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Seven Men's Hockey Players Named to All-Academic Team
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Seven UW-Eau Claire men's hockey players have been named to this year's Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) All-Academic Team, conference sports information director Brian Monahan announced today.
Three Blugolds earned NCHA All-Academic honors for the third time in their careers: Tyler Brigl (Sr.-Eagan, Minn./Eastview), D.J. Clark (Sr.-Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) and Nate Smith (Sr.-Clayton, Wis.).
Brigl played in 13 games, starting 12, as a goalie. The accounting major with a 3.26 GPA had a .894 save percentage and a 3.09 goals-against average. He was 4-7-1 on the season and had one shutout against Augsburg College (Minn.) on November 6.
Clark, a kinesiology major with a 3.79 GPA, had 13 points this year, coming from five goals and eight assists. Three of his goals came on power-plays while one was unassisted. His 13 points was fifth best on the team.
Smith, a pre-med major with a 3.52 GPA, had one goal and a total of six points on the season. His one goal was a game-winner, which came on December 4 and gave the Blugolds their first victory over UW-Stout since December 5, 2003.
Nicholas Kuqali (Sr.-Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) was selected to the team for the second time in his career.
Kuqali, an economics major with a 3.85 GPA, played in 25 games this year as a defenseman and had seven points, coming from two goals and five assists. He was part of a defense that allowed 780 shots while the Blugolds had 842.
Earning recognition for the first time were Ross Janecyk (Jr.-Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central), John Kearns (Jr.-Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) and Tim Possehl (Jr.-Fond du Lac, Wis.).
Janecyk is a political science major with a 3.20 GPA. He had six points on the season, including five goals, one of which was a game-winner.
Kearns, who holds a 3.47 GPA and is a health care administration major, was part of the Blugold defense and came up with six assists. He was named an All-WIAC first team selection while also receiving honorable mention status on the All-NCHA team.
Possehl, an accounting major with a 3.53 GPA, was also part of the Blugold defense. He played in three games this season and had one assist.