Not on the ice, but inside the knotty pine walls of the Caribou Gun Club, the 2020-21 Bulldog girls hockey team assembled one last time Sunday afternoon for an awards banquet.
Senior forward Nicole McCabe (right) and junior forward Anna Pavlo (left) were named to the All Big South Conference team.
Pavlo led the team in goals (19) and assists (43). McCabe, who missed a couple of the Bulldogs' 19 games, scored 16 goals on the season and had eight assists.
For her effort, McCabe was also chosen as the Bulldog’s Most Valuable Player.
But taking home the Team Award for “putting her team first” and the Leadership Award for being the Bulldog’s "best leader,” McCabe’s showed her worth went beyond what she did with a hockey stick.
Senior defender Mary Rella (second from left) and junior goalie Amelia Messer (second from right) were All-Conference Honorable Mentions. Messer, who blocked 535 of 582 shots on goal, also earned a KNUJ (New Ulm radio station) player of the game award.
The Rookie of the Year award went to Erica Volk. Katie Gurrola, a junior goalie, took home the Most Improved Player trophy. The Bulldog award for “tenacity, grit and courage was earned by sophomore forward Adrianna Bixby. Senior forward Elle Davis earned the Hobie Baker character award.
In a three-game home stand down the stretch, the Bulldogs beat visiting Fairmont 3-0 on March 11. McCabe scored the first of the Bulldog’s three goals. A day later they beat visiting Windom 4-3. Freshman forward Makenna Mueller—who ended the season with four goals and four assists— got an assist in that game. Back at it again the next day, the Bulldogs fell at home to Hutchinson 4-1 with their lone goal scored by McCabe.
In a contest that could have easily gone the other way, the Bulldog’s season ended in the section quarter finals when they lost to conference champion New Um on the road 3-0.
In her career, which began as an eighth grader, McCabe totaled 57 goals and 46 assists for 103 points.
The Bulldogs finished the season with an 11-8-0 overall record and were 11-4 in the conference for fourth place.
Captains for next season will be Pavlo, Messer, junior forward Sophia Doherty and junior forward Darbi Dunning.
Nicole McCabe (right) and freshman Makenna Mueller. (Photos courtesy of Gretchen McCabe)