Tim Bouvine: Silence of this Lamb is music to the ears of Bulldog fans

Tim Bouvine

Speak softly and carry a big stick could certainly apply to UMD men’s hockey standout defenseman Brady Lamb — at least as far as his noticebility to the many average hockey fans whose primary focus is to support Minnesota-Duluth athletics and not scrutinize individual efforts.

Brady Lamb. UMD Athletics

Most fans notice defensemen primarily when they cough up the puck in their own zone or are forced to hold, trip or hook opposing forwards as they aggressively attack the defensive zone. A solid game by a hockey defenseman shares the same mentality most fans display when they watch an NFL football game regarding offensive line play. If they are not noticed, they are probably doing their job well.

The six-foot-one, 220-pound senior defenseman from Calgary, Alberta will don the skates for the final time in a regular season game in Duluth this weekend as the Bulldogs take on Colorado College at Amsoil Arena.

Lamb has carried a solid physical presence throughout his UMD career and has steadily increased his offensive output after a one goal and one assist total output his freshman year. His 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists) is tops among defenseman on the current Bulldog roster and sixth overall on the team in scoring.

Offensive defensemen that can rush the puck and skillfully man the point on the power play are few and far between in college hockey and those that possess these marketable physical skills seldom fulfill their college eligibility before the National Hockey League throws big dollar amounts in their direction. Steady, but unspectacular blue-liners like Lamb are the salt of a successful program, if not attention grabbers.

Scott Sandelin’s program has gotten the most out of Lamb’s college career with three solid if not spectacular seasons following a limited initial campaign on UMD’s blue line. One might notice a big hit from Brady Lamb, but for the most part, his consistent performance is reflected in subdued fashion.

Much like the vast majority of his fellow 2008-2009 recruiting class that will be honored this weekend, a full four-year commitment to the Bulldog program has allowed the men’s hockey team to accomplish goals that had eluded the university in its 50 year Division 1 program, including a national title.

As his final college season unwinds, perhaps a more thorough viewing of Brady Lamb this weekend will give fans a deeper understanding of the steadying impact the senior Lamb spreads to the rest of his fellow Bulldog hockey teammates and if he slips up and allows an uncontested rush, it will be a pleasant reminder just how few and far between these moments have been in his quiet and mostly unnoticed, but stellar UMD career.

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