Dordt College News

van Niejenhuis Named National Coach of the Year-Six Blades Honored

March 6, 2009

van NiejenhuisDordt College Blades hockey coach Nate van Niejenhuis has been named the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division III Coach of the Year and six Dordt Blades players have earned post-season honors from the ACHA.

van Niejenhuis, has led the Blades to the ACHA Division III National Tournament two years in a row and coached the Blades to the #2 ranking in the final poll released by the Pacific Region. That #2 ranking allowed the Blades an automatic berth in the 16-team field. van Niejenhuis has coached the Blades to two consecutive 20-plus win seasons and has been instrumental in bringing Showcase and Regional tournaments to the Vernon Arena in Sioux Center, Iowa. He was named the Pacific Region Coach of the Year which put him in the running for the national award. The 2007-2008 team finished 13th at the National Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota with a 2-2 record at the event.

Jared RempelJared Rempel (Senior; Chilliwack, British Columbia) earned ACHA Division III First-Team All-American honors for the second year in a row. The defenseman scored 12 goals and had 31 assists in play leading up to the National Tournament. Rempel was also accorded All-Region First-Team honors for his play this season.

TodD BakkerJoining Rempel on the All-Region First-Team are Todd Bakker (Junior; Littleton, Colorado) and Ted Gibbons (Sophomore; Sioux Center, Iowa). Bakker scored 30 goals during the regular season with 42 assists while Gibbons spent 1360 minutes in goal for the Blades and allowed 63 goals—a 2.78 per game average.

Ted GibbonsNate Woudstra (Junior; Littleton, Colorado) was accorded Second-Team All-Pacific honors after scoring a team high 40 goals while also getting credit for 31 assists. Jake Esselink (Junior; Emo, Ontario) made the second -team as a defenseman and scored 12 goals with 37 assists. Claiming third-team honors was Kevin Prins (Senior; Foremost, Alberta). Prins scored 24 goals and assisted on 35 this season for the Blades as they built a 21-4-1-1 record heading into the National Tournament.

The Blades are currently 1-1 at the ACHA Division III National Tournament held in Rochester, New York. The Blades will play two more games before returning home.


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