Defensemen Brian Kramer and Austin Crossley have both received the John Noah Outstanding Denfenseman Award.
Kramer, a Wexford, PA native, finished off the season with 19 points (3g, 16a) in 34 games after returning from a season beginning injury.
“Brian impacted the game every night for our group. He was a go-to player in all situations,” said Head Coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux. “His ability to break pucks out & transition under pressure allowed our group to play in the offensive zone. Brian cared for his teammates and led by example.”
Crossley, a Fort St. John, BC, CAN native was acquired by the Force earlier this season from the WHL. He skated in 39 games tallying eight points (2g, 6a) and a whopping 155 penalty minutes.
“Austin was one of the hardest players in the USHL to play against. He played against opponents’ top players every shift,” said coach Lamoureux. “Opposing forwards did not like to play against him. Austin also developed into very good puck moving defenseman. His offensive confidence & ability grew during his time in Fargo. Austin played fearless and would sacrifice for his teammates every shift.”
Force alumns who have received the outstanding defenseman award in past seasons are Libor Zabransky, Ty Farmer, and Brian Cooper.
The Fargo Force announced today that forward, Mason Salquist, has committed to St. Cloud State University.
The 20-year-old Grand Forks, ND native finished this season with 27 points (15g, 12a). His 15 goals tied him for second place on the Force. Mason was also named the team’s Most Improved Player for the 2019-20 USHL season.
Last season, Salquist entered junior hockey with the Janesville Jets in the NAHL, skating in 24 games and totaling 12 points (2g,10a). He was then brought up to the Force for the remainder of the 2019-20 USHL season and scored four points (1g,3a) in only 12 games, as his year was cut short by injuries.
Prior to juniors, Salquist skated for the Grand Forks Red River Roughriders (USHS-ND), where he helped them win the 2016 ND State Championship. Mason was first drafted by the Force in the 2016 USHL Futures Draft in round six (94th overall).
Mason is expected to be back with the Force next season before enrolling at St. Cloud in the Fall of 2021. He will be a teammate down the road for the Huskies with current teammate Jack Peart. He joined the Force at the end of this season, and was Fargo’s 1st pick (7th overall) in the 2019 Futures Draft. Other recent Force graduates to play at St. Cloud State include Blake Lizotte (LA Kings), Mikey Eyssimont, and Spencer Meier.
Captain Ondrej Pavel has been awarded this season’s Tom Clifford Leadership and Dedication Award.
Finishing out the season with 20 points (11g, 9a) in 40 games, the forward combined his strong work ethic and communication skills to lead the 2019-20 squad.
“Ondrej led by example, as well as communicated with his teammates at a high level. He was an elite shut-down forward - on top of being a clutch performer,” said Head Coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux. “His level raised at critical times and his honesty and leadership qualities will serve him well.”
Force alumni who have received the leadership award in the past are AJ Drobot, Mark Senden, Blake Lizotte, and Austin Pooley.