The Bozeman Icedogs had one of their best years in over a decade and three players have been rewarded for their efforts on the year as well. Kegan Couture, Stephen Marshall Frank and Nick Thompson all were named to the Frontier Division 1st team award for their positions.
Kegan Couture - Forward
Kegan Couture scored 76 points this year and was 7th in the NA3HL scoring with 28 goals and 48 assists and a plus 20 rating. Kegan had this to say about his career as an Icedog. "I am honored to be chosen within our division for such an award to be one of the top players at my position. I want to thank my family, teammates, the organization and Coach Vichorek for all helping in my success and my career in Bozeman. I would also like to thank Gunnar Mogck for being my linemate all this time and scoring a lot when I passed him the puck. Without all this help it is hard for any player to have success on their own."
Couture ended his career as the all time points leader with 59 goals and 122 assists for 181 points. "Kegan has been a very good player with us and soon should be rewarded by playing D-3 hockey at the NCAA level. Kegan was the team Captain this past season and helped lead on and off the ice. With players of this caliber it makes a coaches job a lot easier to coach and teach knowing they will work hard everyday to be successful and push themselves and their teammates to be better and that is what Kegan did for the Icedogs and he will be very difficult to replace," said Coach Vichorek.
Stephen Marshall Frank - Goaltender
Stephen Marshall Frank was chosen as the Frontier Division Goaltender of the year. Frank this season was first in games played, first in minutes played, third in wins, fifth in save percentage and second in total saves in the NA3HL.
"Anytime a goaltender can help carry a team and put up those kinds of numbers deserves to be chosen as the Division's best goaltender." said Vichorek of Frank. Stephen had this to say about receiving this award and his time in Bozeman. "Playing these last two years in Bozeman has been the best time of my hockey life. I am very honored to have the opportunity to be the starter for this team. I am lucky to have had such a reliable team throughout my time with the Icedog organization. Coach Vichorek was always very supportive of me when my play was not always up to his standards. I worked extremely hard to regain his trust to be the player to count on in all the games he started me in. I am deeply honored for the Divisional goalie of the year award as it was one of my goals I strove for from the beginning of the year. I want to thank all the people involved in this achievement this season. I want to thank my parents, the owners of the Icedogs, the coaching staff, and especially my teammates. Without a good team in front of me none of this would have been possible. I would also like to thank the fans in Bozeman for being some of the best and most loyal in the league and making my junior experience a special one." Stephen Marshall Frank is being pursued by a couple NCAA D-3 schools for next season. Coach Vichorek said this of his starter. "Steven put in the time and effort to put himself in a position to move up and play college hockey at a high level. He changed his attitude and worked his tail off and the rewards seem to be paying off and it is well deserved."
Nick Thompson - Defenseman
Nick Thompson led all defensemen in Junior hockey in scoring this past season with 67 points. Nick was also the leader in power play assists for defensemen in the country. Nick is third in all time in scoring for defensemen in a season as well as fourth in assists at the Tier three level. To be named Defenseman of the Year as well as the Most Valuable Player in the Frontier Division as a rookie is a great accomplishment. Thompson had 14 goals and 53 assists for 67 points and a team leading plus 37 rating this past season.
"I can't take all the credit for these awards. I had some great teammates and and a great team to play on all season. I couldn't pass the puck to myself to score and get any points and that's where my team stepped up and finished some of the plays I was fortunate enough to start. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to play for such a quality organization. The owners and the billets and staff are the best and make it so much easier to have a great junior hockey experience in Bozeman. We are so spoiled with the Bozeman Icedogs and it makes it so much easier to just play your best when you know you are taken care of. I especially want to thank Coach Vichorek for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to better my skills and have every opportunity to move up a level or on to NCAA college. Coach did everything he said he would and more and my experience was awesome in Bozeman," said Thompson of his season in Bozeman. "Nick deserves the awards he received. He was an integral part in our improvement as a team this year with his abilities and attitude. Nick was voted as an alternate Captain this year as his teammates saw his ability to lead and do what he could to help the team win. Nick also made our power play and penalty killing one of the best in the country as he logged about 40 minutes a game for us. We knew what he could do and did for us, but the true measure is the voting of the other coaches in our division that truly puts it into focus of his worth. He will very hard to replace as a player and as a human being," said Coach Vichorek of Thompson's play and personality. Nick is waiting to find out if he will be moving up to the USHL or NAHL or straight on to NCAA College hockey.
It has been a long time since the Icedogs have had a great season and three recognized players. Let's hope it continues a long way into the future and have even more success!
Read more at - http://na3hl.com/news/story.cfm?id=17807