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Men's Hockey Releases 2007-2008 Roster
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2007
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - First year head coach Matt Loen released his roster for the upcoming UW-Eau Claire men's hockey season earlier this week.
The roster is loaded with 16 returning letterwinners from the 2006-07 team, which finished the season with a record of 9-14-4 overall, and one returning letterwinner from the 2005-06 season.? The Blugolds will have four seniors, seven juniors, eleven sophomores, and three freshmen skating for them.
Competing in the tough Northern College Hockey Association (NCHA), with four teams ranked nationally and two others receiving votes, the Blugolds will rely heavily on the experience and grit of its upperclassmen.? Two key players who should lead the charge this year are defenseman Greg Petersen (Jr.-Maple Grove, MN/Totino-Grace) and left winger Sean Garrity (Sr.-North St. Paul, MN).? Both Petersen and Garrity were named to the All-NCHA team and received All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) honors last season, with Garrity being a first team selection and Petersen earning an honorable mention selection.? Garrity claimed his NCHA honors with a team leading 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists).? Petersen had a great season as well compiling 24 points with his 17 assists and 7 goals on his way to NCHA honors.
Petersen will be accompanied on the blue line this year by two returning letterwinners Tyler Trudell (So.-Waukesha, WI/South), who was the team's Rookie of the Year last season, and Nicholas Kuqali (So.-Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon).? Other defensemen who look to contribute to the Blugolds this year are DJ Clark (So.-Blaine, MN), Bryan Plaszcz (So.-Apple Valley, MN), and Tim Possehl (Fr.-Fond du Lac, WI).
On the front line, left winger Jesse Vesel (Jr.-Hibbing, MN), another member of last year's All-WIAC honorable mention team, and Garrity will lead the Blugolds.? Vesel had 18 assists and 4 goals in his sophomore campaign of 2006-07. The other wingers on the team this winter are Andrew Johnson (Jr.-Andover, MN/Anoka), Sam Bauler (Jr.-Apple Valley, MN), Peter Bracker (Jr.-Albert Lea, MN), Ben Bosworth (Jr.-Hudson, WI), Tyler Weigel (Jr.-Madison, WI/Oregon), Brendan Gray (So.-Appleton, WI), who competed for the Blugolds during the 2005-06 season, Jeremiah Weber (Sr.-Hayward, WI), Ross Janecyk (Fr.-Grand Rapids, MI), and Dan Decato (Fr.-Verona, WI).? The Wings will be centered by Nate Smith (So.-Clayton, WI), Dan Fina (Jr.-Fontana, WI/Glenbard South, IL), Tony Janssen (So.-Superior, WI), Mike Schneider (Sr.-Owatonna, MN), and Joe Bluhm (So.-Red Wing, MN).
The goalkeeping will be left to Aaron Johnson (So.-Hayward, WI), Tyler Brigl (So.-Eagan, MN), and Mike Gatzke (Sr.-White Bear Lake, MN/Hill-Murrary).? Out of the three Goalies, Brigl is the only one who logged any ice time last season.? In the five games that Brigl started, he allowed 10 goals while making 106 saves.? The team had three wins in the games Brigl started. Gatzke has also seen some time at goalie, playing in two games during the 2006-07 season.
The men's hockey team opens its season on Saturday, October 27 against conference rival St. Scholastica, although it will be a non-conference game.? The game will take place in Duluth, Minnesota.
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