After finishing the year first place in the Big 10, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers had some of their players get the nod for a piece of hardware for their play this season. It was unveiled yesterday that the team had a player nominated for each of the five conference awards, a list that includes Kindersley's own Justen Close as a finalist for Goaltender of the Year.

Close's name made news a few weeks back when he was added to the Mike Richter Award list for top goalie in Division I men's ice hockey. Now the conference nod is just a feather in the cap for the former Kindersley Jr. Klippers star.

Close and the Golden Gophers are coming off a bye in the quarter-final round with their first place finish, and will now take on Penn State on Saturday in the single elimination game. Expect to hear from Close following this weekends action, as the team gets ready to make their postseason run to the Frozen Four, as one of the favourites to win it all.