ADRIAN, Mich.--Head coach Adam Krug '12 has announced the leadership group that will lead the Adrian College men's hockey team that will be celebrating its 10th season of NCAA Division III competition in 2016-17.
Junior Mathew Thompson (Bolton, Ontario/Trenton Golden Hawks, OJHL) will serve as the team captain, and he will be assisted by senior Daniel Lisi (King City, Ontario/Sacred Heart, NCAA D-I, Atlantic Hockey), juniors Blake Butzow (Plymouth, Mich./Cowichan Valley Capitals, BCHL), Taylor McCloy (Keswick, Ontario/Aurora Tigers, OJHL). (Pictured, the sweaters worn by #10 Thompson, #24 Lisi, #25 Butzow and #93 McCloy.)
"The best part about the players who earned the right to be captains for the coming season is that our players and coaches were on the same page," Krug, who has steered the Bulldogs to a 48-8-4 (.833) record, a pair of NCAA tournament berths and sweeps of both the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular season and tournament championships in his first two years, said. "We have many more than just four leaders in the room but appointing these four to lead the way speaks volumes about how they are viewed within our program.
"This group is now a year older and with such a young core the past two seasons we haven't quite reached the peak of the mountain yet. Hopefully, this leadership group can take the past years shortcomings and be the driving force to Adrian College's first NCAA title," he said.
Thompson, who served as an alternate captain last season, has compiled 39 goals and 41 assists for 80 points in just 57 games over his first two years. The centerman led the team in goal-scoring with 16 markers as a sophomore, earning D3hockey.com All-West Region Third Team and All-NCHA accolades. The sports management major listed third in conference scoring and was 15th nationally with 1.28 points per game, which led all sophomores in NCAA Division III.
"Thommer has shown since day one of his freshman year that he would be a leader," stated Krug. "Halfway through his freshman season he had an "A" on his sweater. Mat comes to the rink ready to get better every day and isn't afraid to be held accountable."
Lisi, a left wing who is one of five seniors projected to return in 2016-17, recorded 8+10=18 scoring totals--all career highs--in his first full season with the Bulldogs after playing part of the 2014-15 campaign at Sacred Heart University. The accounting major earned a spot on the All-NCHA Academic Team. Like Thompson, Lisi served as an alternate captain in 2015-16.
"Dan Lisi is as selfless a player as I've ever been around," said Krug. "In my opinion that is the trait that trumps all others when it comes to winning a national championship."
Butzow established career highs with nine assists and nine points from his position on left defense a season ago. He was second on the team with a plus-31 for another personal record and appeared in all 29 games. An exercise science major, he made the academic all-conference squad.
"Butzy has such a calming presence within our group. Blake plays in all situations and is extremely dependable," Krug noted. "He rarely gets rattled and that demeanor can be a calming influence from the back end."
McCloy, Thompson's linemate on the right wing, produced 13 goals and 29 points as a sophomore. In 41 career games, he has racked up 17+30=47 scoring totals. McCloy was a force on the Bulldogs' power-play unit, notching an NCHA-third-best six goals on the man-advantage. He is pursuing a degree in business marketing with a minor in history.
"Taylor is a student-athlete who has overcome a lot of adversity and you face a lot of adversity when it comes to the ebbs and flows of a hockey game," commented Krug. "Taylor has earned a lot of respect from his teammates, coaches, professors, and the administration at Adrian College. Hopefully this honor can propel him to even newer heights."
In other news, the Bulldogs also handed out 2015-16 team awards that included...
Top Gun Award (Leading Scorer): Connor Armour (@phantompuck22)
Armour led NCAA Division III in freshmen scoring en route to National Freshman of the Year honors from U.S. College Hockey Online. The All-NCHA pick and conference player of the year piled up 30 assists and 38 points--figures that also ranked first and second overall, respectively, in the NCHA. He also finished 11th among all D-III point-getters.
Coach's Award: Taylor McCloy (@Taylor_Mccloy) The Coach's Award is awarded to the player that has made a significant impact on the program while demonstrating character, leadership, sportsmanship, team spirit, and skill.
Dr. Docking Leadership Award: Adam Davies (@Adam1155) The Dr. Docking Leadership Award is awarded to the team's top leader, historically earned by the team's captain, and named after the College's 17th president, Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking.
Rick Creehan Gold Puck Award: Chris Schornack (@Schornack30) The Rick Creehan Gold Puck Award is awarded to a member of the Adrian College community that has gone above and beyond to better the Bulldog Hockey program.
Most Improved Player: Austin Hervey (@A_Herv): The forward from Brighton (Indiana Ice, USHL) is a two-time Academic All-NCHA member who tallied 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points in 26 games during his junior season. That more than doubled his offensive production as a sophomore, when he had 5+3=8 scoring totals. The accounting major was named to the NCHA All-Tournament Team after recording three goals and a plus-5 rating in the Harris Cup playoffs. He finished with a plus-16 rating on the season.
Best Defenseman: Chris Leone (@Chrisleone02)
Leone made his senior season the best of his four-year collegiate career by earning All-America accolades from CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association (First Team) and D3hockey.com (Second Team). His career year of 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 total points also yielded All-NCHA, NCHA Harris Cup Most Valuable Player, D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week honors five times. The alternate captain notched a plus-25 rating.
Best Defensive Player: Adam Davies (@Adam1155)
Davies felt a home on the blueline with his team-leading plus-33 rating. The defenseman contributed five goals and eight assists for 13 total points--all career bests--while captaining the 2016 squad during his senior season. With his help, Adrian finished 15th in the nation allowing only 2.21 goals per game and leading NCAA Division III with a 3.17 scoring margin.