The MIAC Men's hockey teams drop the puck on November 3 to launch the 2000-01 season.

The University of St. Thomas was crowned the MIAC Champion last season, however, the 2000-01 St. Thomas roster looks much different than the roster from a year ago. The Tommies graduated their powerful scoring line, including two-time MIAC MVP and ACHA Men's Hockey Division III Player of the Year, Steve Aronson.

Watch for St. Thomas to remain strong this season as they return an All-American defender, a record setting goalkeeper, and several potent scorers. Expect to see Concordia in the hunt for the MIAC title along with Bethel College, Augsburg College, and St. John's University. Bethel returns many veterans who have the ability to score many goals. Augsburg returns three solid scoring lines, making them an offensive threat to conference opponents. St. John's strength is its defense as they return most of their top defenders.

In 1999-2000, St. Thomas and Concordia were in a battle for the league title right up to the end of the season. The Tommies finally clinched the conference crown when they defeated Bethel by a score of 9-6 in their last regular-season match up. St. Thomas finished the season with a 14-1-1 conference mark (29 points), with the Cobbers close behind with a 13-2-1 record (27 points) in MIAC play.

Concordia got its revenge, when the Cobbers pulled off an upset victory over St. Thomas in the 2000 MIAC Playoff. The two teams tied with one win each in the two-game series, but in the tiebreaker, a mini-game, Concordia came out on top.

The Cobbers earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament with their MIAC Playoff win. The Tommies were also invited to the national championship with an at-large bid. Concordia was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Wisconsin-Superior while St. Thomas cruised to the championship game. The Tommies were defeated 2-1 by Norwich in the national title game, and earned a second-place finish. 

Augsburg College
Head Coach: Mike Schwartz (5th season)
1999-2000 Record: 10-13-4 (8-5-3 MIAC / 3rd)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Ryan McIntosh, Sr., G (3X All-MIAC 1st team, 97-98 AHCA Division III All-Amer.; career stats: 3.21 GAA, .908 save %, 35-28-11 record)
Jaroslav Cesky So., F (All-MIAC 2000; 14 goals, 19 assists, 33 points)
Brad Schwartzbauer Jr., F (11goals, 12 assists, 23 points).
Mike Jackson Sr., F (team captain, 11 goals, 6 assists, 18 points)
Brad Holzinger So., D (3 goals, 13 assists, 16 points)
Andy Shermoen Sr., D (2 goals, 10 assists, 12points)
Season Preview:
Head coach Mike Schwartz has high hopes for this season’s Augsburg College men’s hockey team.

“This team may be the best team, talent-wise, since I’ve been here,” said Schwartz, entering his fifth season on the Auggie bench. “There really aren’t any glaring weaknesses. We have three solid lines of forwards coming back, our defense is a young, but talented group, and our goaltender is one of the best in the nation.”

Put the three parts together and Schwartz has the makings of a team that should contend for the championship in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the lone conference in the nation to send two teams to the eight-team NCAA Division III national playoffs last season.

The Auggies have appeared in the four-team MIAC postseason playoffs the last three seasons in a row, and a fourth straight trip to the postseason would be a perfect capper for a talented group of seniors entering their last seasons in an Auggie uniform — a group that was part of an MIAC regular-season and postseason title, along with a fourth-place NCAA national finish, their freshman year. 
Combined with a solid recruiting class and depth at every position, this year’s Auggies have high hopes of improving from last year’s 10-13-4 overall record and 8-5-3 mark in the MIAC.

Any discussion of Augsburg men’s hockey during the past four years has started with goaltender Ryan McIntosh (Sr., Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Grandin HS), who has established himself as one of the premier small-college goalies in the nation. An All-MIAC first-team goalie each of his three seasons and an AHCA All-American his freshman year, McIntosh has the talent to guide the Auggies from the goalie position forward.

Last year, McIntosh saw all but seven minutes of action in the nets for the Auggies, recording a 3.24 goals-against-average and .904 save percentage. He enters his senior season with a 3.21 GAA, .908 save percentage and 35-28-11 record.

