The Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake Moose had several individuals recognized for their excellence on and off the ice following the conclusion of the state championship game Saturday.
In an awards ceremony immediately following the game, MAML had four players selected to the Class A All-Tournament team. Nick Zwack, Ben Ward, Charlie Voller and Tyler Klatt were all selected for their outstanding play during MAML’s three-game run. Zwack scored four goals and added an assist during the tournament, scoring at least once during every game. The senior forward provided one of the highlights of the tournament Friday, scoring with just three seconds left to beat Northfield in the semifinal round.
Ward, the top-line center for MAML, put himself on the map with his play this week. The junior scored twice and assisted on five goals for a team-best seven points during the tournament. He also got the best of his opponents in the face-off circle in two of the three state games.
Voller picked up three helpers on the week, but his impact was even better measured by eye than by stats. The senior defenseman foiled any number of opponents chances during the week, constantly putting out fires in the defensive zone.
And Klatt played his best hockey of the season on the biggest stage in the state. The junior netminder was nothing short of brilliant in the championship loss Saturday, which was just a continuance of his entire postseason. Klatt stopped 106 shots, while allowing just eight goals for a blistering save percentage of .930 at state.
A separate honor, and perhaps the biggest of the day, went to Voller when he was named the Class A recipient of the Herb Brooks Award. The award goes to one player in each class at the state tournament. The Herb Brooks Foundation website describes the award as such: “The Herb Brooks Award is given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks. This prestigious award will commemorate the unending influence Herb Brooks had on the sport of hockey in Minnesota and throughout the world.”
Other characteristics the award, named after the Gold-medal winning hockey coach, is based upon include: True love for hockey – a real passion, commitment and loyalty to school, team, and community, willingness to sacrifice for the team, integrity, excellent work ethic, mental toughness, courage of his/her convictions, and strong hockey skills.
“I can’t put it into words. It’s incredible,” said Voller, about winning the award. “I’ve watched a lot of great hockey players get that over the years and never would’ve expected to be down here at the tournament, state championship game, then to win that award at the end, it’s pretty special.”
The senior is an absolutely fierce competitor on the ice, but said he takes a lot of pride in keeping it between the whistles.
“You go out there and you play physical, you play hard, but in the end it’s just a game and I try to be as kind as I can to officials and players at the end of it,” said Voller.
Editor’s Note: Full story with additional quotes can be found in the March 16th Monticello Times.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]