Thursday, November 7, 2013

Classy Higgs up for award

   TROY -- Class is a word that naturally goes with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute senior center Brock Higgs. The fact that Higgs has been named a candidate for the 2013-14 Men's Hockey Senior CLASS award is only proper and appropriate.
The Kingston, Ont. native is one of 20 players nationwide to be nominated for the award, which is voted upon by hockey coaches, media and fans.
CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Men’s Frozen Final Four in Philadelphia in April.
Higgs is a business and management major who is also working on a master’s degree in management, with a concentration in finance. He has a 3.72 cumulative grade point average and expects to graduate with both degrees in August 2014. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester and has earned ECAC Hockey All-Academic all three years eligible to date.
Higgs has been a stalwart in the community since arriving on campus. He has assisted local youth hockey teams of the Troy Albany Youth Hockey Association (TAYHA) with practices and he has been a counselor at the RPI Hockey Camp every fall. He has also participated in Habitat for Humanity, helping build houses in Troy for the less fortunate. Brock and his teammates also assist the RPI Newman Center with their fundraising activities each fall and they spend time supporting various other causes and participating in charitable events, including the City of Troy’s Turkey Trot, the United Way and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
 On the ice, Higgs has played in all eight games for the Engineers this season, scoring six goals and adding five assists for 11 points and serving as one of two assistant captains. He tallied a hat trick in the Engineers' 7-1 victory at Dartmouth on Saturday night. Three of his goals have come on the power play.
He played in 33 games as a junior tallying a goal and 16 assists for 17 points. His totals included a short-handed and game-winning goal. In 2011-12, he led the Engineers with 23 points on three goals and 20 assists in 34 contests. His freshman campaign saw him net nine goals, to go along with 12 assists for 21 points in 33 games. During that season, Higgs was seriously wounded in a game in Huntsville, Ala., suffering a life-threatening gash in his throat when an airborne teammate's skate cut his throat on New Year's Eve, 2010. He was an inspiration to his teammates by -- instead of remaining in the hospital -- showing up to watch the Engineers' 2-1 victory the next day, and more so by returning to action just three weeks later.
Such an award could be no more deserving to anyone.
Kasdorf appears headed for surgery: As reported herein earlier, it's become almost certain that all-ECACH goaltender Jason Kasdorf will not return this season, that he'll instead have season-ending surgery soon.
Rensselaer coach Seth Appert didn't say so in words earlier today but his voice was nearly confirming. The eight-year Rensselaer coach stopped short of saying the decision on surgery has been finalized, but it certainly sounded like a short stop.
 "Everything looks like he's going to have surgery," Appert said of Kasdorf, who separated his shoulder in practice on Oct. 15. "He's almost certain to have surgery."
"Hasn't officially been decided," Appert said.
Kasdorf posted a 14-5-2 record last season, keying the Engineers' rise up the ECAC Hockey standings. He had a 1.62 goals against average and 93.5 saves percentage.
Thrust into the starting goaltending position, junior Scott Diebold has been brilliant since Kasdorf's injury, with a 4-1-1 record, having allowed just one goal in that defeat and posting a 1.58 goals against average and 94.6 percent saves percentage.
Kasdorf is a draft pick of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets, his hometown team, who have tweeted that the surgery will take place within the next few weeks.
Should the surgery take place, Appert said he expected Kasdorf to return to RPI next season.
Live chat on Friday: Engineers fans, join me for a live chat on this weekend's games and the team in general at 5 p.m. Friday. Click on edjweaver at twitter with your comments and/or questions.


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