Congratulations to UMD senior Drew Akins, who has been named captain of the men's hockey team for 2009-2010. The full release from UMD:
Center Drew Akins, who enjoyed his most productive season as a collegian last winter, will captain the reigning Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff champion University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in 2009-10.
Fellow senior Jordan Fulton and junior defenseman Mike Montgomery have both been entrusted with assistant team captaincy responsibilities for the upcoming season.
Akins, a native of Excelsior, Minn., has been a fixture on the Bulldog front line the past three seasons, including in 2008-09 when he collected five goals and 10 assists for a career-high 15 points while taking part in all 43 games. He also had a pair of power play tallies to his junior-year credit and topped UMD in both penalties (33) and penalty minutes (82).
Fulton also established a personal best for scoring last winter, closing out the year with 17 points. The left winger from Brooklyn Park, Minn., ranked fourth among 2008-09 Bulldogs in goals (12), second in game-winners (three), fourth in shooting percentage (.130) and seventh in plus-minus rating (plus-6).
Montgomery was relocated to defense one year ago after being deployed as a reserve right winger the previous season and responded to his new assignment by racking up 10 points on two goals and eight assists in 42 games while finishing a plus-10. For his efforts, the Lino Lakes, Minn. product was bestowed with the Mike Sertich Award (UMD's Most Improved Player).
The Bulldogs, who posted a 22-13-7 overall record last winter and advanced to the finals of the NCAA West Regional, will kick off 2009-10 by taking on the University of British Columbia in a home exhibition clash on Oct. 3 before launching their regular season schedule the following weekend against Lake Superior State University and Northern Michigan University at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
When the countdown gets under 40 days, as it is now, it's time to get excited.