Wednesday, May 15, 2013

UMD Hockey Awards; Other Offseason Notes

We have a few things to clean out of the proverbial notebook regarding UMD hockey.

For starters, UMD announced its annual player awards Tuesday night. Senior Mike Seidel is the team MVP. Seidel led the team with 17 goals, tied for the team lead with 34 points, and was named the Fan Favorite Award winner during the last weekend of the season.

Forward Tony Cameranesi was voted the team's top rookie. He tied Seidel and fellow freshman Austin Farley with 34 points, scoring 14 goals and making an impact on the UMD power play.

Freshman Cal Decowski was named the most improved player. Six of his eight points came over the final nine games of the season, as Decowski found a role on the second power play and developed chemistry on the fourth line.

Senior defenseman Drew Olson won Most Inspirational Player honors, and rightfully so. Senior Keegan Flaherty got the Community Service Award -- also richly deserved for all he did. Junior defenseman Tim Smith got the Bob Junkert Award for leading the team in plus-minus.

It appears that UMD's 2013-14 schedule is even closer to getting finalized. The Bulldogs have added an Oct. 7 exhibition against Lakehead University of Thunder Bay. That Monday night game comes four days before UMD's season opener against Michigan Tech at Amsoil Arena.

UMD's series at Minnesota could still be altered. Games are scheduled for Nov. 22 and 23, but Minnesota's football team is scheduled to host Wisconsin on Nov. 23. It's possible that the second game of the series could move to Sunday as a result. And, yes, it seems the "Main U" still insists on fielding a football team for reasons I can't articulate.

The Bulldogs' first taste of NCHC action comes Oct. 18 at Colorado College. The conference home opener isn't until Dec. 6 against St. Cloud State.

Last week, it was announced that forwards Joe Basaraba (senior) and Adam Krause (junior) will serve as co-captains for the 2013-14 team. Solid choices. I've known Basaraba was captain material from about the midway point of his sophomore season. Krause's effort and work ethic -- along with his classroom prowess -- make him a very good leader.

But as much as I like the choices for captains, it's worth pointing out that no good team relies solely on captains for leadership. There are a slew of guys -- specifically, I'm talking about players like Justin Crandall, Smith, and even Caleb Herbert and Andy Welinski -- who should be able to provide leadership, either vocally or by example with their play and work.

By the way, this offseason sucks. It's already been going on too long. The losses to Wisconsin were an incredible buzzkill, and the excitement about the future is ramping up. Let's get started already!

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