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Feature Friday: USHL Alumni Account for 77 Frozen Four Players

04/08/2021, 5:45pm CDT
By USHL

10 Alumni Also Behind the Benches in the Frozen Four

When the 2021 NCAA Frozen Four kicks off Thursday afternoon, the USHL will feature heavily in the on-ice action with 77 former players hitting the ice for the four NCAA teams in action. 

All 16 current USHL Member Clubs are represented by multiple players in the Frozen Four with the Green Bay Gamblers (11) leading the way with alumni skaters. The Gamblers are followed by the Fargo Force (9), Tri-City Storm (8), Waterloo Black Hawks (8), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (7), Chicago Steel (7), Madison Capitols (7), Muskegon Lumberjacks (7), Sioux Falls Stampede (7), Des Moines Buccaneers (6), Bloomington Thunder/Central Illinois Flying Aces (6), Omaha Lancers (5), Sioux City Musketeers (5), Dubuque Fighting Saints (4), Lincoln Stars (4), Youngstown Phantoms (4) and USA Hockey National Team Development Program (2). 

Of the 17 current and former Member Clubs with alumni in the Frozen Four, five teams (RoughRIders, Buccaneers, Force, Lancers, Storm) are guaranteed to have an alumnus win the NCAA Championship as they have a former skater on all four Frozen Four rosters. 

The Frozen Four rosters also feature Spencer Penrose Award winner (NCAA Coach of the Year) Mike Hastings, head coach of Minnesota State, former Omaha Lancers General Manager and Head Coach, as well as Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay who was recently named one of the final three players in the running for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award, which is awarded annually to the best collegiate player. The former Gamblers and Capitols netminder is also one of the seven finalists for the Mike Richter Award, which is given annually to the nation's top collegiate goaltender. 

On the initial Hobey Baker watch list, which featured 37 USHL alumni, Frozen Four players included McKay as well as Cade Borchardt (Forward, Minnesota State), Noah Cates (Forward, Minnesota Duluth), Cole Koepke (Forward, Minnesota Duluth), Nick Perbix (Defenseman, St. Cloud State), Nathan Smith (Forward, Minnesota State), and Nick Swaney (Forward, Minnesota Duluth). 

The initial Mike Richter watch list, which featured a total of 22 former USHL netminders, goalies in the Frozen Four included McKay, as well as David Hrenak (St. Cloud State) and Matt Murray (Massachusetts).

  • Three of the four Frozen Four rosters feature 20-or-more USHL alumni (Minnesota State - 21; Massachusetts - 20; Minnesota Duluth - 20).
  • University of Massachusetts leads the way in USHL alumni behind the bench with Jared DeMichiel (Associate Head Coach) as well as a Ryan Bliss and Nolan Gluchowski serving as Volunteer Assistant Coaches.
  • University of Minnesota Duluth is trying for their third-straight National Championship. USHL alumni Matt Anderson, Louie Roehl, Kobe Roth and Nick Swaney have been on all three rosters. Jackson Cates, Noah Cates, Jesse Jacques and Cole Koepke were on the previous National Championship team but not the first of back-to-back wins.

