Although perhaps not as highly anticipated as the northern battle between Hermantown and Duluth East, this matchup is as good as it gets in terms of southern Minnesota hockey. The teams have a combined 10-2-1 record and feature two of the state’s elite scorers in Dodge County’s Brody Lamb and Mankato East’s Layten Liffrig, both of whom are living up to sky-high expectations.
Lamb, a junior forward committed to Minnesota, has tallied eight goals and nine assists to rank among the state scoring leaders. There’s no shame in the lone loss for the Wildcats (4-1-1), as it came in a 12-1 setback against No. 1-2A Maple Grove on Jan. 23 — a game that was hastily arranged because of a sudden, COVID-19-related opening on the Crimson’s schedule.
Liffrig, a senior with 153 career points, scored a goal and added an assist in last Thursday’s 4-0 victory over intracity rival Mankato West. Liffrig has nine goals and 12 assists this season for the Cougars (6-1-0). Mankato East’s lone loss came in its second game, a 3-2 setback on Jan. 19 against Northfield.