Up front, the Auggies have the basis for three solid forward lines returning, with a fourth made up of talented youngsters. Just one of the team’s top seven scorers was lost to graduation last season. 

Leading the way on the forward lines will be Jaro Cesky (So., Prague, Czech Republic), who sparkled in his first Auggie campaign to earn All-MIAC first-team honors. Cesky led the team in scoring (14 goals-19 assists—33 points), while finishing fourth in the conference in scoring (9-18—27).

Joe Johnson (Jr., Ramsey, Minn./Anoka HS) followed up his breakthrough freshman campaign (8-9—17) with a solid sophomore season (8-6—14), and should join Cesky on the Auggies’ first line.

Four senior forwards also look to close out their careers strong — Mike Jackson (Sr., Ramsey, Minn./Elk River HS; 11-7—18), Andy Ness (Sr., North St. Paul, Minn./Hill-Murray HS; 7-13—20), Tony Putt (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.; 4-6—10) and Jeff Arndt (Sr., Hugo, Minn./Forest Lake HS; 2-3—5).

Returning to lead the Auggie defensive pairings will be Brad Holzinger (So., North Oaks, Minn./Hill-Murray HS) and Andrew Shermoen (Sr., International Falls, Minn.). Holzinger, the leading scorer among defenders last year (3-13—16), is “the spirit of the defense,” Schwartz said. “He is the enthusiastic and flamboyant guy on defense.”
Shermoen has always had a knack for being in the middle of the scoring, contributing 12 points (2-10—12) last year. He also had just three penalties, among the lowest for Auggie regulars last year.

Bethel College
Head Coach
: Peter Aus (7th season / 44-88-6)
1999-2000 Record: 10-14-1 (6-9-1 MIAC / 6th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Jared Gustafson, SR, Def., 4 goals, 21 asts, All-MIAC 1st-team, All-American 2nd-team 
Jesse Geroy, senior, Defense, 3 goals, 9 assists 
Chad Anderson, junior, Forward, 10 goals, 13 assists 
Brenton Balvin, junior, Forward, 12 goals, 20 assists, honorable mention All-MIAC 
Jeff Hall, junior, Goalie, 86.4 save percentage, 10-13 record, 4.51 gaa 
Season Preview:
The 2000-2001 Bethel Royals have much to be excited about as they look to the new season. Despite losing the school’s all-time leader in goals and points, Kevin Adam, seventh-year head coach Peter Aus welcomes back a solid group of returning players and his best recruiting class throughout his tenure at Bethel.

Quality veteran leadership will be a key for the Royals as they look to make a move into the MIAC’s top four. Senior defensemen Jared Gustafson (Salol, MN) and Jesse Geroy (Moorhead, MN) both have been regulars throughout their entire career at Bethel and will be leaders for Bethel. Gustafson was an All-MIAC first-team player and second-team All-America in the 1999-2000 season.

Coach Aus is excited about the many players with ability to score, "We will have our best balance in scoring that we have had in years." A strong group of juniors, led by forwards Chad Anderson (Bloomington, MN), Brenton Balvin (Maple Grove, MN), and Corey McKinnon (Forest Lake, MN) look to fill the scoring void left by the graduation of Adam. Anderson, Balvin, and McKinnon combined for 32 goals and 58 assists. Balvin and McKinnon were both named honorable mention All-MIAC during their sophomore seasons.

Several newcoming players will have the opportunity to make an impact for the Royals. "The challenge for us as coaches is to get them to play together," stated Aus. 

