In only its fourth season, Adrian has made amazing strides. The Bulldogs have a 77-8-1 combined record, which includes three Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association titles.
Despite those remarkable achievements, Adrian only has one NCAA tournament appearance, and that ended abruptly in a loss to St. Norbert in the first round last March.
For Adrian’s 17 seniors, this season is the last chance to make a bold statement.
“I think people understand that we’re a good team and it’s not just hearsay,” coach Ron Fogarty said. “At the same time, we are a focused group. The first group to go through is very dedicated and they not only want to be known as the first group that came through, but the first group to win a national championship. That’s our goal.”
The No. 1 senior is MCHA Player of the Year Michael Dahlinger, whose league-leading 13 goals and 41 assists for 54 points also earned him Second Team All-American honors. The previous season’s MCHA Player of the Year (2008-09), Shawn Skelly (19 goals, 15 assists, 34 points), is also back as the school’s all-time point leader (181).
The offensive depth is reinforced by the return of the top-10 point-getters, including freshman wonder Zach Graham (16 goals, 29 assists, 45 points).
The Bulldogs blue line will be without senior Chris Stansik (6 goals, 27 assists, 33 points), who is expected to miss the season due to injury. However, the defense is fortified by the return of senior rearguards Jeremy Klaver (7 goals, 19 assists, 26 points) and Quinn Waller (4 goals), who lead the team in career minutes played.
Returning goalie Ron Fogal led the MCHA in goals against average (1.93), save percentage (.926) and winning percentage (1.000) last season. This term though, the senior netminder will get a push from freshman Mike Morrisette (Oakville OJAHL), who at 6-foot is a more of standup goaltender.
“He’s going to be someone we won’t be afraid to put in if things are not going well,” Fogarty says.