OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha hockey team announced its annual year-end team awards today.
Senior David Pope
was named the Mavericks' Most Valuable Player. He led the team in scoring with 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points, all career bests. Pope finished sixth in the NCHC in scoring for all games played and was third in goals and first with 12 power play goals, a total that tied him for second in the country. Pope was a member of the All-NCHC First Team. The native of Edmonton, Alberta finished fourth in scoring in NCHC games only, tallying 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. He recorded his first career hat trick on Feb. 2 at St. Cloud State.
Senior Tyler Vesel
picked up a pair of awards. He was named the team's Outstanding Forward and Top Student-Athlete. Vesel was second in scoring for the Mavericks with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points. He was one of just four players to appear in all 36 games. He finished his career with 149 games played, missing just one game during his four-year career, and tallied 108 career points to become the 16th Maverick to earn 100 or more points. The native of Rochester, Minn. was named the NCHC Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year for finishing his UNO career with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.85 in exercise science.
Another senior, Joel Messner
, took home the team's Outstanding Defenseman Award. Messner had a career year for the Mavericks, scoring five goals and 18 assists for 23 points, more than his doubling his career point total in one year. Messner ranked fifth in team scoring and first among defensemen. The native of Lorette, Manitoba also led the team with 70 blocked shots and tied for second on the team with two game-winning goals, the first of his career.
Junior Evan Weninger
was the Mavericks' Outstanding Goaltender. Weninger appeared in a career-best 31 games and earned a career-high 15 wins. With now 80 career games played, he is tied for fourth in UNO history in that category and ranks fourth in minutes (4,536:00), wins (39) and saves (2,216). The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was twice named the NCHC's Goaltender of the Week.
Freshman Martin Sundberg
was named UNO's Rookie of the Year. The native of Linkoping, Sweden led all rookies with 20 games played, scoring one goal and adding four assists for five points while finishing with an even plus/minus rating.
Sophomore Zach Jordan
earned the nod as the Mavericks' Most Improved Player. After registering one goal and one assist in 23 games as a freshman, Jordan finished third in team scoring with 16 goals, second on the team, 12 assists and 28 points in 34 games. The native of Collinsville, Ill. tied for second on the team with two game-winning goals and notched his first career hat trick on Dec. 8 against Minnesota Duluth.
The Seventh Man Award given to the player who best exhibits team spirit, attitude and citizenship went to junior Ryan Galt
. The native of Omaha had three goals and seven assists for 10 points, doubling his career totals. All three numbers were career bests. He was one of four players to appear in all 36 games. Galt was one of the Mavericks' leaders in community service and was one of the point people for UNO's participation with Team IMPACT. The program connected the team wtih Isaac Barchus, a young man facing health challenges. Isaac was "signed" by the team and became a regular at games and other events.
For the second straight year, junior Mason Morelli
was named the Mike Rehmeier Biggest Heart Award for his dedication and determination. Morelli appeared in 16 games, scoring four goals and 10 assists for 14 points before suffering a season-ending knee injury. During his rehab, the native of Minot, N.D. was a positive presence in the locker room during practices and games.
The Mavericks went 17-17-2 during the 2017-18 season and 10-13-1-0/0 in the NCHC, putting them in fifth place.
The 2018-19 season begins in October. Season tickets are now on sale at the Baxter Arena box office, by phone at (402) 554-MAVS and at OMavs.com.