Hometown pride, scoring knack fuel Elite League's Farrell
Wyatt Farrell of La Crescent is one of the top scorers for Sanford Power of the Elite League and is within reach of one of the state's most coveted high school scoring records. Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com
Wyatt Farrell loves playing for his home town. He loves tugging on that green and white La Crescent jersey. Loves looking up into the stands and seeing buddies, classmates and family cheering wildly for him.
He also loves scoring goals. Lots and lots of goals. With one more sensational season, Farrell, a senior, could match or top one of the state’s most hallowed high school records: former Little Falls star Ben Hanowski’s all-time mark of 196 career goals.
“That would be crazy,” said Farrell, who is fine-tuning his game while playing for Sanford Power in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League this fall.
Farrell said he was previously unaware he was within range of Hanowski’s all-time career goal mark. “I mean obviously it would be pretty cool, but I would brag more about going to the state tournament,” he said. “Especially since we’ve never done it.”
Through 12 Elite League games Farrell was tied for second on Sanford Power with five goals and tied for fifth on the team with eight points. Four of his goals have come in his last four games.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him, and I know the players have, too,” Sanford Power coach Scott Oliver said. “He is excited to be there every weekend. He has a really good work ethic. He’s very coachable.”
Farrell’s presence in the league from a far-flung corner of the state (La Crescent is in the extreme southeast, just south of Winona) is not unlike that of Tyler Hennen a year ago. Hennen, from Hallock in the state’s northwest corner, scored the playoff championship-clinching goal for Sanford Power last season, then parlayed his Elite League development into a stunning 71-goal, 123-point high school season for Kittson Central that culminated with a commitment to play Division I hockey at Augustana College.
“Hennen was great for us and then he went back to high school absolutely took it up another notch,” Oliver said. “I expect Wyatt to do the same thing.”
Farrell said playing in the Elite League has forced him to be mindful of specific aspects of his game.
“I’ve learned to keep my speed up and play physical, always,” said Farrell, who needs to match his 52-goal output from last season to tie Hanowski’s career record. “Once I go back to high school it is going to feel a whole lot easier, not having to play against people like these guys.”