Complete preview at: www.bethel.edu/Athletics/Hockey/01preview.html

Concordia College
Head Coach
: Steve Baumgartner (15th season / 161-184-22)
1999-2000 Record: 20-9-2 (13-2-1 MIAC / 2nd) NCAA Quarterfinalist
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Brady Burgess (W, Jr, 6-0,175, Moorhead MN) 99-00 All MIAC, Team Scoring Leader
Jason DiMatteo (W, Sr, 5-11, 185, Anchorage AK)
Mike Gast (C, Sr, 5-9,185, Fargo ND/South) 99-00 All MIAC, Academic All-MIAC
Bryan Howard (G, Sr, 6-0,195, Gold River,CA/Brooks) 99-00 All American, All MIAC, Led MIAC GAA, Save Pct.
Brian Nelson (W, So, 5-8, 190, Moorhead MN) 99-00 All MIAC
Shawn Rehm (D, So, 6-0, 190, Detroit Lakes MN)
Jon Tranby (W, Sr, 6-0, 195, Moorhead MN)
Season Preview:
The Concordia College 2000-2001 men's hockey team will be looking to recreate the magic they found in last year's season. Last year's MIAC Coach of the Year Steve Baumgartner will have a team that has the one key ingredient to repeat the success; goaltending. Returning All-American goalie Bryan Howard (Sr.,Gold River, CA) led the MIAC in goals against average and saves percentage and his brilliant shot-blocking ability helped Concordia post a school record 13 wins in the MIAC. He also carried the Cobbers deep into post season play where they won the MIAC tournament and then advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals before finally losing to UW-Superior.

The experience gained along the way will help Concordia take aim at the MIAC title, with the hope of returning to the NCAA playoffs. Besides Howard, the team will return three All-MIAC players from last year, Mike Gast (Sr., Fargo, ND), Brady Burgess (Jr., Moorhead, MN) and Brian Nelson (So.,Moorhead, MN). The team will have to replace several key defensemen from a year ago, mainly All-American and three time All-MIAC player Rob Gramer (Moorhead, MN) who is now behind the bench serving as an assistant coach. Other players that will be counted on to provide depth will be defensemen Shawn Rehm (So., Detroit Lakes, MN) and former Elk River teammates Andy Crook and Kyle Becklin. The offense will be led by the hard working Gast and the playmaking of Burgess, along with Nelson and Jason DiMatteo (Sr., Anchorage, AK). Newcomer Toby Schneider (Jr., Grand Forks, ND), a transfer from the University of North Dakota, will also be relied upon to add a physical attacking presence to the first line.

Gustavus Adolphus College
Head Coach
: Brett Petersen (1st season)
1999-2000 Record: 7-16-2 (5-9-2 MIAC / 7th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Josh Kramer, RW, SR, 6-0, 205, top returning scorer with 9g, 9a for 18 pts in 99-00, HM AC
Mike Formas, RW, JR, 5-10, 180, 5g, 8a for 13 points in 99-00
Ben Puder, RD, SR, 5-10, 190, 2-year letterwinner on defense
Brian Westland, LD, 5-10, 185, 5g, 6a for 11 points in 99-00
Dan Hamernick, LW, SR, 5-11, 185, 5g, 8a for 13 points in 99-00, Captain for 2000-01
Season Preview:
Gustavus will begin a new era in men’s hockey in 2000-01 as Brett Petersen begins his first year as head coach. The Gusties will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 1999-2000 season that saw them finish seventh in the MIAC with a mark of 5-9-2. Petersen is excited about carrying on the long tradition of Golden Gustie hockey that was started by former coach Don Roberts. He stated, “Don left a wonderful legacy at Gustavus and I hope that we can continue what he started. The foundation of what we hope to accomplish will be based on three concepts, 1) a consistent work ethic, 2) individuals that work smart in the system and 3) individuals that bring a great attitude to the rink. If we can follow through with those three concepts I am confident we will have a successful hockey program here.”

Petersen has been very pleased with how the returning upperclass players are working with the newcomers. He also noted that captains Josh Kramer and Dan Hamernick have been vocal in the locker room and have done a solid job of providing leadership through the first few weeks of practice.

