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Huskies name Broetzman captain; Gotz, Bliss alternates

(Photo Illustration by Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette; David Archambeau/Photo for The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Michigan Tech named three new captains for the upcoming hockey season.

Junior Alec Broetzman was named captain, with fellow juniors Eric Gotz and Trenton Bliss named alternate captains.

Broetzman became an alternate captain just before the Great Lakes Invitational last season.

“These guys wear the letters, but they have great support going throughout the team,” Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan said. “Hard decision, but I think it became evident in our exit meetings the impact that these guys had on their teammates in a positive way. I know they’ll do a great job.”

Broetzman was the team’s leading goal scorer last year with 16 goals and tied with Bliss (12 goals) for the team lead with 27 points.

Gotz had the second-highest point total of Tech defensemen last season, scoring four goals and 16 assists.

Broetzman, of Hudson, Wisconsin, will take over as captain after Ray Brice and Alex Smith shared co-captain duties for half of last season. Smith was named a co-captain the same time Broetzman was named an alternate.

“Alec has emerged as a dominant force both in the locker room and on the ice,” Shawhan said in a MTU press release. “His quiet style is a strength that commands respect. Alec will be assisted by classmates Trenton Bliss and Eric Gotz. Trenton has a fierce will to win and is a vocal leader within the team. Eric is a calculated individual who offers great hockey knowledge to share with young teammates. I look forward to working closely with them to mold this year’s team.”

Shawhan said the coaching staff chooses the captains with input from the team.

“We’re continually observant. I think they really put an extraordinary effort last year into picking the leaders that run the group,” Shawhan said. “I don’t know if a better job could have been done last year by Alex Smith and Ray Brice.”

The Huskies’ season came to a screeching halt in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tech’s season halted just before the WCHA semifinals at Minnesota State.

Tech finished the season 21-15-3 and 14-12-2 in the WCHA.

Tech hosts Michigan on Oct. 9-10 to open the 2020-21 season, the Huskies’ 100th season.

Broetzman has 24 goals and 17 assists for 41 career points in 77 games at Tech. He was captain of the Madison Capitols in the USHL in 2017-18.

Bliss, of Appleton, Wisconsin, has 18 goals and 24 assists in 73 games. He was an alternate captain for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL in 2017-18.

Gotz, of Hermantown, Minnesota, has five goals and 21 assists in 65 games. He was captain of the Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) in 2017-18.

WCHA reinstates UAH

The WCHA reinstated the Alabama Huntsville hockey team this week.

The conference’s board of directors formally voted Wednesday to reinstate the Chargers.

UAH cut the hockey program on May 22 as a part of the university’s budget reduction because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fundraising to resurrect the UAH hockey program raised about $900,000 as of Wednesday. UAH hockey supporters set a fundraising goal of $750,000. The fundraising goal was met within a week and the university reinstated the hockey program on May 29.

The return of the Chargers means Michigan Tech won’t have to look for another team to play on Winter Carnival. The Huskies visit UAH on Nov. 6-7, then host the Chargers for Winter Carnival on Feb. 5-6.

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