little Falls' Beau Hanowski. As of Monday, Litchfield had 33 goals and 56 assists for 89 points while Hanowski has 42 goals and 41 assists for 83 points.

The other finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award are senior forward Tyler Barnes of Burnsville (21 goals, 25 assists for 46 points), senior forward J.T. Brown of Rosemount (32-32, 64), senior defender Corey Fienhage of Eastview (6-6, 12). senior defender Jake Gardiner of Minnetonka (16-26, 42), senior defender Joe Gleason of Edina, senior forward Justin Jokinen of Cloquet (21-18, 39), junior defender Aaron Ness of Roseau (23-37, 60), senior defender Drew Olson of Brainerd (17-16, 33) and senior forward Jake Youso of International Falls (29-31, 60).

The 24th annual Mr. Hockey Awards Banquet will be held at noon on Sunday, March 9 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. The Minnesota Minutemen announced on Feb. 11 that Joe Phillippi of Hill-Murray has won the Frank Brimsek Award. The senior netminder for the Pioneers had a .925 save percentage, stopping 371 shots for a 1.51 goals against average.

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).