The former Pirate adds to his successful season with accolades.
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Former Crookston Pirate, Brady Heppner, received MIAC honors along with six other Saint John's hockey student-athletes on Monday, March 5.
Sophomore forward Brady Heppner (Crookston, Minn.), senior forward Sam Valerius (Maple Grove, Minn.), junior defenseman Sean Lang (Apple Valley, Minn.), and sophomore goaltender Andrew Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.) were named to the All-MIAC first team. Freshman defenseman Travis Brown (Otsego, Minn.) and freshman forward Ryan Kero (Hermantown, Minn.) were named to the six-man MIAC All-Rookie team. Junior forward Robb Stautz (Roseville, Minn.) was named All-MIAC honorable mention and junior forward Garrett Riebling (Chanhassen, Minn.) was named the MIAC All-Sportsmanship team.
Heppner led the MIAC with two shorthanded goals and finished third with nine goals in conference play. A MIAC All-Rookie team honoree last season, Heppner led SJU with 13 goals, which were good for fifth in the MIAC, and tied Valerius with 24 points in 25 games overall.
The All-MIAC first-team honor is the second consecutive for Valerius, who tied with Heppner for the team lead with 15 points, the eighth-most in the MIAC, in conference play. Valerius led the team in assists (10) and his six power-play points (2g/4a) in league play were good for sixth. Valerius recorded 24 points (9g/15a) in 23 games overall, including 11 points (4g/7a) in his final eight contests, and finished second in the conference with an average of 1.04 points per game. His nine power-play points (2g/7a) were good for third. Valerius ended his career with 68 points (27g/41a) and a plus/minus ratio of +14 in 84 career games.
Lindgren led the MIAC in GAA (1.70) and winning percentage (.727, 8-3 record) in league play, and finished second in save percentage (.938) by .001 to Gustavus Adolphus' Chris Amsden. He posted an 11-5-1 record overall and led the MIAC in both GAA (1.97) and save percentage (.931).
All of Lang's 11 points (6g/5a) were recorded in 15 MIAC games in 2017-18. The six goals were the most by any MIAC defenseman in conference play and his 11 points were good for eighth from the blue line.
The Johnnies have now had seven MIAC All-Rookie team selections the last four seasons. Brown finished third among MIAC freshmen with 11 points (2g/9a) in 25 games and his seven points, all assists, in league play were good for sixth amid first-year players. Kero played all 16 league games and finished second among MIAC freshmen with nine points (2g/7a). His 12 points (3g/9a) overall were also good for second among the conference's first-year players.
Stautz finished third on the team in points, both overall (22) and in MIAC play (14). He played all 26 games claimed second on the team in assists (14) and third in both goals (8) and plus/minus ratio (+7).
Riebling totaled 13 points (4g/9a) in 22 games for the Johnnies in 2017-18, including seven (2g/5a) in 14 MIAC contests. He registered only two penalties in the 22 games and was one of three Johnnies (Valerius, Kyle Wagner) to record two game-winning goals.
SJU recorded its best combined special-teams percentage in recorded history at 62.0 percent (67-for-108) in MIAC play. The 32.7-percent power play (16-for-49) was not only good enough for No. 1 in the MIAC, but it was the program's best since 1993-94 (33.3 percent, 28-for-84) and a huge improvement from last season (17.5 percent, 11-for-63). The Johnnies also led the MIAC on the penalty kill (86.4 percent, 51-for-59) in conference play.
The Johnnies finished second in the MIAC, one point from the regular-season championship, with an 11-5 conference record (16-8-2 overall). The 11 conference wins were the most since the 2005-06 season for SJU, which earned its fifth trip to the MIAC Playoffs in the last seven years. The 11 game-winning goals in conference play were scored by 11 different Johnnies, nine of which are expected to return in 2018-19.
Submitted by MIAC