2003-04 Men’s Hockey Preview

Posted on November 3rd, 2003 by

The Gustavus men’s hockey team looks to the 2003-04 season with optimism as 20 letterwinners return from a team that finished with a mark of 14-12-1 overall and 8-7-1 in the MIAC (fifth place). Coach Brett Petersen is excited about the potential of this team due the fact that the team is made up primarily of junior and seniors that have been with him since he became the head coach at the start of the 2000-01 season. Petersen stated, “I am really pleased with the progress that we have made over the past three years. The main difference today is that we are older and more experienced. Four years ago we had two players on the team with junior hockey experience and this year we have 15 players on our varsity roster with junior experience. Our players understand what we are trying to accomplish at practice and in competition.” The 2003-04 Gustavus men’s hockey team will include talent and depth up front with three quality lines that have experience putting the puck in the net. In addition, the team will feature two quality goaltenders with two talented freshmen waiting for a chance to step in and play. There are some questions at the blue line where the team will still be a bit inexperienced, however Petersen feels this year’s squad will be one that this squad will have the most depth overall thus far.

At the forward position, the Gusties return seven of their top eight scorers from a year ago including seniors Tom Awaijane (11g, 11a — 22), Justin Davis (6g, 10a — 16), Sam Johnson (4g, 10a — 14) and Jerod Klava (10g, 7a — 17), juniors Joe Ulwelling (14g, 16a — 30), Kyle Menken (11g, 6a — 17), Jason Watters (8g, 9a — 17) and sophomore Loren Havemeier (12g, 5a — 17). Two-time all-conference selection Joe Ulwelling leads the way after scoring 30 points a year ago. In addition, Coach Petersen has added some high flying newcomers in junior transfer Reegan Rehm from Wayne State, Brandon Buskowiak, a freshman who played in the AWHL for Fairbanks last year and Steven Jensen, a freshman from Kentwood, Michigan who played for Green Mountain (VT) in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. The Gusties appear to be deep and talented up front for the first time during Petersen’s tenure.

The blue line is an area that concerns Coach Petersen due to a lack of experience and the loss of all-conference performer Matt Logan. While the Gusties feel good about the potential of the defensive group they just simply do not have the depth and the experience that is available up front and in the nets. Leading the way will be senior Brian Merchant. Merchant was the most improved player on the ice a year ago according to Coach Petersen and he continued to improve with his efforts in the weight room in the off-season. “I am very pleased with Brian’s commitment to our program and feel confident he can lead our young defensive group this season,” commented Petersen. Joining Merchant will be senior Lucas Ahlberg, junior Nick Droogsma and sophomores Keith Detlefsen, Adam Mayer and Corey Reagan. In addition, the team will welcome sophomore transfer Eric Lindquist from Bloomington, who played at the University of Connecticut last year.

While senior Dan Melde has carried the majority of the load in t he nets for Gustavus over the past three years, it appears that he will have significant help this time around.
Melde, who was the MIAC Player of the Year and a First Team All-America selection during the 2001-2002 season, got off to a slow start last year and battled injuries for most of the season. He finished with a record of 9-10-1 overall and posted a 2.62 goals against average. A healthy Melde is expected to return to his standout form of two years ago.
Backing up Melde, will be sophomore transfer Fred Lewis from Duluth. Lewis played regularly last season at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and is expected to challenge Melde for playing time this season. In addition, first-year netminder Brett Sawyer, who played at Forest Lake High School, will suit up on the varsity and look to gain experience for the future.

One of the biggest changes at the start of this season for the Gusties will be the adjustment in the scheduling format, which was instituted by the league coaches. Instead of beginning the season with critical league games, the MIAC will start the year with its non-conference schedule against the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). After three weeks of non-conference play, the MIAC will then move into its league schedule beginning December 5-6. The Gusties open the season with road games at St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin — Superior. Gustavus will open MIAC play on Dec. 5-6 with a home-and-home series with Augsburg.

2002-03 Statistics

First year of hockey: 1936
All-time play-off record: 31-44-4
Years in post-season play: 32
Last post-season appearance: MIAC Playoffs 2003/ Result: Lost in semifinals to St. John’s 4-2
All-time record: 678-491-42

Sports Information
Press Box phone: 507-933-6660

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Brett Petersen
Alma Mater/Year: Denver University/1992
Record at school (years): 34-37-8 (3)
Career record: Same
Head Coach’s office phone: 507-933-7615
Best time/day to reach coach: 9-11 am, M-F

Assistant Coaches
(Name/Alma Mater/Year/Responsibilities):
Scott Moe/Gustavus Adolphus/1995/Fifth

Series Records vs MIAC opponents
Augsburg 51-41-5
Bethel 43-9-1
Concordia 66-21-3
Hamline 78-12-1
St. John’s 53-30-3
St. Mary’s 58-31-5
St. Olaf 48-16-2
St. Thomas 49-49-7

Player & Team Information
Overall record last year: 14-12-1
Conference record/finish: 8-7-1/Fourth
Letterwinners returning/lost: 23/6
Starters Returning/lost: 6/0

Returning Key Players:
Jerod Klava, Right Forward, Senior, 5-9, 180, 10g, 17a — 27 pts.
Joe Ulwelling, Left Forward, Junior, 6-0, 200, 2-time All-Conference, 14g, 16a — 30 pts.
Dan Melde, Goaltender, Senior, 5-10, 173, 2002 First Team All-America, 2002 Co-MIAC Player of the Year, 9-10-1, 2.62 gaa in 2002-03
Tom Awaijane, Left Forward, Senior, 5-11, 175, 11g, 11a — 22 pts.
Loren “Bear” Havemeier, Right Forward, Sophomore, 5-10, 195, 12g, 5a — 17 pts.

