UMC Men's Hockey Update

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s club hockey team is .500 with just over half of its season left. 

The Golden Eagles’ season started with two match ups postponed due to COVID-19. Their first two games were against the Jamestown, where the Golden Eagles split, winning 4-2 and losing 3-6. Crookston’s most recent games were also against the Jimmies, where the two teams split again for the series split. Against the conference-leading Minnesota Gophers, the Golden Eagles also split, losing the first night 1-4 and battling back to win the next day 6-2. The only team to challenge Crookston has been the Minnesota State University-Mankato Mavericks, who defeated the Golden Eagles 6-3 and tied with them 4-4. The other season tie came from the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, who also happen to be the only opponent Crookston has shut out.  

In the Western Collegiate Club Hockey Association (WCCHA), the Golden Eagles sit at fourth in the Northwest Division behind Minnesota, St. Cloud State and North Dakota State. St. John’s, UND and Bethel sit below Crookston at fifth and tied for sixth, respectively. 

Tyler Zahradka leads the Golden Eagles in points and goals with 16 and 14, respectively. He has two hat tricks in the season. The first came in the shutout against UND, and his second was in the win against Minnesota. Nikolai Rajala sits just behind Zahradka in points with 15, coming from 6 goals and 9 assists. Casey Kallock and Logan Syrup both have a team-leading 10 assists and 3 goals, totaling 13 points. Jackson Fuller rounds out the top four players with assists at 5.  

Three goalies have contributed to Crookston’s success. Jake Sumner has a 2-0 record, allowing 8 goals for an .892 save percentage. Braden Schmitz has the highest save percentage on the team (.929), allowing 7 goals in his three starts for a 1-1-1 record. Jared Aamold, who has a 1-2 record and .880 save percentage, has the lone shutout for Crookston. 

The men’s hockey team faces off against Dakota College at Bottineau on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, looking for their first series sweep.  

Conference standings and stats are not up to date. Sources for this information can be found at achahockey.org and wccha.com.

Tyler Zahradka, who has 14 goals this season, scores from his knees
Logan Syrup passes back to his defensemen
Nikolai Rajala controls the puck behind the net
Casey Kallock makes a hard stop on the ice