OMAHA, Neb. – Omaha hockey head coach Mike Gabinet announced Thursday that senior Joel Messner will serve as the team’s captain for the 2017-18 season while classmate Tyler Vesel will serve as alternate captain.
“Both players have shown exceptional leadership during their UNO careers, and we are extremely fortunate to have them as our leaders for the upcoming season,” said Gabinet. “We expect to get very good leadership from our entire senior class, and that will be the foundation for our team this year.”
This will be the first time Messner has worn a letter for the Mavericks. The senior defenseman from Lorette, Manitoba had a career year in 2016-17, scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career and adding six assists for eight points in 34 games. He also led the team in plus/minus. Messner’s first game of the 2017-18 season will be the 100th of his career. He is a three-time member of the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team.
Vesel will be wearing an “A” for the second straight season. Last year, the native of Rochester, Minn. finished second in team scoring with 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points, all career bests. He tied for second in the NCHC with 19 power play points and tied for the conference lead with eight power play goals. The co-winner of the NCHC’s Sportsmanship Award in 2016-17, Vesel is a three-time member of the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team and a two-time NCHC Scholar Athlete.
The Mavericks open the season with an exhibition game on Oct. 6 and begin their NCAA schedule the following weekend when they visit UMass Lowell of Hockey East on Oct. 13-14.