Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
At this time of the year, some sport at the U of M seems to be ending nearly every day.
The baseball team played its last game on Thursday.
The last men's tennis player lost in the NCAA tournament in Athens, Ga., on Friday.
The softball team plays Saturday night against the No. 1 seed in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday night and could be done Sunday.
You get the point. It's sad in a way: careers ending, a last loss, teammates going separate ways for the summer.
But it can be a time of hope, too.
Let's zero in one particular player: Leandro Toledo. A different sounding name -- as mine is.
Toledo is the No. 1 singles player for the Gophers and he just had himself quite a week. He competed in the 64-player singles draw. Won twice, earning him All-America status, then lost in the Round of 16.
Toledo was a first-team All-Big Ten pick after going 8-3 against conference foes. He was ranked No. 38 nationally.
His first opponent at nationals was Alex Domijan of Virginia, ranked No. 6. He was 25-1 and on a 15-match winning streak.
Toledo was the definite underdog, but he won 6-7 (4), 7-6 (12), 6-4. Next, he beat No. 38 Diego Galeano of Baylor, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
He became the first All-America player at the U since 2002, 14 years ago.
No. 28 Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine ended Toledo's tournament run 7-6 (1), 6-2.
Toledo was the last of seven Big Ten players in the singles draw still standing. And before the NCAAs, he was named the ITA Central Region Player to Watch for next season when he will be a senior.
The 6-1 lefthander is from Hamburg, Germany. He turned 22 on May 5 and hits a two-handed backhand.
USA Hockey has named a handful of major award winners for the 2012-13 season.
They will receive their awards on June 5 or 7. Among the award winnrers are six Minnesotans. Below are their bios, compiled by USA Hockey:
Amanda Kessel ... Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year
The junior foward won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, led the Gophers to an undefeated season and an NCAA championship.
Earned a gold medal as a member of Team USA at the IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Led the nation with a career-high 101 points (46 goals, 55 assists).
Was a first-team All-America selection, and the WCHA Player of the Year.
Eric Hartzell ... College Player of the Year
Led Quinnipiac University to a 30-7-5 record, the ECAC regular-season title, and the school’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Men’s Frozen and a national runner-up finish.
The senior goaltender and White Bear Lake native was selected to the 2012-13 American Hockey Coaches Association's Division I All-America East first team and was the 2012-13 USCHO Player of the Year.
Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year honors.
The Hobey Baker finalist allowed two goals or fewer in 35 of his 42 starts and led the Bobcats to the top overall team defense in the nation. He posted a 1.57 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and led the nation with 2,522 minutes played. His five shutouts tied for third overall.
In nets, as Hartzell as Bobcats went 18-0-3 during a 21-game unbeaten streak that ran from Nov. 9 to Feb. 9.
Taylor Cammarata ... Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year
Played for the Waterloo Black Hawks. ... Was named both the USHL’s Forward of the Year and Player of the Year after leading the league with 38 goals and 93 points in 59 games. His 55 assists placed second overall in the league.
Had at least one point in 48 of 59 games played and had 29 multiple-point games, including a six-point effort on Oct. 28 at Youngstown. He was plus or even in 53 of his 59 games and placed fourth in the league with a plus-39 rating.
Member of the U.S. junior select team this past fall that earned first place at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.
Signed and will play for Gophers in 2013-14 season.
Charlie Lindgren ... Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year
Helped the Sioux Falls Stampede to the USHL’s Western Conference crown and a second-place finish overall in the league with a 35-14-2 regular-season record.
Led the USHL in wins with 35 victories and allowed two or fewer goals on 24 occasions, including a pair of shutouts, and finished the regular season with a 2.80 goals against average and .900 save percentage.
Fifth in the league with 1,198 saves and appeared in all 10 playoff games for Sioux Falls, posting a 5-5 record along with a 2.52 goals against average and .921 save percentage.
Will play for St. Cloud State in 2013-14.
Phil Housley ... Distinguished Achievement Award
In 2012-13, Phil Housley helped the United States capture medals at two international competitions.
Was head coach of the national Junior Team which won the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in January in Ufa, Russia.
In May, was assistant coach on U.S. team which eanred the bronze medal at the IIHF Men’s World Championship in Finland and Sweden.
.Housley enjoyed a 21-year career as a defenseman in the NHL, finishing with 1,232 points (338-894). Recently was named an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators.
The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contributions on or off the ice to the sport in America.
Sue Ring-Jarvi ... Adult Ironman of the Year
She organized the University of Minnesota’s women’s hockey club team in 1974 and initiated girls’ hockey programs throughout the metro area from 1976-78.
