Men’s hockey’s Ballard and Vanek named to All-America teams

Minnesota men’s hockey junior Keith Ballard and sophomore Thomas Vanek were named American Hockey Coaches Association All-Americans on Wednesday.

Ballard, a defenseman who was named to the InsideCollegeHockey.com first team earlier this week, was also named a West first-teamer by the AHCA after scoring 11 goals, 25 assists and five game-winning goals this season.

The Baudette, Minn., native is the 35th Minnesota hockey player to be named a first-team All-American and is only the 11th defenseman in school history to tally 100 points (33 goals and 67 assists).

Vanek, a forward from Graz, Austria, was named to the West second team after scoring 26 goals and 25 assists in 38 games this season. His 0.68 goals per game and 1.34 points per game averages rank second and fifth in the nation, respectively.

The AHCA All-Americans are chosen by members of the association. Two teams each are named for the West and East portions of the country.

La’Cassie earns award

For the second consecutive week, a Minnesota men’s golfer was named Big Ten golfer of the week.

Bronson La’Cassie finished fifth at the Augusta State Invitational on Sunday with a 5-under-par total of 211 for three rounds.

It was the freshman’s best three-round score in his career.

La’Cassie’s effort helped the Gophers claim their first team victory of the spring season at the event in Georgia, which included 10 teams from the top 25.

Senior All-American Justin Smith won the award last week.

The Gophers leave Minneapolis today to compete in The Intercollegiate in Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend.

Wettengel served honor

Minnesota men’s tennis player Chris Wettengel was named Big Ten athlete of the week Tuesday.

Last fall’s conference men’s singles champion went 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles on the weekend. He once again defeated Michigan’s 49th-ranked Michael Rubin in a rematch of the singles championship.

Wettengel is now 12-4 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten. He has a six-match singles winning streak.