FROZEN FOUR: No time to look back for GenowayMedical redshirt has given Genoway another chance to reach the Frozen Four.
By: Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald
Last year was a most difficult one for Chay Genoway.
He missed the last four and a half months of the season due to post-concussion syndrome and struggled to do everyday tasks such as reading, looking at a computer screen and going to class.
“I try not to think about last year,” Genoway said. “I try to blank that out of my mind.”
So, perhaps, that explains why Genoway hasn’t thought about this: If not for the concussion and all of the challenges he faced a year ago, Genoway would not have been part of this fun ride to the NCAA Frozen Four. UND plays Michigan on Thursday night in the second semifinal game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Genoway was a senior a year ago, but was able to return for a fifth year because of a medical redshirt that the NCAA granted because he played in just nine games.
“I think that everything happens for a reason,” Genoway said.
Despite getting a handful of professional contract offers, Genoway decided to return to UND and go out on his own terms.
He put together another fantastic season, earning first-team all-Western Collegiate Hockey Association honors for the second time in his career. He earned all-conference honors four times.
Genoway also was named a second-team All-American by both Inside College Hockey and College Hockey News. The main All-American awards will be announced Friday.
Genoway, the WCHA’s student-athlete of the year, achieved a career high with 37 points and moved into fourth in all-time defenseman scoring at UND.
Most important to the team captain, he’s been a big part of UND’s success this year, winning the MacNaughton Cup for the second time in his college career, the Broadmoor Trophy for a second time and now he’s off to the Frozen Four for a third time.
“Absolutely no regrets on making that decision to come back,” said Genoway, a native of Morden, Man. “It was definitely a great decision to come back and be part of this team. It’s been a fun ride so far and hopefully there are more memories to come.”
It took a while for Genoway to regain his old form this season, coming off of the concussion. Once he did, Genoway tied the school record for longest point streak by a defenseman with a 12-game run that spanned from Nov. 27 to Jan. 22.
His season took another turn at the end of January when he was checked behind the net at Colorado College and suffered a leg injury. Genoway missed the next eight games, but was able to return in time for the playoffs.
In the seven games since returning from that injury, Genoway has 12 points and the team is 7-0.
“We’ve seen Chay go through a process when he comes back into the lineup in terms of getting him back to the level he wants,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’ve seen that same process. In particular, I thought the last two periods of the game against Denver were vintage Chay Genoway. He impacted the game but he did it by being a real efficient and simple hockey player.”
And although last year was one of the biggest challenges he’s faced in his life, he’s seen some nice rewards for it this year.
“It’s definitely a special team to be a part of this year,” Genoway said. “I never really thought of it that way, but I guess if (last year) didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com.