She was part of the movement that led Minnesota to become the first state to recognize girls’ hockey as a varsity sport in 1994.
Ring-Jarvi was inducted into the University of Minnesota’s National M Club Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and was recognized with the Joe Burke Award in 2007, presented annually to the person who has given outstanding contribution, support, and dedication to women’s ice hockey.
She also plays the sport, most recently competing with the Minnesota Blue J Bandits.
Earlier this week, the Big Ten released its all-conference teams. The Gophers had two pitchers on the first team, a catcher on the second team and an infielder and outfielder on the third team. They did not have anyone on the all-rookie team. The teams:
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
C – KYLE SCHWARBER, IND
1B – David Kerian, ILL
2B – Pat Kelly, NEB
SS – Thomas Lindauer, ILL
SS – Kirby Pellant, OSU
3B – Dustin DeMuth, IND
OF – Justin Parr, ILL
OF – Michael O’Neill, MICH
OF – Chad Christensen, NEB
DH – Scott Donley, IND
SP – AARON SLEGERS, IND
SP – DJ Snelten, MINN
SP – Tom Windle, MINN
RP – TRACE DEMPSEY, OSU
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
C – Kurt Schlangen, MINN
1B – Sam Travis, IND
2B – Zach Morton, NU
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – Jordan Parr, ILL
OF – Eric Toole, IOWA
OF – Jimmy Pickens, MSU
DH – Michael Pritchard, NEB
SP – Kevin Duchene, ILL
SP – Joey DeNato, IND
SP – Luke Farrell, NU
RP – Scott Effross, IND
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
C – Cole Martin, MICH
1B – Kash Kalkowski, NEB
2B – Connor Schaefbauer, MINN
SS – Michael Basil, IND
3B – Blake Headley, NEB
OF – Andy Henkemeyer, MINN
OF – Rich Sanguinetti, NEB
OF – Kyle Ruchim, NU
DH – Blaise Salter, MSU
SP – Andrew Waszak, MSU
SP – Brad Goldberg, OSU
SP – Brian King, OSU
RP – Ryan Halstead, IND
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
C – Jason Goldstein, ILL
1B – JOSH ESTILL, PUR
2B – Nick Ramos, IND
SS – TRAVIS MAEZES, MICH
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – CAM GIBSON, MSU
OF – JAMES COATES, PSU
OF – Kyle Johnson, PUR
DH – KYLE WOOD, PUR
SP – KEVIN DUCHENE, ILL
SP – Will Coursen-Carr, IND
SP – Evan Hill, MICH
SP – Jordan Minch, PUR
RP – Scott Effross, IND
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Alex Lincoln, ILL
Michael Basil, IND
Ricky Sandquist, IOWA
Patrick Biondi, MICH
Jordan Keur, MSU
Ryan Abrahamson, MINN
Bryan Peters, NEB
Trevor Stevens, NU
Ryan Cypret, OSU
Luis Montesinos, PSU
Robert Ramer, PUR
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Justin Parr, ILL
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Slegers, IND
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Kevin Duchene, ILL
COACH OF THE YEAR
TRACY SMITH, IND
This year’s 16-team field for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament will be revealed on ESPNU at 8 p.m. Sunday. Host Anish Shroff will be joined by hockey analysts Barry Melrose and Dave Starman to discuss the five automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large teams that will play in the four regionals which will air on ESPNU.
The show will also feature a special on Quinnipiac as the Bobcats look to secure a No. 1 seed and make only their second appearance in the NCAA championship since becoming a Division I team in 1998-99.
Usually this show is on a Sunday morning, but the CCHA tournament, because of a schedule conflict, has its championship game on Sunday afternoon.
LUCIA TO BE JUNIORS COACH?
A joint press conference featuring a special announcements from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, USA Hockey, Inc., and University of Minnesota has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the X. At least one usually reliable media source is saying Gophers coach Don Lucia will be named the heade coach of the U.S. team for the 2014 World Junior Championships.
The U.S. team, led by South St. Paul High School coach Phil Housley, won the gold medal in Russia this year. Lucia helped with the national evaluation camp last summer, which was used to help determine the roster. His son, Mario, played on the U.S. team and Grant Potulny, one of Lucia's assistants, was one of Housley's assistants.
So Lucia has a pretty good idea how the team was put together and why it succeeded.
HONORS FOR U WOMEN'S TEAM
Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty of the Gophers' No. 1-rated women's hockey team were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association's Division I all-american first team on Thursday night. Brad Frost, their coach, was picked coach of the year for 2012-13.
