From: Dickinson Press
by Brad Schlossman
The University of North Dakota lined up a defensive corps for next season that was made up almost entirely of puck-moving, offensive defensemen.
But when Denver coach George Gwozdecky was fired last month, it started a sequence of events that would ultimately give UND a key piece that was missing in the puzzle for the 2013-14 squad.
East Grand Forks native Gage Ausmus, a stay-at-home shutdown defenseman, gave a verbal commitment Thursday to play for UND beginning in the fall.
Ausmus, who played for the U.S. Under-18 team this season and won a silver medal at the World Under-18 Championship, will add some grit and physicality to UND’s defensive corps — elements that will be welcome.
“They are losing (Andrew) MacWilliam and (Derek) Forbort, two physical, strong guys,” said Ausmus, who is expected to be a late-round NHL draft pick in June. “They (the coaching staff) thought I’d fit into that role really well.”
Ausmus originally committed to the University of Denver two summers ago, but those plans changed when Gwozdecky was suddenly fired on April 1.
“When Gwozdecky left, I didn’t think it was the best option for me anymore,” Ausmus said.
After Denver hired Jim Montgomery as Gwozdecky’s replacement, Ausmus re-considered going to Denver. He also considered Minnesota Duluth — where his father played football — but ultimately decided to stay home.
2013 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL) - 38 gms, 3 goals, 15 assists
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL) - 40 gms, 8 goals, 4 assists
F Landon Smith (Chicago, USHL) - 36 games, 11 goals, 6 assists
F Connor Chatham (Omaha, USHL) - 47 games, 14 goals, 14 assists
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL) - 41 games, 6 goals, 19 assists
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18) - 45 games, 7 goals, 13 assists
F Trevor Moore (Tri-City, USHL) 44 games, 17 goals, 30 assists
D Nick Neville (Texas, NAHL) 45 games, 5 goals, 18 assists
2014 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL) - 46 games, 4 goals, 13 assists
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17) 44 games, 4 goals, 9 assists
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL) 30 games, 6 goals, 5 assists
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL) - 49 games, 11 goal, 8 assists
2015 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque, USHL) 45 games, 5 goal, 19 assists
2016 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Troy Terry (Thunderbirds, AAA) 41 games, 14 goals, 35 assists