MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – All-American Tyler Sheehy will serve as team captain for the Gopher Hockey program in 2017-18 while Leon Bristedt, Mike Szmatula and Ryan Lindgren will serve as alternate captains, the team announced on Monday afternoon.
The four members of the Maroon & Gold take up the roles from senior captain Justin Kloos and senior alternate captains Jake Bischoff and Connor Reilly. The four skaters continue a long tradition of Gopher Hockey captains dating back to the program’s first season of play in 1921-22 when Chet Bros led the Maroon & Gold. Counting the new additions, 167 Gophers have worn a letter at the University of Minnesota in the program’s 96-year history.
“We’re really excited about the guys we have in the locker room next year, and that starts with our captains,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “Each of them is ‘all-in’ on being a Gopher, and they are terrific representatives of our program and the University of Minnesota.”
A native of Burnsville, Minn., Sheehy is coming off a sophomore campaign that saw the forward earn First Team All-America, Big Ten Player of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten honors while also becoming the 15th Gopher to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Sheehy led the Gophers and ranked eighth nationally with 53 points (20 goals, 33 assists) – a career high and the most points in a season by a Gopher since 2005-06. Sheehy has played in all 75 games since joining the Gophers with 83 points (32 goals, 51 assists) -- averaging 1.11 points per game in his career.
A native of Commerce Township, Mich., Szmatula notched 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 28 games for his first campaign with the Maroon & Gold. The forward, who joined the Gophers after two seasons at Northeastern, has skated in 101 career games with 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) and will be a senior next year.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Bristedt will enter his senior season with 89 points (37 goals, 52 assists) in 109 career games. The forward notched 33 points (12 goals, 21 points) in 38 games last season.
A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Lindgren was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection as a freshman in 2017-18. The defenseman tallied seven points (one goal, six assists) in 32 games as a rookie while also helping USA Hockey win gold at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships in Montreal.
The 2017-18 season marks the 97th campaign in Gopher Hockey history. The Maroon & Gold set a new NCAA record by winning the program’s sixth-straight regular-season conference title in 2016-17 including the first four conference titles in Big Ten history. Minnesota also earned its 37th NCAA tournament berth last season, setting another national record.
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