Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Senior tribute...

Here is a tribute to our class of awesome seniors:

With this year’s crop of seniors finishing their careers, this season marks the end of an era for the hockey Huskies. Gone are the Brett Engelhardts, Colin Murphys and Chris Conners of the past six seasons. Boy, what an era it’s been.

This year’s six seniors are no exception. From the before mentioned Conner to this season’s captain, Brandon Schwartz, what this group of seniors managed to do was survive a coaching change and play well enough to enjoy a modest level of success. This included a major victory over then top-ranked Wisconsin in Madison, WI, on December 9th of 2005.

“These guys showed a tremendous amount of leadership,” said coach Jamie Russell. “These guys bought in to what we’re trying to do here.”

Nick Anderson became a force on the power play over his last two seasons. Netting 22 career goals, 15 of them came on the man advantage. In his final year, Anderson netted nine goals and 16 points, good for sixth on the team.

Conner’s career statistics speak for themselves. In 151 games, he amassed 69 goals, 15 of which came while short handed. That total is good for second all-time in NCAA history. His 129 points are good for 34th all-time among Husky scorers.

He did finish his final season with 17 goals and 29 points to lead the Huskies in scoring. His goal total was good for his second-highest in his four-year career.

Conner has signed an amateur try-out with the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League. He started off his professional career with a bang, netting his first professional goal in his first game against the Manchester Monarchs.

Taggert Desmet, Conner’s center for most of the last three seasons not only put up 57 points over the course of his career, but also was the main man on faceoffs much of his three seasons in the black and gold.

Desmet finished his senior year with seven goals and 17 points. His biggest goal may have been the one he netted in the third period Feb. 4th at Minnesota State-Mankato.

Desmet has already begun his professional career quickly, with one goal and six points in three games for the Victoria Salmon Kings of the East Coast Hockey League. In his debut, he notched three assists before netting the game-winning goal in overtime.

Hailing from Heinola, Finland, Pekka Saittakari didn’t compete in nearly as many games as the rest of his fellow classmates, dressing for only 91 games total, but when he did play, he made sure he left it all on the ice. Saittakari finished his senior season +5.

A staple of the blueline, John Scott’s impact to the defensive corps was never felt as heavily as it was during the early stages of this season, when he was forced to sit out the first 14 games. After his return, the Huskies did the seemingly impossible, beating Wisconsin in their own building, and rattling off a consecutive streak of WCHA series with points of eight. Scott had his best offensive season, netting three goals, giving him seven goals and twelve career points.

The final senior, Schwartz, had huge shoes to fill. Following Murphy would be tough for anyone. After some early growing pains, Schwartz settled in, netting 10 goals and 26 points, good for second on the team.

Schwartz took his 82 career points, and signed an amateur try-out with the Binghamton Senators. After a pair of games, he is still searching for his first point.

While wins were few and far between for these seniors, all six of them brought something special to the team, and will be sorely missed next season, not just by the team, but also by the fans, especially the Mitch’s Misfits, as this class was instrumental in helping the Misfits become a reality.

3 comments:

Badger Backer said...

Conner is one of my favorite players in the WCHA, although I can't say I'm sad to see him go. Seemed like he always was a Badger killer, skated hard on every play, had great results. I'm sure he'll catch on with an AHL team that could use a scorer like him.

BTW, best of luck on the blog and I'll put up a link to you next update I make.

MeanEgirl said...

I think Conner has one goal in three games with the AHL's Iowa Stars so far. Expect to see him putting more in shortly.

Michigan Tech's hockey program will surely miss Chris and all the excitement he brought to the MacInnes. We are all really hoping someone steps up next year and fills his shoes. We could certainly use another Badger killer. ;)

Appreciate your kind words about the Tech Hockey blog. Expect your blog to be linked shortly as well.

Runninwiththedogs said...

Glad to see you've got a blog going, too! You're already legendary...