Key Newcomers:
Reegan Rehm, Left Forward, Junior, 6-0, 180, Park Rapids, MN, Transfer from Wayne State (Mich.)
Brandon Buskowiak, Right Forward, Freshman, 5-10, 175, Rochester, MN, Fairbanks, AK in AWHL
Steven Jensen, Left Forward, Freshman, 5-10, 165, Kentwood, Mich., Green Mountain in EJHL

Key Losses (Name. Pos.. ht.. wt.. reason absent (grad/transfer/injury/misc.): notes):
Aaron Allar, Right Forward, Senior, Captain, 6g, 14a — 20 pts.
Matt Logan, Right Defense, Senior, 3g, 13a — 16 pts., All-Conference

2002-03 Preseason Roster
1 Brett Sawyer G FY Wyoming, MN
2 Loren Havemeier F SO Sleepy Eye, MN
4 Brian Merchant D SR Little Canada, MN
5 Lucas Ahlberg D SR Worthington, MN
7 Drew Keller F JR Urbandale, IA
8 Corey Reagan D SO Excelsior, MN
9 Justin Davis F SR St. Francis, MN
10 Tom Awaijane F SR Coon Rapids, MN
11 Reegan Rehm F JR Park Rapids, MN
12 Brian Slattery F SO Vadnais Heights, MN
13 Keith Detlefsen D SO Lakeville, MN
14 Sam Johnson F SR Grand Rapids, MN
15 Eric Lindquist D SO Bloomington, MN
16 Jerod Klava F SR Fargo, ND
17 Steven Jensen F FY Kentwood, MI
18 Adam Meyer D SO Buffalo, MN
19 Kyle Menken F JR Plymouth, MN
20 Matt Duncan F SO Bloomington, MN
21 Joe Ulwelling F JR Warroad, MN
22 Tim Reid D JR Coleraine, MN
23 Brandon Buskowiak F FY Rochester, MN
24 Jason Watters F JR Lakeville, MN
25 Craig Jankowski F JR Ely, MN
26 Nick Droogsma D JR Elk River, MN
28 Jay Phillips D FY Bemidji, MN
30 Fred Lewis G SO Duluth, MN
35 Dan Melde G SR Maplewood,MN

2002-03 Game-by Game Results
Nov. 1 St. Thomas Away L 1-2
Nov. 2 St. Thomas Home L 2-3
Nov. 8 Augsburg Away L 2-5
Nov. 9 Augsburg Home L 2-3, OT
Nov. 14 Marian Home L 3-4, OT
Nov. 15 Lake Forest Away L 2-4
Nov. 16 St. Norbert Away L 3-6
Nov. 22 St. John’s Home L 1-2, OT
Nov. 23 St. John’s Away L 5-6
Dec. 6 UW-Eau Claire Home W 6-0
Dec. 7 UW-Stevens Pt. Home W 6-2
Dec. 12 Hamline (Non-Conference) Home W 6-4
Jan. 7 UW – Stout Away W 6-3
Jan. 11 St. Scholastica Home W 8-3
Jan. 14 UW – River Falls Home L 2-4
Jan. 17 Concordia Away T 3-3
Jan. 18 Concordia Away W 4-1
Jan. 24 Hamline Home W 5-1
Jan. 25 Hamline Away W 8-4
Jan. 31 St. Mary’s Away L 3-4
Feb. 1 St. Mary’s Home W 5-2
Feb. 7 St. Olaf Away W 4-1
Feb. 8 St. Olaf Home W 8-2
Feb. 14 Bethel Away W 4-1
Feb. 15 Bethel Home W 10-0
Feb. 27 Concordia
MIAC Playoffs
Play-In Game W 3-1

Feb. 28 St. John’s
MIAC Playoffs L 2-4

2003-04 Schedule
Nov 7, 2003 M. Hockey at St. Scholastica 7:05
Nov 8, 2003 M. Hockey at UW-Superior 7:05
Nov 14, 2003 M. Hockey at UW-Stevens Point 7:30
Nov 15, 2003 M. Hockey at UW-Eau Claire 7:05
Nov 21, 2003 M. Hockey vs. St. Norbert 7:05
Nov 22, 2003 M. Hockey vs. Lake Forest 7:05
Nov 25, 2003 M. Hockey at UW-River Falls 7:05
Dec 5, 2003 M. Hockey vs. Augsburg 7:05
Dec 6, 2003 M. Hockey at Augsburg 7:05
Dec 10, 2003 M. Hockey at Hamline 7:05
Jan 4, 2004 M. Hockey vs. Amherst 5:05
Jan 10, 2004 M. Hockey at St. John’s 7:05
Jan 11, 2004 M. Hockey vs. St. John’s 2:05
Jan 23, 2004 M. Hockey vs. Concordia 7:05
Jan 24, 2004 M. Hockey vs. Concordia 2:05
Jan 30, 2004 M. Hockey vs. Hamline 7:05
Jan 31, 2004 M. Hockey at Hamline 7:05
Feb 6, 2004 M. Hockey vs. St. Mary’s 7:05
Feb 7, 2004 M. Hockey at St. Mary’s 7:05
Feb 13, 2004 M. Hockey at St. Olaf 7:05
Feb 14, 2004 M. Hockey vs. St. Olaf 7:05
Feb 20, 2004 M. Hockey vs. Bethel 7:05
Feb 21, 2004 M. Hockey at Bethel 7:05
Feb 26, 2004 M. Hockey at St. Thomas 7:05
Feb 27, 2004 M. Hockey vs. St. Thomas 7:05


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