he Minnesota men’s hockey program held its annual year-end banquet on Tuesday night at TCF Bank Stadium with several members of the 2012-13 squad earning recognition with various team, conference and national awards.
Second Team All-American Nate Schmidt was named the John Mariucci Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 season after ranking third nationally among defensemen with 32 points. The First Team All-WCHA selection led all conference defensemen in scoring, totaling nine goals and twenty-three assists. In addition to his contribution’s the nation’s top offense, Schmidt also saw the ice for Minnesota’s power-play unit that led the nation as well as the WCHA’s top defense and penalty kill in 2012-13.
Goaltender Adam Wilcox was honored with this year’s Frank Pond Rookie of the Year Award as well as the Tom Mohr Playoff Most Valuable Player Award and the Donald M. Clark Community Service Award. The Third Team All-WCHA pick set a new Minnesota record for goals against average in a season at 1.88 (first in the WCHA, sixth in the nation) and also tied Kellen Briggs for the school rookie wins record with 25 victories in his rookie campaign. Wilcox, who ranked third in the nation with 2,331 minutes played this season, also posted three shutouts including his first collegiate blanking in a 1-0 win over Canisius on Oct. 28, 2012.
Redshirt junior Zach Budish was named this year’s Elwin “Doc” Romnes Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner after captaining the 2012-13 squad to a share of Minnesota's second-straight WCHA regular-season championship. Budish set new career highs with 36 points and 14 goals for Minnesota in his final season with the Maroon and Gold while also seeing the ice in every situation for the Gophers.
The Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award was given to sophomore Kyle Rau, whose 40 points (15 goals, 24 assists) ranked second on the team in 2012-13. Seven of Rau’s goals proved to be game winners this season, ranking the forward tied for first in the nation in the category while Minnesota was an impressive 23-2-1 when Rau tallied a point this season.
Nate Condon took home the John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award for the season after setting new career highs with 31 points and 12 goals while Justin Holl was named the Dr. V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero after tallying three goals and seven points in the 2012-13 campaign while splitting time between forward and defense.
Additionally, the Gophers recognized Budish and alternate captains Seth Helgeson, Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula for their contributions to the team this season. Minnesota also recognized its four All-WCHA honorees (Schmidt, Haula, Bjugstad, Wilcox), its four WCHA Scholar-Athletes (Michael Shibrowski, Condon, Rau, Budish) and first-time letter-winners (A.J. Michaelson, Mike Reilly, Ryan Reilly, Brady Skjei, Shibrowski, Wilcox).
Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here as well as here and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @GophHkyExmnr. Check it out!
Until next time, I'll see you at the rink!