The strength of this year’s squad will be at the blue line where Petersen has been pleasantly surprised by the play of junior Brian Westland and sophomores Matt Logan and Adam Moseley as well as senior Ben Puder, and juniors Travis Trembath and Ross Pillsbury. All six played regularly last season giving the Gusties excellent experience and depth heading into this season.

While the blue line is a strength, the Gusties have questions marks concerning offensive production and goaltending. Petersen will be looking to senior forward Josh Kramer to lead the way. Kramer is the team’s leading returner scorer from a year ago where he tallied nine goals and nine assists for 18 points. Other forwards returning with experience include junior wing Mike Formas, sophomore wing Aaron Allar, senior center Nick Hendrickson, senior wing Dan Hamernick, junior wing Mike Metzger, junior center Luke Weekly and sophomore wing Jordan Anderson. Petersen will also hope to get some goal production from several newcomers inlcuding freshman wing Jerod Klava who played junior hockey in Bismarck, North Dakota last year, and freshman wing Sam Johnson from Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 

The Gusties do not welcome back a goaltender with any varsity experience due to the graduation of Peet Moseley, who played virtually every minute in the nets for the squad over the past two seasons. As a result, Gustavus will be inexperienced in the nets, at least early in the season. Coach Petersen is looking at four goaltenders including sophomores Bobby Dennis and Ethan Keller and freshmen Dan Melde and Brian McFarlane. The competition is wide open with any of the four having the opportunity to earn playing time. Petersen is hoping that his veteran blue line crew can help keep the pressure off a group of young goaltenders who are going to need some time to mature.

Hamline University
Head Coach
: Pat Cullen (2nd season)
1999-2000 Record: 5-17-3 (1-13-2 MIAC / 9th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Troy Urdahl(SR forward)
Donovan Meade(SR Forward)
Troy Kleven(SO Forward)
Peter Contardo(SO Forward)
Perry Smiley(SO Defensmen)
Season Preview:
2nd year Head Coach Pat Cullen and his Piper squad are excited about the upcoming season and expect to be increasingly competitive in the MIAC Conference. “We return everyone from last year and brought in some key newcomers,” said Cullen. “We have some new players that will definitely be able to step in and contribute right away.”

The goalkeeping on this year’s squad will be stronger and have more depth, the defense should be strong with the return of four regulars from last season, and the offense returns all of its top scorers. With more experience and some talented additions at the forward positions, the Pipers will look to improve upon last year’s scoring output.

Cullen and his staff, while excited, are also aware of just how competitive the 2000-2001 MIAC Conference will be. “Our talent and depth are definitely better this season than last season, but these things alone won’t be the key to our success this season,” said Cullen. “The thing we need to remember is that we’re still a relatively young team and we’re still learning...we’ll just have to be patient as we gain experience.” And so it is, with a solid roster of young talent and eight home games before the Christmas break, that coaches, players and fans alike may be in for one of the most exciting seasons in recent Hamline history.

Saint John's University
Head Coach
: John Harrington (8th season, 109-73-14 career record)
1999-2000 Record: 12-12-3 (7-6-3 MIAC / 4th / MIAC Playoff Semifinalist)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
John Konrad, Sr., Forward, '99-00 stats: 12 g, 15 a, 27 p
Jake Froiland, Jr., Forward, '99-00 stats: 9 g, 15 a, 24 p
Chad Hacker, Sr., Forward, '99-00 stats: 8 g, 11 a, 19 p
Chad Helmer, Jr., Defenseman, All-MIAC, '99-00 stats: 5 g, 7 a, 12 p
Peter Edlund, Sr. Defenseman, '99-00 stats: 2 g, 9 a, 11 p
Season Preview:
As we enter the new millenium, the SJU hockey team is optimistic about its returning experience and making the MIAC playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. In the always competitive MIAC, and against NCHA competition, the Johnnie hockey team completed its 1999-00 campaign with a 12-12-3, 7-6-3 MIAC record. The Johnnies finished fourth in the MIAC regular season standings, losing to the eventual Division III runner-up St. Thomas in the MIAC playoffs semifinal series. SJU's defense has always been one of its strengths and that
should continue in 2000-01 with the return some of its top defensemen. On offense, SJU brings back seven of last year's top 10 scoring leaders. SJU also returns its top two goaltenders. The Johnnies will welcome five new pairs of skates to the varsity squad in 2000-01. John Harrington, the winningest hockey coach in school history, holds a 109-73-14 career record with the Johnnies. Harrington, a member of the 1980 USA Olympic gold medal hockey team, comes back for a SJU record eighth season as hockey head coach which includes six MIAC playoff appearances and two Division III national tournament berths.

