Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Mavericks Hand Out Team Awards For 2016-17

Omaha Athletics | May 03, 2017
OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha hockey team recently handed out its team awards for the 2016-17 season.

The Mavericks finished the season 17-17-5 and put up a record of 9-13-2-0/0 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, good for sixth place.  The Mavericks were eliminated by Western Michigan in three games in the first round of the NCHC Playoffs in March.

Senior Austin Ortega was named the team's Most Valuable Player and its Outstanding Forward.  Ortega, an AHCA West Second Team All-American and a member of the NCHC All-Conference First team, led the team in scoring with 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points.  His assist and point totals were career highs.  He finished second in scoring in the NCHC for all games played.

During his final season at UNO, Ortega tied the NCAA record by scoring his 23rd career game-winning goal on Dec. 30 against Lake Superior State.  He was named the NCHC Offensive Player of the Week three times and the Player of the Month in December.  The native of Escondido, Calif. ranks second all-time at UNO with 70 career goals and is the only player in school history to record three seasons with 20 or more goals.  He ranks fourth all-time with 139 career points.

Junior Luc Snuggerud was named the team's Outstanding Defenseman.  Snuggerud, an AHCA West Second Team All-American and a member of the NCHC All-Conference Second team, put up 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points to tie for third in team scoring.  All of his season totals were career highs.  He finished third in the NCHC in defenseman scoring for all games played.  He was twice named the NCHC Defenseman of the Week.  The native of Eden Prairie, Minn. signed a professional contract at the end of the season.  He ended his UNO career ranked fifth in career points by a defenseman (65), third in career goals (17) and sixth in career assists (48).

Freshman Teemu Pulkkinen was named the team's Rookie of the Year.  The native of Kirkkonummi, Finland had four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 35 games, leading UNO's rookies in assists and points and tying for first in goals.  He tied for 13th in freshman scoring in the NCHC for all games played.  

Sophomore Evan Weninger was tabbed as UNO's outstanding goaltender.  Weninger led all UNO goalies with a career best 11 wins while compiling team bests in goals against average (2.94) and save percentage (.907).  He also earned three shutouts.  He finished seventh in the NCHC in GAA and fifth in save percentage for all games played.  The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Week three times.

Junior Tyler Vesel picked up two awards.  He was the team's Seventh Man Award winner.  The native of Rochester, Minn. put up career highs in goals, assists and points while finishing second in team scoring with 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points.  For all games played, he tied for first in the NCHC with eight power play goals and tied for second with 19 power play points.  He led the team with 822 face-offs taken and paced all forwards with 52 blocked shots.  Vesel was the co-winner of the NCHC's Sportsmanship Award.

Vesel also was named the Mavericks' top student-athlete.  He led all players with a 3.88 grade point average.

Colin Grannary was named the team's Most Improved Player, measuring a player's progress from the start of the season until its conclusion.  The freshman played in 23 games, scoring a goal and adding two assists for three points.  He also had 16 penalty minutes.

Sophomore Mason Morelli was named the team's Biggest Heart Award winner.  The native of Minot, N.D. scored seven goals and had a career-best 11 assists for 18 points, also a career high.  He appeared in 37 of UNO's 39 games and tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals.  He led all forwards with a +3 plus/minus rating, a mark that ranked second on the team.

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