Northland Sports Online

Four Bulldogs All-Americans




Four University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs — junior defenseman Scott Perunovich, sophomore forwards Noah Cates and Kole Koepke, and senior goaltender Hunter Shepard — have attained American Hockey Coaches Association All-American status for 2019-20. Perunovich was named to the All-American (West) first team while Cates, Koepke and Shepard were second team honorees. Both Perunovich (three times), the newly-minted Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner, and Shepard (twice) are repeat honorees.

The four All-Americans are the second-most a UMD club has ever produced, eclipsed only by the 1983-84 Bulldogs, who had five.

With his selection, Perunovich (first team in 2017-18 and 2019-20 and second team one year ago) joins center Jack Connolly (2009-12) and defenseman Norm Maciver (1983-86) as the only three-time All-Americans in UMD history.  Perunovich was chosen the 2019-20 National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Year after pacing that circuit in scoring — the first defenseman to ever do so.  He also became the first, three-time all-NCHC first team selection in league history and joined Jack Connolly (2010-12 with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association) as the only two Bulldogs to land all-conference first team honors in three different seasons. The Hibbing, Minn., product concluded his junior year occupying the No. 2 spot on the NCAA defensemen scoring charts with a UMD-leading (and career-best) 40 points. His 22 power play points and 34 assists also ranked first and second, respectively, among all NCAA skaters. This past February, Perunovich became the 58th member of the UMD Century Club — the first Bulldog blueliner to reach that milestone since Maciver back in 1984-85. Perunovich, a three-time NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year Award recepient, closed out 2019-20 with the highest career points per game average (0.91) of any active NCAA defenseman in the nation. Since UMD joined the NCAA I ranks in 1961-62, a defenseman has reigned as the team’s scoring leader on just three occasions with Perunovich doing it twice (2019-20 and 2017-18).

Cates, who was used at both left wing and center in 2019-20, racked up 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points (all personal bests) to tie for second in scoring among Bulldogs. He also struck a career-high four times on the power play en route to landing a spot on the All-NCHC first team.  A native of Stillwater, Minn., Cates was one of nine Bulldogs to take shifts in all 34 games this season.

Koepke, another 2019-20 All-NCHC first team selection, set career bests in a number of statistical categories, including points (33), goals (a Bulldog-best 16) and assists (17) while going a +14 in 34 outings. The right winger out of Hermantown, Minn., paced the country in unassisted goals (four) and ranked third nationally in shots per game average (4.59). During the course of the year, Koepke also reigned as the NCHC leader in goals (league games only) with 14 and wrapped up his sophomore season riding a 10-game scoring streak.

An All-American first team pick one year ago, Shepard posted a 22-10-2 record, a 2.18 goals against average and a .918 saves percentage in 34 appearances during his final collegiate go-around while serving as team captain (the first Bulldog netminder in 43 years to hold the role). He also patrolled the goal crease in a higher percent of his team’s overall minutes (99.2 percent) than any puckstopper in the country. In addition to repeating as the NCHC’s Goaltender of the Year, Shepard was a Mike Richter Award finalist (most outstanding NCAA goaltender) for a third consecutive season.

In its 59 years of NCAA I competition, UMD has churned out 30 All-Americans, earning that distinction 16 times in the past 17 seasons.

First Team (West)

G – Dryden McKay, So, Minnesota State
D – Scott Perunovich, Jr, UMD
D – Ian Mitchell, Jr, Denver
F – Jordan Kawaguchi, Jr, North Dakota
F – Hugh McGing, Sr, Western Michigan
F – Marc Michaelis, Sr, Minnesota State

First Team (East)
G – Jeremy Swayman, Jr, Maine
D – David Farrance, Jr, Boston University
D – Jack Rathbone, S0, Harvard University
F – Morgan Barron, Jr, Cornell University
F – Jack Dugan, So, Providence College
F – John Leonard, Jr, Massachusetts

Second Team (West)
G – Hunter Shepard, Sr, UMD
D – Cole Hults, Jr, Penn State
D – Connor Mackey, Jr, Minnesota State
D – Alec Rauhauser, Sr, Bowling Green
F – Noah Cates, Jr, UMD
F – Cole Koepke, Jr, UMD

F – Nate Sucese, Sr, Penn State

Second Team (East)
G – Frank Marotte, Sr, Clarkson University
D – Yanni Kaldis, Sr, Cornell University
D – Mike Lee, Sr, Sacred Heart
F – Nick Abruzzese, Fr, Harvard
F – Json Cotton, Sr, Sacred Heart
F – Tyler Madde, So, Northeastern University




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