NHLers Faulk, Brown Highlight UMD Alumni Weekend

By KBJR News 1

July 28, 2012 Updated Jul 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM CST

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Faces from across parts of six decades gathered this weekend for the annual UMD men's hockey alumni weekend, including current NHL players Justin Faulk and J.T. Brown.

"I had a lot of fun when I was here. It was probably one of the best years of my life," Faulk said. "I got to spend it with the best teammates I could have asked for. We all enjoy coming back. I don't think there's one of us that doesn't like coming here and having some fun."

Faulk, who played just one season for the Bulldogs, is now with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL. He played in 66 games in the 2011-12 season, totaling eight goals and 14 assists during that time.

"I'll always be a Bulldog," Brown said. "All these guys are my friends, and I've made new friends already coming up here this weekend."

Brown played two seasons with UMD, leaving after his sophomore season to sign with Tampa Bay. He played five games at the end of the 2011-12 season with the Lightning, tallying an assist in the final contest of the regular season.

One of the few guys to have played and coached for the Bulldogs, former defenseman and assistant coach Brett Larson said the weekend is just one part of what makes UMD unique.

"Once you pull the jersey on, you're part of the family," Larson said. "Guys feel that. I think that's something not a lot of programs have. Guys really do feel part of the family, and guys can't wait to get back here."

"It's definitely nice to come back and see a lot of familiar faces," former UMD forward Travis Oleksuk said. "We just enjoy the time, bring back some memories."

For some of the elder Bulldogs, the weekend provides a chance to meet the younger graduates from this UMD program.

"We've got guys here that span across a couple decades," former Bulldogs forward Mark Heaslip said. "It's a lot of fun meeting everybody."

"It's always a good time," former UMD forward Keith "Huffer" Christiansen said. "We get to relive old stories and learn about the different teams. It's fun."

Posted by Zach Schneider
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