The returning leaders of the Colorado College hockey team plan to build on this past season’s finish.
Defenseman Eamonn McDermott is captain for next season with Jeff Collett, Alexander Krushelnyski and Peter Stoykewych as assistants.
All four played key roles in the Tigers’ march to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five championship game last month.
“These seniors showed us how to win big games down the stretch and we plan to use that experience next year,” Krushelnyski said.
About 160 took a couple hours to look back on the season and gaze to the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference during the annual team awards brunch Sunday at the Marriott Hotel.
William Rapuzzi, who played all season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder and recorded a career-high 35 points, set a high standard as captain, McDermott said.
“It is extremely humbling to be voted as captain by your teammates and to follow the people who have served before me,” McDermott said. “These are big shoes to fill.”
Rapuzzi, who received the team dedication and sportsmanship awards, was credited for leading CC (18-19-5) through a season that ended a win shy of the program’s first Broadmoor Trophy.
Another senior who stepped forward was Rylan Schwartz, who won team awards for MVP and top scorer and shared the playoff MVP honor with senior goalie Joe Howe. The nation’s leading scorer (53 points) was on his way to San Jose to join the Sharks’ playoff practice squad.
“It was fun because the team played for each other,” Howe said of the strong finish.
The group is planning a senior trip after all seven graduate this May.
“This is only closing the chapter on college hockey,” senior Scott Winkler said. “We will remain friends and see each again.”