College Year-End Awards Feature Many USHL Alumni
March 15, 2007
As the 2006-07 season winds down in NCAA Division I college hockey, the six conferences have named the winners of their post-season awards as well as their all-conference teams. As the number of former USHL players continues to rise, so too does the number of players receiving honors for their achievements in college hockey.
"As a league, it makes us feel very good about what we're doing when we see this many players receive post-season honors," said USHL president Gino Gasparini. "One of our goals is to see more and more of our players reach the top level of the game, meaning to play in the NHL. But our biggest mark on the hockey world over the years has been sending kids off to college and watching them perform at a high level while there. This season, when we see the number of kids that are being honored by the different leagues, is no different than the past."
All six conferences honored at least one former USHL player. The USHL had the biggest impact in the WCHA, however, where 11 players and one coach were honored for their accomplishments in 2006-07.
Alex Goligoski (Sioux Falls) was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. Goligoski is currently third in scoring for the University of Minnesota with 9 goals and 27 assists. He is the highest scoring defenseman in the WCHA.
Andreas Nodl (Sioux Falls), the MVP of the 2006 USHL Prospects/All-Star Game was named the Rookie of the Year. Nodl is among the league leaders in scoring as a freshman, and currently is the top scorer for St. Cloud State University with 43 points through 37 games.
Lee Sweatt (Chicago) was named the league's Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year. Sweatt, a co-captain for Colorado College, carries a 3.8 grade-point average and is majoring in mathematical economics. He has 24 points this season.
Players named to the All-WCHA First Team include Goligoski and goaltender Bobby Goepfert (Cedar Rapids). Goepfert, a senior who transferred to St. Cloud State from Providence College, is 17-7-7 on the year with a 2.08 goals against average, a .932 saves percentage and 3 shutouts.
Mike Vannelli (Sioux Falls) and Kyle Okposo (Des Moines) from the University of Minnesota and Travis Morin (Chicago) from Minnesota State University-Mankato were chosen for the All-WCHA Second Team.
Ryan Dingle (Tri-City) of the University of Denver, Steve Wagner (Tri-City) of Minnesota State University-Mankato and T.J. Oshie (Sioux Falls) of the University of North Dakota, in addition to Hodl and Sweatt were named to the All-WCHA Third Team.
Nodl and goaltender Alex Stalock (Cedar Rapids) also made the WCHA All-Rookie Team. Stalock played 23 games for the University of Minnesota-Duluth and went 5-14-3 with a 3.34 goals against average and a .881 saves percentage as well as one shutout. Stalock's numbers are slightly skewed as he played on the team that finished in 9th place in the league.
Former North Iowa and Sioux Falls coach Bob Motzko was named WCHA Co-Coach of the Year. In just his second season with the Huskies, Motzko led his alma mater to a second place regular season finish in the league and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Entering play this weekend, the Huskies are 22-8-7.
Ted Purcell (Cedar Rapids) was named the league's Rookie of the Year. An All-USHL Second Team selection a year ago, Purcell starred as a freshman at the University of Maine. Purcell finished third in scoring for the Black Bears with 40 points in 37 games.
Trevor Smith (Omaha) was named a First Team Hockey East All-Star. The sophomore for the University of New Hampshire was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 42 points in 36 games and finished second in the race for the Hockey East scoring title.
Nathan Gerbe (River City) and Pete MacArthur (Waterloo) of Boston College and Boston University respectively, were named Hockey East Second Team All-Stars.
Purcell and Chad Costello (Cedar Rapids) were named the Hockey East All-Rookie team. Costello, who was an All-USHL Second Team selection and the USHL's leading scorer a year ago, led Northeastern University in scoring with 22 points in 32 games.
Scott Parse (Tri-City) was named the All-CCHA First Team for the third straight year. Parse, the all-time leading scorer at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, finished the season with 52 points in 40 games and led the Mavericks in scoring each of his last three seasons.
Sean Collins (Sioux City) and Jeff Jakaitis (Waterloo) from Ohio State University and Lake Superior State University respectively, were named to the All-CCHA Second Team.
Tim Cook (Omaha) was the recipient of the CCHA Humanitarian Award for his work in the community of Ann Arbor. The senior at the University of Michigan is a member of several community programs, including Big Brothers and the From the Heart Council at Mott Children's Hospital.
Michael Eickman (Lincoln) was named the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Eickman currently carries a 3.937 grade-point average and has been on the dean's list every semester of his enrollment at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He will graduate this spring with a degree in Psychology and will continue his education at the University of Nebraska School of Dentistry in the fall.
Sean Backman (Green Bay) was named the ECAC Co-Rookie of the Year. The freshman led Yale University in scoring with 31 points in 29 games. He finished second in the ECACHL in goals.
Reid Cashman (Waterloo) was named to the ECACHL All-First Team. The senior for Quinnipiac University made the team for the second time in his career after leading the league in defeneman scoring in conference play. He currently is the top scoring defenseman in the country with 40 points.
Jeff Prough (Sioux Falls) of Brown was named to the ECACHL All-Second Team.
Jake Luthi (Sioux Falls) from RPI and Backman were named to the ECACHL All-Third Team.
Backman was named to the ECACHL All-Rookie Team.
College Hockey America
Chris Moran (Omaha) was named CHA Rookie of the Year. Moran was the top scoring rookie in CHA. He was fourth in scoring for Niagara University with 40 points in 37 games and averaged over a point-per-game in conference play.
Ted Cook (Omaha) and Travis Winter (Indiana) were named to the All-CHA First Team. Cook, among the top goal scorers in the nation during the season, led Niagara University in scoring as a sophomore with 48 points in 37 games. Winter was the leading scorer for Bemidji State University during his sophomore year. He scored 29 points in 33 games for the Beavers.
Moran was named to the CHA All-Rookie Team.
Eric Ehn (Green Bay) was named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year. The junior forward has led the nation in scoring for most of the season. In 37 games with Air Force, Ehn scored 24 goals and assisted on 38 more for 62 points. The Falcons finished in the middle of the pack in their first season in Atlantic Hockey. Ehn was also named to the Atlantic Hockey All-First Team.
Trevor Stewart (Waterloo) was named Atlantic Hockey's Best Defensive Forward. Stewart had 32 points in 35 games as a senior at the University of Connecticut.
Matt Scherer (Tri-City) of the University of Connecticut was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Second Team.