Complete preview can be found at: www.csbsju.edu/sjusports/hockeypre01.html

Saint Mary's University
Head Coach: Don Olson (23rd season / 291-278-22)
1999-2000 Record: 9-14-2 (4-11-1 MIAC / 7th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Ryan Stinson (F, Jr., Winona, Minn., 5-11, 180, 25 GP, 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points
Denny O'Connor (F, Sr., Roseville, Minn., 5-10, 185, 24 GP, 3 goals, team-leading 19 assists, 22 points)
Todd Hangge (F, So., Rochester, Minn., 24 GP, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points)
Matt Hangge (F, Sr., Rochester, Minn., 5-10, 190, 9 goals, 12 assists, 21 points)
Season Preview:
The 1999-2000 season didn't work out quite the way the Saint Mary's University men's hockey team had envisioned, and if this year's preseason is any indication, the Cardinals aren't about to let the 2000-2001 season be the sequel.

Following the lead of captains Matt Hangge (Rochester, Minn.), Dustin Noble (Spring Lake Park, Minn.), Denny O'Connor (Roseville, Minn.) and Ryan Stinson (Winona, Minn.), the Cardinals have turned over a new leaf this season -- and underneath it, they are hoping to find a return to the glory years of the past.

"The atmosphere around this team is completely different than it's been the past couple of years," said SMU coach Don Olson, who is entering his 23rd season as the Cardinals' head coach. "It's still pretty early, but the team chemistry is outstanding, and a lot of the credit for that has to go to the seniors, who have worked very hard -- both on ice and during (preseason) dryland -- to bring everyone together and make sure they are all on the same page."

A page on which the Cardinals might want to scribble, "A new beginning." With 11 seniors gone from last year's squad, and 16 new faces on this year's 32-man roster, the 2000-2001 season truly will be a fresh start -- in more ways than one.

"Last year certainly left a bad taste in everyone's mouth," admitted Olson, whose team slumped to a 9-14-2 overall record, the worst finish in 16 years. "But it's a new year, with a lot of new players -- and a completely new attitude.

"Everyone's excited to get the season off and running," admitted Olson, whose team "officially" kicks off its season next Friday, playing host to Concordia -- winners of the four-team MIAC playoffs and NCAA Division III quarterfinalists a year ago. "Everyone's worked very hard to this point -- now it's time to put all that hard work to the test."

St. Olaf College
Head Coach
: Sean Goldsworthy (3 years)
1999-2000 Record: 11-12-2 (6-8-2 MIAC / 5th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Jason Haider (Defenseman, Sr., Lino Lakes)
Jeff Simison (Center, Sr., Moorhead)
Tim Legreid (Right Wing, Sr., Moorhead)
Nick Hanson (Center, So., Eden Prairie)
Jake Bullard (Goalie, So., Bloomington)
Season Preview:
Returning a core of 17 players who saw significant ice time, the St. Olaf Men’s Hockey team hopes to improve on its fifth place finish from the 1999-2000 season. Led by All-Conference co-captains Jason Haider (Sr., Lino Lakes, MN) and Jeff Simison (Sr., Moorhead, MN) the St. Olaf men are looking to the MIAC playoffs. 

