Matt Read made it a point to recognize the contributions of Dave Deterding, Travis Winter and Chris McKelvie during an on-ice intermission interview in front of the crowd at last Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.
Those three men were the captains of the BSU men's hockey team during Read's first three years with the Beavers. This year, the captains 'C' belongs to Read for his final season as a senior.
"It really means a lot to me," Read said after Wednesday's practice at the BREC. "There have been many captains in the history of Beaver hockey and I'm happy to carry on that tradition."
Read admitted there is added weight on his shoulders with the captain's leadership responsibilities on and off the ice. It is a role he welcomes and embraces.
"I've learned a lot from the previous captains and the way they went about doing things," Read said. "There are captains who are vocal in the locker room, but I mostly want to lead the team on the ice by example."
Read's hockey future appears bright beyond his senior season at Bemidji State. National Hockey League teams sought Read after the conclusion of last season, but Read elected to remain an amateur and turned down professional contract offers.
The interest did not wane in the summer as he was invited to and participated in some NHL development camps, including one with the Minnesota Wild.
"It was hard to turn down the dream of the NHL," Read said. "At the same time I really appreciate what is going on here and I feel like I made the right decision. I'm going to be the captain and the leader on the first Beaver hockey team to play in the BREC and play in the WCHA. I'm looking forward to the challenges we will face and staying will also give me a better understanding of the game."
On Friday, Read was named one of 20 NCAA Division I hockey nominees for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, which will be awarded to a senior who excels on and off the ice. The finalists will be announced midway through the season and the award will be presented at the Frozen Four in St. Paul.
Serving as alternate captains this season for the Beavers are senior forward Ian Lowe and senior defenseman Ryan Adams.
The team voted for all three captains at the end of last season.
Lowe started his Beaver hockey career as a fourth-line winger and he will join Read and sophomore Jordan George for the second straight season on BSU's top forward line.
"It's really a privilege to be an assistant captain on this team," Lowe said. "At the end of the year when the seniors voted, I was kind of surprised."
Adams' journey to a captain's role on the Bemidji State team was a bit more adventurous.
He played against the Beavers as a freshman and sophmore for Wayne State in College Hockey America. When Wayne State folded its program at the end of the 2008 season, Adams transferred to Bemidji State.
He assisted on Read's game-winning goal in the 2009 CHA Tournament Championship at the John Glas Fieldhouse and scored his first BSU goal against Cornell in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship game a few weeks later.
"It's really a great honor to be a captain for this program and I'm grateful for the players and the coaches for the opportunity - it's a great responsibility to have," Adams said. "It seems like it has been a long way from where I started. I've been able to be a part of special things here and it's been great to be part of this program."
Adams said team solidarity was a big part of last year's NCAA Tournament team and he hopes this year's team can capture the same chemistry.
"We were tight together as a team last year and that's what we're going to look to have again this year," Adams said. "If everyone is together as a tight group, we're going to be able to get through the ups and downs of a season. If we stick together we can do some things and we can win some games."