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Colton Poolman named finalist for NCHC player of the year

Colton Poolman (6) was named a finalist for NCHC player of the year Thursday.

DENVER -- Colton Poolman's offensive point totals aren't as high as they were a season ago.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference coaches think his impact has been even greater, though.

The league's coaches voted Poolman, a UND junior defenseman and the team's captain, one of three finalists for NCHC player of the year award Thursday. The others are St. Cloud State defenseman Jimmy Schuldt and Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard. The award will be handed out at the NCHC's annual awards banquet next week in St. Paul.

Poolman has five goals and 17 points in 33 games for the Fighting Hawks, while registering a plus-9 rating. The East Grand Forks Senior High graduate is generally handed the assignment of slowing down the opponent's top players.

Poolman also is a finalist for the NCHC's defensive defenseman of the year award.

UND has one other major award finalist.

Senior Rhett Gardner is a finalist for the NCHC's defensive forward of the year -- an award he won last season as a junior. The other finalists are St. Cloud State sophomore Blake Lizotte, Miami senior Josh Melnick and Minnesota Duluth sophomore Justin Richards.

Gardner, UND's top shutdown centerman, leads the nation with 522 faceoff wins and has been one of UND's top penalty killers.

NCHC MAJOR AWARD FINALISTS

Player of the Year

Colton Poolman, Jr., D, UND

Jimmy Schuldt, Sr., D, SCSU

Hunter Shepard, Jr., G, UMD

Herb Brooks Coach of the Year

Brett Larson, SCSU

Andy Murray, WMU

Scott Sandelin, UMD

Senior Scholar-Athlete Award

Mason Bergh, F, CC

Fredrik Olofsson, F, Omaha

Jimmy Schuldt, D, SCSU

Rookie of the Year

Noah Cates, F, UMD

Taylor Ward, F, Omaha

Goaltender of the Year

Dávid Hrenák, So., SCSU

Filip Larsson, Fr., Denver

Alex Leclerc, Jr., CC

Hunter Shepard, Jr., UMD

Forward of the Year

Jarid Lukosevicius, Sr., Denver

Mason Morelli, Sr., Omaha

Patrick Newell, Sr., SCSU

Defensive Defenseman of the Year

Mikey Anderson, So., UMD

Colton Poolman, Jr., UND

Jimmy Schuldt, Sr., SCSU

Offensive Defenseman of the Year

Jack Ahcan, Jr., SCSU

Scott Perunovich, So., UMD

Jimmy Schuldt, Sr., SCSU

Defensive Forward of the Year

Rhett Gardner, Sr., UND

Blake Lizotte, So., SCSU

Josh Melnick, Sr., Miami

Justin Richards, So., UMD

NCHC Three Stars Award

Trevor Gorsuch, Sr., G, WMU

Alex Leclerc, Jr., G, CC

Hunter Shepard, Jr., G, UMD

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 14th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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