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SCSU Men’s Hockey: Meet the 2016-17 Freshmen

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THE 2016-17 SCSU MEN’S HOCKEY FRESHMEN: (TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT) Ryan Poehling, Dennis Cholowski, Zach Driscoll, Garrett Forster (BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT) Jack Ahcan, Jack Poehling, Jake Wahlin. (Not Pictured: Jeff Smith & Nick Poehling) PHOTO BY MADDIE MACFARLANE

After an overall record of 31-9-1 last season and the loss of seven seniors, a first line defenseman, and the program’s star goaltender, the incoming class for the SCSU men’s hockey team have some very important spots to fill. Many of the team’s top-line players left, either after graduating or signing pro contracts, and they made up 52.6 percent of the team’s goals and points scored.

The power play will be seeing plenty of changes. The Huskies were second in the nation in power-play goal percentage (29.5), and a majority of head coach, Bob Motzko’s, go-to players for the power-play are gone; Prow, Kossila, Morley, Benik, Russell, and Murray.  After Charlie Lindgren signed an NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens following his junior season, possibly the most important question on the line is who will be the starting goaltender for the Huskies.

With a new season brings a new team and brand new opportunity. Even with many seemingly large losses, don’t count the Huskies out of the game. The 2016-17 freshmen class includes a first round NHL draft pick, three brothers who helped their team win the 2015 Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament, a USHL Clark Cup champion, and not one, but two experienced goaltenders.

 

Jack Ahcan

Jersey #: 12

Position: Defenseman

Hometown: Savage, Minn.

Previous Team: Cedar Rapids Roughriders, USHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Winning the Anderson Cup with the Roughriders last season

Intended major of study: Business

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Playing games in front of a bunch of loud fans.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “SCSU was a perfect fit and [the hockey program] has a great reputation.”

 

 

Dennis Cholowski

Jersey #: 27

Position: Defenseman

Hometown: Langley, B.C.

Previous Team: Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: The 2016 NHL Draft [Drafted to Detroit, 20th overall]

Intended major of study: Mechanical Engineering

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “The hockey season.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The consistently good teams and great fans.”

 

Zach Driscoll

Jersey #: 33

Position: Goalie

Hometown: Apple Valley, Minn.

Previous Team: Penticton Vees, BCHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Playing in the Minnesota State High School Tournament

Intended major of study: Business

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “My first home game.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The coaching staff and the direction the [hockey] program has been heading over the past few years.”

 

Garrett Forster

Jersey #: 29

Position: Forward

Hometown:  Delta, B.C.

Previous Team: West Kelowna Warriors, BCHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Winning the 2016 RBC Cup

Intended major of study: Environmental Sciences

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Being a student-athlete and immersing myself in the college culture.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The diversity that the school offers, [St. Cloud State] plays in the best college hockey conference, and [the team’s] winning tradition.”

Team practice Sept. 13, 2016. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane
Team practice Sept. 13, 2016. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane

Jack Poehling

Jersey #: 3

Position: Forward

Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.

Previous Team: Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Going 31-0 to win the Minnesota State High School Tournament in 2015.

Intended major of study: Business

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Hanging out with all the guys and playing Friday-Saturday.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The player facilities and the coaching staff.”

 

Nick Poehling

Jersey #: 8

Position: Forward

Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.

Previous Team: Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Winning the State Championship senior year of high school

Intended major of study: Finance

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Making memories and friends that will last a lifetime.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The tradition that they have here, and [the school] is close to home.”

 

Ryan Poehling

Jersey #: 11

Position: Forward

Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.

Previous Team: Lakeville North High School

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Winning State sophomore year [of high school]

Intended major of study: Computer Science or Finance

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Friday and Saturday nights.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The coaching staff and the facilities.”

 

Jeff Smith

Jersey #: 1

Position: Goalie

Hometown: Maple Ridge, B.C.

Previous Team: Powell River Kings, BCHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: First college game/win

Intended major of study: Business Management

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Making memories and friendships that will last forever.”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “The winning culture and tradition of the program.”

 

Jake Wahlin

Jersey #: 21

Position: Forward

Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minn.

Previous Team: Tri-City Storm, USHL

Most memorable/favorite hockey experience: Winning the Clark Cup in the USHL [last season]

Intended major of study: Business

What are you most looking forward to being at St. Cloud State? “Playing in front of a great crowd at [the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center].”

What made you want to attend SCSU? “I have heard nothing but good things about the hockey program.”

 

Maddie MacFarlane is a senior at St. Cloud State. She is majoring in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Photojournalism and a minor in Graphic Design. In addition to the University Chronicle, MacFarlane works for the SCSU Athletics department as a photographer and is the Creative Services intern at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

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