Huskies Open 2019-2020 Season Friday Night at Castleton
GORHAM, Maine -- University of Southern Maine men's ice hockey coach Ed Harding announced recently that senior forward Mark Tomaschek (Toms River, N.J.) will wear the "C" as the Huskies' captain for the upcoming 2019-2020 season that begins this weekend with a two-game road trip to Vermont. In addition, Harding indicated that senior forward Cody Braga (Middleboro, Mass.) and senior defenseman Brock Padgham (Chilliwack, B.C.) would wear the "A" as assistant captains.
The Huskies play tomorrow night (7 p.m.) at Castleton University (0-1) and Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.) at Norwich University (1-0). After this weekend's road trip, the Huskies return home for their home-opening weekend on November 15-16 against New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) foes Babson College and the University of Massachusetts Boston.
"Mark has earned everything since being at the University of Southern Maine through hard work. He earned being a captain through his demeanor and leadership," commented Harding about his senior captain.
"Cody commands a lot of respect with his relentless play on the ice," continued Harding. "He is fearless at taking the body with a very hard shot and definitely leaves it all on the ice every game. He definitely leads by example.
"Brock leads through his experience and his passion for the game. He has played quite a few games from his freshman year on and I put a lot of pressure on him with high expectations," added Harding.
A four-year member of the Huskies' program, Tomaschek played in 23 games last season netting three goals, including one power-play marker, and passing out three assists. In 66 career games, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward has collected four goals and five assists for nine points.
Majoring in economics, Tomaschek is a two-time NEHC All-Academic Team honoree, and a three-time recipient of the USM Athletic Department's William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete Award.
The co-leader for goals scored last season with nine and in his rookie season (2016-17) with eight, Braga was the Huskies' second leading scorer with 15 points on nine goals and six assists. Four of Braga's nine goals came on the power play. During his first three seasons, Braga has scored 20 goals, including eight on the power play, and passed out 10 assists for 30 points in 64 games.
The hard-hitting, 5-foot-10 winger was recognized by the NEHC last season with a spot on the November 12 weekly honor roll for his play against Johnson & Wales University and Suffolk University. A recreation and leisure studies major, Braga has received the Wise Scholar-Athlete Award on one occasion.
A regular in the Huskies' defensive corps for the past three seasons, the 5-foot-11 Padgham had four goals and one assist in 25 games last winter. He scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the Huskies' 8-4 win at Castleton that secured USM spot in the NEHC tournament. Padgham has played in 65 career games, scoring five goals and 13 assists for 18 points.
A business management major, Padgham is a two-time NEHC All-Academic Team honoree, and a three-time recipient of the Wise Scholar-Athlete Award.
In the NEHC's annual Coaches' Preseason Poll, the Huskies were picked to finish eighth this season. Reigning champion Norwich topped the poll with six first-place votes and 95 total points. Hobart College collected two-first place votes and 88 points to take the runner-up spot. UMass Boston edged out Babson for the third spot, 76-74. Rounding out the upper half of the poll was Skidmore College with 59 points. UMass Boston and Skidmore each collected one first-place vote.
Completing the 10-team poll were New England College with 56 points, followed by Suffolk University with 36, Southern Maine with 30, Castleton with 25 and Johnson & Wales with 11.