Not only did Gilbert Plains’ Riese Gaber delivered on the ice for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks this past season, but he also got the job done in the classroom.
Gaber, alongside five of his fellow first-year teammates has been named to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference All-Academic Team for his strong work as a student-athlete. Teammates Jake Sanderson, Tyler Kleven, Cooper Moore, Griffin Ness and Brendan Budy also earned the recognition.
From the NCHC:
“To be eligible for the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team, a student-athlete must compile a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (or better) and have completed a full academic year at their current institution. Similarly, for NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, a student-athlete must attain a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better with a full year of academic studies. Freshmen and first-year transfers were not eligible when the honors were first announced in early March, as they had not completed a full academic year, but with the 2020-21 academic calendar complete, the newcomers are now eligible to earn NCHC academic honors. Athletic success and playing time are not criteria for these awards.”
Previously, Gaber was named to the NCHC’s 2020-21 All-Rookie Team in March for his on-ice contributions as a first-year player for the Fighting Hawks.
2020-21 NCHC All-Rookie Team
F – Veeti Miettinen, St. Cloud State – 45 points (15 first-team votes) unanimous
F – Carter Savoie, Denver – 45 (15) unanimous
F – Riese Gaber, North Dakota – 37 (11)
D – Jake Sanderson, North Dakota – 38 (12)
D – Wyatt Kaiser, Minnesota Duluth – 32 (9)
G – Ludvig Persson, Miami – 45 (15) unanimous
Finishing third among NCHC rookies in goals (eight) and points (16), Gaber helped lead UND’s offensive drive that saw the team take home the Penrose Cup as NCHC champions, in advance of the NCAA Tournament. He helped the Fighting Hawks to a 7-2-1 start through the team’s first 10 games within the Omaha, Nebraska ‘pod’, while picking up seven goals in the process.
The 21-year-old from Gilbert Plains went on to finish the season in first place, take home the Penrose Cup, win the NCHC 2021 Frozen Face-off and be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
But you wouldn’t know it by talking to him.
“It means everything,” Gaber told Game On of his first year of experience with the Fighting Hawks. “Playing here at UND is incredible; I am cherishing every moment. Being part of this team and being able to learn from the guys that are here has been cool and something I will never forget.”
Named as the Frozen Face-off tournament’s Most Outstanding Player back in March, the former Parkland Rangers AAA star finished the three-game set with three goals and four points. His title game performance included two goals and an assist as he helped his University of North Dakota teammates to a strong come-from-behind 5-3 victory, while earning a place on the 2021 All-Tournament Team.
Now having finished the year with the best of the best on the ACHA’s All-Academic Team, the soon-to-be sophomore may have a difficult time keeping up with all of his accomplishments as a first-year, moving forward into the 2021-22 season.