MINNEAPOLIS – The Big Ten Conference has announced that University of Minnesota seniors Sidney Peters (women’s hockey) and Mike Szmatula (men’s hockey) have been honored with the 2018 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. The accolade recognizes 28 standouts out of more than 350 students honored throughout the academic year for displaying positive sportsmanship.
One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree, and two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected from each institution. All of the Sportsmanship Award winners have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these honorees must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
A native of Geneva, Ill., Peters wrapped up her Gophers career by recording a .922 save percentage and a 1.93 goals against average while playing in 28 games for the Maroon & Gold this season. She was named the WCHA Final Faceoff Most Outstanding Player after leading Minnesota to the 2018 WCHA postseason title. Along with her success on the ice, Peters was named the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient. She is a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and WCHA All-Academic honoree and earned Google Cloud Academic All-District honors this spring. Peters graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Kinesiology and plans to attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University where she will serve in the Air Force.
A native of Commerce Township, Mich., Szmatula recorded 108 career points (47 goals, 61 assists) in 139 collegiate games including 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 66 games with the Maroon & Gold. The forward spent two seasons at Northeastern before transferring to the Gophers in 2015. He was a Hockey East All-Rookie Team selection during the 2013-14 season when he ranked second in the nation in rookie scoring with 39 points. With the Gophers, Szmatula helped the program capture the 2017 Big Ten regular-season championship as the Maroon & Gold set an NCAA record with its sixth-straight conference crown. He is a two-time letter winner at Minnesota as well as a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. An alternate captain this season, Szmatula graduated with a sociology degree and was named the program’s Elwin “Doc” Romnes Leadership & Sportsmanship Award recipient as a senior.
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