Frozen Four USHL Alumni: Players

Name NCAA Team USHL Team (Seasons)
Wyatt Aamodt Minnesota State University Chicago (2015-17), Lincoln (2017-18)
Linden Alger University of Massachusetts Youngstown (2019-20)
Ben Almquist University of Minnesota Duluth Tri-City (2017-18), Cedar Rapids (2018-19)
Matt Anderson University of Minnesota Duluth Green Bay (2015-17)
Koby Bender University of Minnesota Duluth Chicago (2015-16)
Blake Biondi University of Minnesota Duluth USA Hockey NTDP (2018-19), Sioux City (2018-20)
Aaron Bohlinger University of Massachusetts Waterloo (2019-20)
Cade Borchardt Minnesota State University Madison (2017-18), Sioux Falls (2018-19)
Chase Brand Saint Cloud State Sioux Falls (2016-17), Omaha (2017-18), Madison (2018-19)
Easton Brodzinski Saint Cloud State Fargo (2016-17), Madison (2016-17), Green Bay (2016-17)
Colby Bukes Minnesota State University Chicago (2015-16), Muskegon (2016-19)
Brendan Bushy Saint Cloud State Dubuque (2016-18)
Matthew Cairns University of Minnesota Duluth Fargo (2016-17)
Andy Carroll Minnesota State University Green Bay (2017-18)
Gianfranco Cassaro University of Massachusetts Youngstown (2017-19)
Jackson Cates University of Minnesota Duluth Waterloo (2016-18)
Noah Cates "C" University of Minnesota Duluth Omaha (2015-18)
Jaxon Castor Saint Cloud State Dubuque (2015-18)
Anthony Del Gaizo University of Massachusetts Muskegon (2015-18)
Marc Del Gaizo "A" University of Massachusetts Muskegon (2015-18)
Walker Duehr Minnesota State University Sioux City (2014-15), Tri-City (2015-16), Chicago (2016-17), Bloomington (2016-17)
Ryan Edquist Minnesota State University Madison (2014-16)
Tanner Edwards Minnesota State University Muskegon (2019-20)
Ty Farmer University of Massachusetts Youngstown (2014-17), Muskegon (2016-17), Fargo (2017-18)
Colin Felix University of Massachusetts Madison (2017-18)
Brendan Furry Minnesota State University Omaha (2017-19), Tri-City (2018-19)
Dallas Gerads "A" Minnesota State University Dubuque (2015-17)
Carson Gicewicz University of Massachusetts Youngstown (2013-14), Lincoln (2015-16), Sioux Falls (2015-16)
Darian Gotz University of Minnesota Duluth Cedar Rapids (2018-20)
Jerry Harding University of Massachusetts Bloomington (2016-17), Omaha (2018-19), Cedar Rapids (2018-19)
Sam Hentges Saint Cloud State Des Moines (2017-18), Tri-City (2017-18)
David Hrenak Saint Cloud State Green Bay (2016-17)
Jesse Jacques University of Minnesota Duluth Green Bay (2017-18)
Jake Jaremko Minnesota State University Chicago (2014-17)
Lucas Jaycox "A" Saint Cloud State Lincoln (2014-17)
Zachary Jones University of Massachusetts Tri-City (2018-19)
Wyatt Kaiser University of Minnesota Duluth Dubuque (2019-20)
Connor Kelley University of Minnesota Duluth USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20)
Matt Kessel University of Massachusetts Fargo (2017-18), Chicago (2017-18), Sioux Falls (2018-19)
Calen Kiefiuk University of Massachusetts Bloomington (2016-17), Central Illinois (2017-19)
Cole Koepke "A" University of Minnesota Duluth Sioux City (2016-18)
Jami Krannila Saint Cloud State Sioux Falls (2018-19)
Joseph Lamoreaux Saint Cloud State Madison (2017-19)
Reed Lebster University of Massachusetts Des Moines (2016-19)
Jarrett Lee University of Minnesota Duluth Green Bay (2019-20)
Hunter Lellig University of Minnesota Duluth Waterloo (2016-18)
Josh Lopina University of Massachusetts Lincoln (2018-20)
Reggie Lutz Minnesota State University Chicago (2016-17)
Oliver MacDonald University of Massachusetts Muskegon (2017-20), Fargo (2019-20)
Tony Malinowski Minnesota State University Tri-City (2017-18), Des Moines (2017-19)
Dryden McKay Minnesota State University Green Bay Gamblers (2015-16), Madison (2016-18)
Shane McMahon Minnesota State University Fargo (2014-17)
Jack McNeely Minnesota State University Tri-City (2014-17), Muskegon (2016-17)
Spencer Meier "C" Saint Cloud State Fargo (2017-18)
Brady Meyer University of Minnesota Duluth Central Illinois (2017-19), Des Moines (2018-19), Green Bay (2018-19)
George Mika University of Massachusetts Waterloo (2014-15)
Micah Miller Saint Cloud State Sioux City (2016-18)
Joey Molenaar Saint Cloud State Tri-City (2018-20), Cedar Rapids (2019-20)
Matthew Murray University of Massachusetts Fargo (2016-17)
Luke Mylymok University of Minnesota Duluth Green Bay (2018-20)
Julian Napravnik Minnesota State University Des Moines (2016-18)
Ondrej Pavel Minnesota State University Fargo (2018-20)
Nicklaus Perbix Saint Cloud State Omaha (2017-18)
Louie Roehl "A" University of Minnesota Duluth Waterloo (2016-17)
Kobe Roth University of Minnesota Duluth Des Moines (2015-17)
Ryan Sandelin Minnesota State University Sioux City (2015-16), Bloomington (2016-17)
Nathan Smith Minnesota State University Cedar Rapids (2017-19)
Jared Spooner "A" Minnesota State University Green Bay (2015-17)
Nick Swaney "A" University of Minnesota Duluth Waterloo (2014-17)
Zach Stejskal University of Minnesota Duluth Bloomington (2016-17), Central Illinois (2017-18)
Ryan Sullivan University of Massachusetts Sioux Falls (2018-20)
Bobby Trivigno "A" University of Massachusetts Waterloo (2017-18)
Garrett Wait University of Massachusetts Waterloo (2015-18)
Nolan Walker Saint Cloud State Sioux Falls (2016-18)
Brady Ziemer Saint Cloud State Green Bay (2019-20)
Trevor Zins Saint Cloud State Cedar Rapids (2015-17)
Riese Zmolek "C" Minnesota State University Cedar Rapids (2015-17)

Frozen Four USHL Alumni: Coaches

Name Role NCAA Team USHL Team (Seasons) Role
Jason Aldrich Conditioning Coach University of Minnesota Duluth Green Bay Gamblers (2012-17) Conditioning Coach & Equipment Manager
Ryan Bliss Volunteer Assistant Coach) University of Massachusetts USA Hockey NTDP (2012-14) Player
Darren Blue Assistant Coach Minnesota State University Des Moines (1989-91) Player
Jared DeMichiel Associate Head Coach University of Massachusetts Indiana Ice (2005-06), Chicago Steel (2005-06) Player
Nolan Gluchowski Volunteer Assistant Coach University of Massachusetts Tri-City (2011-14), Sioux Falls (2013-14) Player
Mike Hastings Head Coach Minnesota State University Austin Mavericks (1984-85), Rochester Mustangs (1985-86) Player
Omaha (1992-93) Assistant Coach
Omaha/River City Lancers (1994-08) General Manager & Head Coach
Brett Larson Head Coach Saint Cloud State University Sioux City (2011-13) General Manager & Head Coach
Todd Knott Associate Head Coach Minnesota State University Lincoln (1998-99) Player
Des Moines (2005-08) Assistant Coach (Interim Head Coach)
Sioux City (2008-09) General Manager & Head Coach
Adam Krause Assistant Coach University of Minnesota Duluth Chicago (2010-11), Sioux City (2010-11) Player
Nick Oliver Assistant Coach Saint Cloud State University Fargo (2008-11) Player
Sioux Falls (2015-18) Assistant Coach & Director of Scouting

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