Jarod Hilderman and UMD Bulldogs on top

University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs hockey team is back on top for the second year in a row.

A former Kamsack resident, Jarod Hilderman, son of Rod Hilderman and Maureen Humeniuk of Kamsack, is a member of that team.

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Hilderman, No. 12, plays defense for the Bulldogs.

“I’ve been playing hockey since I was four years old,” Hilderman told the Kamsack Times recently. He played three years of junior hockey, and at the age of 16 he was “heavily recruited by schools.”  UMD offered him a full scholarship.

“I have relatives that live close to UMD, and I really love the area. It’s very beautiful here, and since I’ve been here, I’ve made a lot of great friends. The state of Minnesota is known for hockey. There are five college teams here.

 “It feels really good to be here at UMD playing with great teammates for the Bulldogs.”

Hilderman is a junior at UMD and in his third year with the Bulldogs. He is a journalism major, with a minor in marketing.

“I enjoy writing and I get good grades, so I will set my sights on a career in sports media after completing college,” he said.

For now, playing hockey is a huge focus for him, and to get signed with an NHL team would be a dream come true.

“Members of the Bulldogs team get noticed, and some have gone on to play professional hockey.”

For the second straight year, the Bulldogs have won the college hockey national championship, and are being hailed as the “kings of college hockey,” becoming just the third team since the 1970’s to win consecutive championships.

Being in the national championship game for a third year in a row (the Bulldogs placed second three years ago) has been quite an experience for a small-town Saskatchewan lad. To experience back-to-back championships is a real thrill.

“It’s a really big deal for our team to make history this way,” he said.

UMD will have a chance to make even more history next season, if they take the national championship title again. It was said there has been no team to reach the national championship game four years running.

Hilderman is looking forward to spending time golfing this summer, as well as spending time in training.

Tiger Woods is his inspiration in the golf world, but Shea Theodore, a skilled defenceman who is from British Columbia, and currently plays for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, is his favorite hockey player.

“He skates well and makes some good plays,” Hilderman said.

Kamsack is a 12-hour drive from UMD, so making the trip “home” doesn’t happen often for the young Kamsack ex-patriot. When he does make the trip, he likes to connect with the young players in the community and offer advice and encouragement. During a trip to Kamsack at Christmas saw Hilderman at the Broda Sportsplex, skating with the young Flyers team members.

“No matter what my future holds, I intent to make Minnesota my permanent home,” he said. This place has everything I could possibly hope for.”