In an odd twist of fate, Andover senior Cal Decowski, who committed to play at UM-Duluth on Thursday, Feb. 25, will showcase his skills for the first time after making his college choice in, of all places, Duluth on the Bulldogs’ home rink.
The last of Minnesota’s 10 Mr. Hockey finalists to make a Division I college commitment, Decowski led the state in assists with 50 during the regular season and finished sixth in scoring with 74 points. His playmaking wizardry will be on display when the No. 3-seeded Huskies (17-7-2) take on No. 2 Duluth East (17-5-4) in a Section 7AA semifinal game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
Decowski had a goal and four assists in Andover's 6-2 quarterfinal victory over St. Francis.
“I think that now that the pressure is off him, he might even play better than he has lately,” Andover co-head coach Mark Manney said about Decowski, the Huskies’ first Division I player in the program’s nine-year history. “At the same time, he might feel the pressure because he’s playing in (UMD’s) rink. I kind of wish we were playing in New Ulm or somewhere.”
The 5-foot-8, 158-pound Decowski, who was a star in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League in the fall, is expected to play at least one year of junior hockey before enrolling at UMD. He turned down scholarship offers from Brown and Yale and was receiving interest from other WCHA schools before choosing to play at UM-Duluth.
“I think the kids have always looked up to Cal, he always has times for the kids in the community,” Manney said. “The style he plays, he draws the whole community to him. He’s kind of an underdog. You watch all the big guys chasing him around the rink, and they can’t catch him.”
|Name||High School||Year||Pos.||College||Verbal Committ|
|Mark Alt||Cretin-Derham Hall||Senior||D||Minnesota||Yes|
|Joey Benik||St. Francis||Senior||F||St. Cloud State||Yes|
|Justin Crandall||St. Thomas Academy||Senior||F||UM-Duluth||Yes|
|Joe Faust||Bloomington Jefferson||Senior||D||Princeton||Yes|
|Danny Fick||Forest Lake||Senior||D||Harvard||Yes|
|Zane Gothberg||Thief River Falls||Senior||G||North Dakota||Yes|
|Garrett Hendrickson||Virginia||Junior||F||St. Cloud State||Yes|
|Caleb Herbert||Bloomington Jefferson||Senior||F||UM-Duluth||Yes|
|Christian Isackson||St. Thomas Academy||Senior||F||Minnesota||Yes|
|Michael Morin||Breck||Senior||F||Colorado College||Yes|
|Brock Nelson||Warroad||Senior||F||North Dakota||Yes|
|Andrew Prochno||Minnetonka||Senior||D||St. Cloud State||Yes|
|Connor Reilly||Holy Angels||Senior||F||Minnesota||Yes|
|Ryan Reilly||Holy Angels||Senior||F||Minnesota||Yes|
|Archie Skalbeck||Hopkins||Senior||F||Colorado College||Yes|
|Andy Welinski||Duluth East||Junior||D||UM-Duluth||Yes|
|Adam Wilcox||South St. Paul||Junior||G||Minnesota||Yes|