University of St. Thomas
Head Coach
: Terry Skrypek (14th season / 250-111-23)
1999-2000 Record: 27-4-2 (14-1-1 MIAC / 1st) NCAA Division III-2nd
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Mike McMahon, SR, D, 2nd-Team All-Amer., All-MIAC, 99-00: 7g-17a/24 pts
Brad Moore, SO, GK, 1999-2000: 25-3-1, 2.54 GAA, .907 save%, school-record five shutouts
Tony Lawrence, JR, F, All-MIAC; 19g-25a/44 points in 1999-2000
Eric Wenkus, JR, F, 11g-28a/39 points in 1999-2000
Joey Melquist, SR, F, 1999-2000: 6g-10a/16 points; Career: 23g-21a/44 points
Luke Volk, SR, D, 1999-2000: 3g-13a/16 points; Career: 3g-21a/24 points
Season Preview:
The Tommies graduated their monster scoring line -- Steve Aronson, Brian Bolf and Andy Disch -- that combined for 200 points in 1999-2000. Along the way, that trio helped the Toms become the first MIAC hockey team ever to reach an NCAA championship game. The Toms' 2-1 loss to Norwich last March capped a 27-4-2 season which saw the Toms win the MIAC regular-season crown (14-1-1) for the 10th time in 12 seasons.

UST's 14th-year head coach Terry Skrypek returns an All-American defenseman (senior captain Mike McMahon), a record-setting goalie (sophomore Brad Moore) and several potent scorers. Throw in a few talented transfers, and the Toms look like they'll be a force again in 2000-2001. UST is ranked eighth in the preseason Division III poll.

The Tommies graduated four forwards who alone combined for 575 career points and helped post an 81-32-7 won-loss record in their era. Aronson, now playing with Cleveland in the International Hockey League, was named Division III Player of the Year in NCAA Division III hockey after leading the nation in scoring with 91 points (38 goals, 53 assists). A three-time All-American and an Academic All-American, Aronson also broke Andre Beaulieu's 35-year-old MIAC career scoring record with 244 points. He also was a two-time conference Player of the Year and a two-time conference scoring champion. Aronson, also a starter on the Toms' 1999 and 2000 NCAA Division III runner-up baseball teams, played on UST teams that won eight MIAC regular-season or tournament championships in hockey and baseball. Aronson's linemates, Bolf (All-American, 176 career points) and Disch (70 career points), are now playing with the New Haven Knights in the East Coast League. Also gone is Ryan Francis (85 career points).

But the forward position will be solid again. Skrypek likes the scoring potential of four juniors -- Tony Lawrence (19g-25a/44 points last season), Eric Wenkus (11g-28a/39); Matt Caven (5g-3a/8); and Bemidji State transfer
Jacob Searles. Four seniors also will contribute -- Joey Melquist (6g-10a/16); Brian Waldo (3g-10a/13); Brad Bonine (3g-3a/6); and Ben Stauffer (4g-1a/5).

Back at goalie is sophomore Brad Moore, who finished 25-3-1 with a 2.54 GAA, .907 save percentage and a school-record five shutouts as a freshman last season. Junior Mat Gershater and junior transfer David Anderson are the back-ups.

On defense, McMahon (7g-17a/24) will be joined by fellow senior alternate captain Luke Volk (3g-13a/16), and three sophomores -- Nick Oprish (5g-8a/13), Dan Starkey (4g-6a/10) and Bryan Skrypek (0g-9a/9).

1999-00 Links - StandingsResultsAwards, Players of the Week, Preseason Preview
Aronson DIII Player of the Year


 1999-2000 Final Standings
   MIAC  Pts.  Overall
St. Thomas 14-1-1 29* 27-4-2
Concordia 13-2-1 27* 20-9-2
Augsburg 8-5-3 19* 10-13-4
St. John's 7-6-3 17* 12-12-3
St. Olaf 6-8-2 14 11-12-2
Bethel 6-9-1 13 10-14-1
Gustavus 5-9-2 12 7-16-2
St. Mary's 4-11-1 9 9-14-2
Hamline 1-13-2 4 5-17-3

* Clinched spot in MIAC Playoffs