Sports Shorts

Zach Sieler nominated for top defensive player award
Sophomore defensive end Zach Sieler was a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron for the Bulldogs this past season and has been declared a national finalist for the 2016 Cliff Harris Award as a result.

The Cliff Harris Award is presented each year to the best small college defensive player in the nation. Approximately 5,000 defensive college athletes from across the nation are considered for this award, making Sieler’s nomination impressive.

A starter in all 15 games, Sieler was a quarterback’s worst nightmare in 2016, recording 19.5 sacks with 29.5 tackles for loss. Sieler’s GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year nomination certainly helped his Cliff Harris Award case as well, and the sophomore steamroller will be back to help the Dawgs next year.

Men’s basketball still rolling
While the rest of us Dawgs were back home for the holidays, the men’s basketball team was racking up wins on the court.

The team has amassed six straight wins, five since the end of the fall semester. Their first victory over break came at home against Ashland, 82-77. The next win came at home again, this time against Tiffin in a dominating 96-65 victory.

The team’s next three games took place on the road with victories over Ohio Valley, Salem International in a blowout 104-65 win and then Lake Erie. With an 11-3 record, it seems as though the program has its sights set on another conference title.

The men resume their season 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, on the road against Lake Superior State University.

New year, same Kappy
Freshman goaltender Justin Kapelmaster has been great ever since he took over in net for the Dawgs, so much so that he claimed WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Boston College.

The Bulldogs may not have won the Three Rivers Classic Tournament, which took place during the last few days of 2016, but they certainly gave their goaltender some valuable practice before jumping back into conference play. Kapelmaster had an amazing 58 saves off 59 shots in the team’s 1-1 tie against the Boston College Eagles.

The one game performance was enough to give Kappy the defensive player honors, his third time winning the WCHA laurel in his short Bulldog career.

Kapelmaster’s skills will be put to the test with tough competition for the Bulldogs, starting off with a weekend series at home against Alaska 7:07 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Ewigleben Ice Arena.