Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Post Season Awards

Kaskisuo, Farley Lauded, Need to be Replaced Next Season

Another college hockey season has been put to close and we take this time to hand out our awards to the deserving UMD Bulldog players.

Huffer Christiansen Award (MVP): Kazimir Kaskisuo.  Without the high level play by the now departed Kazimir the UMD Bulldogs would not be have advanced to the NCHC Playoff championship game or out of the first round of the NCAA playoffs.  The Finn provided a lot of highlight film saves and will be missed.

Runner Up:  Tony Cameranesi.  Tony finished off his senior season with a strong showing with 11 goals, 28 assists and 39 points leading the team to the NCAA playoffs.  His 39 points lead the team in scoring.

Rookie of the Year: Neal Pionk. This past season had good play by several Bulldog freshmen, but the best was Neal Pionk. Neal finished with 4 goals, 13 assists for 17 points in 40 games and a plus 11, pretty good for a freshman defenseman.  He also showed his strength in keeping the puck and getting puck to the net. His development should continue also assuming he will be able to take on a bigger leadership role with the team. Look for Neal to take over as the defensive leader in the coming years.

Runner-up: Adam Johnson who had a strong freshmen year as a forward for the Bulldogs and looks like he should have a great college career.  Johnson played in all 39 of the 40 games this past season and had 6 goals and 12 assists.

Most Improved Player: Willie Corrin. When a guy has 1 goal and 9 assists for 10 points and a plus 5 might not look overly impressive, but Corrin had a strong senior season the helped solidify the blueline.

Runner Up: Karson Kuhlman

7th Defensemen: Willie Raskob. Given to the defenseman who steps up, becomes a regular player for the team and makes an impact.  Willie Raskob as stated above provided offense when we honestly thought we would not see much from him this past season.  Raskob is the type of defenseman we had in mind when we instituted the 7th Defensemen Award.

Runner-up: Brendan Kotyk had a much improved season and provided extra stability needed on defense.

#29 Award: Austin Farley. This past season leading goal scorers Austin Farley and Dominic Toninato tied with 15 goals each. We give the #29 Award to Austin Farely who also had 16 assists for 31 points. He also had a team high 17.9 percent shooting pertcentage and team high plus 26.

Runner-up: Dominic Toninato with 15 goals.

There they are, the 2015-2016 College Hockey HighHorse Award winners.  As we move towards the normal down time for college hockey, we will have articles dealing with expected announcements of more details of the NCHC.  Otherwise, we look forward to the fall when Bulldog Hockey commences a new season.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Frozen Four 2016

The Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida is all set with Boston College taking on Quinnipiac in the early game and Denver facing off with North Dakota the other semi-final game today.  Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were unable to get by Boston College to get to the Frozen Four.  The Bulldogs came close but ran out of time.  Fans of the NCHC are happy though knowing that at least one team from the conference will be in the championship game.

This years final four teams seems to be so well matched that any of the four could win the tournament in my opinion.  Quinnipiac looked like they cruised in their two wins.  I thought Northeastern would remain hot, but the Fighting Hawks quickly extinguished that fire.  The Fighting Hawks looked great in Cincinnati.  Denver played 200 foot hockey in both games and looked strong.  Denver did look beatable against Ferris State for much of the game but finally ran away with the win.  Boston College played good against UMD but of the four teams appeared to have the hardest time getting into the Frozen Four.

My pick for the Championship will continue to be Quinnipiac.  I am going with my gut which is telling me that Denver will beat North Dakota this time on neutral ice as this game has a lot more mean than the 3rd place NCHC game did in Minneapolis.