Standing at only 5’9” and weighing 175 pounds, freshman Brandon Osmundson played a big game for the Utica Pioneers as he led all freshmen in the country in scoring with 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points. Osmundson fit right in with the veteran talent at Utica and quickly established himself as a very productive part of the Pioneer offense.
“We knew “Oz” since he was an 18-year old playing hockey for Hampton Roads,” said head coach Gary Heenan. “He grew up in that area and we have a good connection with the staff there and saw Brandon early on in his career. He had chances to play Tier II but stayed at Tier III and we followed him closely having committed to him at 18. Our staff was looking for some size in players for this season and Brandon was the notable exception as he is not a big kid but he is a flyer and very skilled with the puck. We saw him fitting in right a way especially in the 5-on-5 game where he was very productive early. He only had two power play goals all season and really had to battle through a lot of physical play from opponents who recognized the need to limit his time and possession of the puck. Brandon competes very hard and is a really mentally tough player who worked through some rough patches and some short scoring droughts through his own work ethic and great support from his teammates.”
Osmundson was especially productive against conference opponents where he scored 25 points coming on ten goals and 15 assists in 18 games played. Despite the physical approach opponents took towards defending him, Osmundson took only five minor penalties on the season and two in UCHC play. Other coaches and teams recognized the strong performance by recognizing him on the second-team all-conference team as well as naming him the UCHC Rookie of the Year and a member of the all-rookie team.
“Brandon grew a lot in his first season,” noted Heenan. “He earned his minutes of ice time and was a key part of the penalty kill and as an offside distributor with the power play. He is very dynamic when he gets on the ice and he will be a lot of fun to watch over his four years here at Utica.”
Osmundson stands out among a great class of rookies that showed great poise and productivity in their game to earn spots on the All-USCHO Rookie Team. The remainder of the team includes:
All-USCHO Rookie Team
F – Brandon Osmundson – FR – Utica
F – Zach Mazur – FR – Endicott
F – Zachary Heintz – FR – Adrian
D – Joe Petruzella – FR – Massachusetts-Boston
D – Scotty Nicholson – FR – Lake Forest
G – Colby Entz – FR – St. Norbert