The 2013-14 American College Hockey Coaches Association CCM All-American Teams were announced Friday night, and three Gophers were named to the teams. Two teams are given out, a West first and second team, and an east first and second team.
Gopher defenseman Mike Reilly was named a first-team All-American and will be honored with a spot on the vaunted Mariucci Arena mural. Reilly was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well, and is one key cog in the Gopher team that will play for the National Championship on Saturday.
Adam Wilcox, the Big Ten Player of the year was named to the West Second Team along with Gopher Captain Kyle Rau. Denver Senior Goalie Sam Brittan was named to the first team. Wilcox who is the main reason why the Gophers are where they are also finished second today in the voting for the Mike Richter Award which goes to the Nation's best goalie as voted by a panel of coaches and media. UMass-Lowell's Connor Hellebyuck was named the winner of that award this morning.
In my opinion, and I would think most Gopher fans, and probably Big Ten fans, Wilcox got screwed. Brittan led Denver to a fourth place finish in the NCHC, while Wilcox led the Gophers to the top of the Big Ten while playing against the #1 schedule in the nation. He has backed his team to the National Championship game while Brittan actually got yanked from Denver's first round blowout loss to Boston College. Yet somehow the coaches decided he was more worthy than Wilcox to be an All-American. Anyone who voted for Brittan can try and explain that one to me any time. I'll be waiting. With luck Wilcox will take these snubs as a chip on each shoulder and will show tomorrow night that everyone got it wrong.
The Gopher's opponent Saturday night, Union College had two players named to the East First Team and two to the Second Team. Both defensemen on the First Team are Dutchmen as both Mat Bodie and Shayne Gostisbehere were honored. Forward Daniel Carr and goalie Colin Stevens were both named to the second team.
Other players of note to Gopher fans on either team included defenseman Jake McCabe from Wisconsin, Ryan Dzingel from Ohio State and Nick Dowd from St Cloud State on the West First Team, and Badger forward Micheal Mersch on the second team. On the East squad, Jonny Gaudreau from Boston College was named to the first team, and honored with the Hobey Baker Award. Eagles forward Kevin Hayes joined him on the first team.
The Gophers and Union will face-off at 6:30 CDT on Saturday for the 2014 National Championship.