It was unanimous across the board this year in the voting by HighHorse writing staff. Presenting the 2nd Annual HighHorse Awards:
Huffer Christiansen Award (MVP): Mike Connolly gets our votes this year. It was his steady play and his two overtime winners that really catches attention. And it should be noted, as it is every week in the UMD media release, that Mike is still the only current UMD player to average better than one point per game in his Bulldog career. Two years down and two to go!
Rookie of the Year: The discussion came down to two names, Mike Seidel and Dylan Olsen. We will honor Olsen with his very impressive first half of the season and his overall plus/minus rating of +3. Any time you have defenseman in the plus range, you know they are good. And to step in as a freshman and do that is very impressive. Additionally, Dylan chipped in 11 points (1-10-11) helping on the offensive side of the team. Next year we look to Dylan to play more consistently throughout the year and anchor the defensive corps with Brady Lamb.
Most Improved Player: Hands down Rob Bordson is the most improved Bulldog. Going from zero points last season to 40 points this season is all that needs to be said. Bordson used his great numbers to ink a deal in the pros, thus giving up his last year of eligibility. Good luck to you, Rob.
7th Defenseman Award: Given to the defenseman who steps up, becomes a regular player for the team and makes an impact. This year we salute Wade Bergman. It is unexpected to give the award to a freshman, but with two senior defensemen on the sidelines this season, Bergman was called into service early in his Bulldog career. Wade didn’t pay many games early this season, but worked his way to consistent ice time logging 25 games and a phenominal plus/minus of +5.
#29 Award: Given to the leading goal scorer and named after the most famous #29 from UMD, Brett Hull. For both conference games and overall games that player this year was Justin Fontaine. Fontaine was the only Bulldog this season to score 20 or more goals this season (21). He started out on a tear, but slowed down in the second half of the season. We expect Justin to return for his senior season and to fight through the special attention he gets from opposing teams to keep lighting the lamp.
Those are our awards for the season. With this we also put a close on the 2009-2010 UMD Bulldog season. The results were better than we expected at the beginning of the season. Though with the way this team started, there were higher expectations than were achieved at the end. All that just means is we expect another exciting and productive Bulldog season in 2010-2011.