Bozek is second among defenseman in scoring this season and is a repeat first team pick. The senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., own nearly every season and career scoring record for a Gophers defenseman.
Kessel leads the nation in scoring with 97 points. She was a second team honoree last season. The junior forward is the 24th player in NCAA history to reach the 200-career point mark and the ninth for do so in three seasons. If Kessel tallies three more points this season, she will become only the fourth player in NCAA history to record 100 points in a single season.
Räty leads the nation in goals-against average and save percentage. She was a first team all-american in 2010 and a second team in 2011. The Finnish native is only the second player in Minnesota history to receive three all-america honors during her career. This season she has broken NCAA records for career wins and shutouts and shutouts in a season.
Minnesota has now had 27 players in program history named to an All-American team. This is only the second time that the Maroon & Gold have had three players receive the honor in a season.
This is Frost's first National Coach of the Year honor and the fourth in program history (Laura Halldorson – 1998, 2002 and 2004). The Gophers are 39-0-0 and play in the Frozen Four this weekend.
At the start of this season, the great unknown with the Gophers men's hockey team was in the nets. Could Adam Wilcox or Mike Shibrowski handle the job?
Shibby is hurt now and not playing. Wilcox is playing at an elite level. So well that on Wednesday Wilcox was named the Hockey Commissioners Association's (HCA) rookie of the month for November.
Wilcox, a freshmen who played for Tri-City of the USHL last season and hails from South St. Paul, was 5-2-2 with a 1.75 goals-against average last month and a .925 save percentage.
He gave up two or fewer goals in eight of his nine starts and had a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2).
Justin Johnson, in his fourth season as a volunteer men's goalie coach at the U, works with Wilcox and the other goalies on the men's team.
Here is where Wilcox stands among WCHA goalies in key categories in overall games:
1st -- 1.61 goals-against average
1st in wins -- 9-2-2
3rd -- .925 save percentage
He is a Tampa Bay draft pick.
WOMEN'S NATIONAL ROOKIE ALSO GOPHER
Freshman center Hannah Brandt of the Gophers women's hockey team is the American Hockey Coaches Association's rookie of the month for November.
Brandt had six goals and eight assists for 14 points. She has 18 goals overall and 45 points, second in the nation behind only teammate Amanda Kessel who has 48 points.
The Gophers are 18-0 this season and have won 26 games in a row, an NCAA record. They also have 15 consecutive road wins, which ties another NCAA mark. They can break it Friday in the first game of a two-game series at Bemidji State.
MEN'S PLAYER OF MONTH FROM ROSEMOUNT
The HCA's national player of the month is another Minnesotan, junior forward Ryan Walters of Nebraska Omaha.
The Mavericks were 7-0-0 last month and Walters was a big reason why. The 6-0, 196-pound Walters, who is from Rosemount and played for St. Thomas Academy, had six goals and nine assists for 15 points in seven games.
He had no points in the first game of the month, then had multi-points the next six. He also had a five-game streak with at least one goal.
Walters, who originally committed to the Gophers, leads the WCHA in points (6-14-20) and has played in 89 consecutive games.
He left St. Thomas Academy after his sophomore season to play in the USHL for two years. But when the Gophers asked him to play a third, instead of bringing him in after high school, he started looking at other schools.
Walters was a plus-8 in November and had 31 shots on goal, an average of 4.4 per game.
RATY ON ROLL
Senior goalie Noora Raty of the Gophers women's hockey team also earned an honor Wednesday. She was named the WCHA defensive player of the week for the second time this season and the 11th time in her career.
She made 41 saves as the Gophers swept Wisconsin in a series for the first time since 2005. She had 22 saves in the first game, 19 in the second which the Gophers won 2-0.
She had seven shutouts this season, 33 in her her career; 39 is the national record. Raty has 92 career victories, 100 is the NCAA record in women's hockey.
Andy Kent, a former Augsburg College goalie, works with Raty. He is in his first season as the volunteer goalie coach for the Gophers women's hockey team. Kent also coaches goalies for the Roseville boys' hockey team and at a goalie school called MEGA goaltending.
Alabama-Huntsville, one of the teams in the Mariucci Classic, is having a rough season. The Chargers are 1-12-1.
Last season, it looked like the school would drop the program which really played havoc with this season's schedule. Many team dropped UAH and, when the program was revived, the Chargers had to take any games they could get.
That's why UAH, an independent for the third season, is playing 20 of it 22 games against Division I opponents on the road, either at neutral sites -- like Minneapolis in the Mariucci Classic later this month -- or in opponents' arenas.
But the Chargers keep plugging away, hoping they will be the 10th team in the new WCHA. For a story on the program, go here.
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