CCHA Announces Finalists for Top Individual Awards
March 14, 2013 11:00 AM
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The Central Collegiate Hockey Association today announced the top three finalists for six major individual awards that will be presented at the CCHA Awards on Friday, March 22 at historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.
CCHA Player of the Year finalists include Miami sophomore forward Austin Czarnik, Ohio State senior goaltender Brady Hjelle and Notre Dame junior forward Anders Lee. Czarnik was named the CCHA Warrior Player of the Month in October and finished fourth in conference scoring with a league-leading three short-handed goals. Hjelle finished second in the league in both save percentage and goals-against average while posting four shutouts. He was named the CCHA Gongshow Goaltender of the Month for November. Lee also finished tied for fourth in conference scoring while boasting the league’s best +/- rating of +18 in conference action and earned the CCHA Warrior Player of the Month honor in November.
The three finalists for CCHA Coach of the Year are Enrico Blasi of Miami, Andy Murray of Western Michigan and Mark Osiecki of Ohio State. Blasi led the RedHawks to their second CCHA regular-season title in four years, as Miami finished with 17 conference wins. Blasi is vying for his fifth CCHA Coach of the Year award. In his second season as head coach of Western Michigan, Murray guided the Broncos to a third-place finish in the CCHA standings. Osiecki and the Buckeyes finished in fourth place, hosting a second-round playoff series for the first time since 2005. Both Murray and Osiecki are looking to claim their first CCHA Coach of the Year award.
Miami forward Riley Barber, Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand and Michigan defenseman Jacob Trouba are finalists for CCHA Rookie of the Year honors. Barber led all rookies in the nation in scoring with 15 goals and 36 points, was named the Gongshow Rookie of the Week four times and the Gongshow Rookie of the Month in October and November. Hildebrand’s .930 save percentage ranked fifth in the country among rookie netminders and he was named the Warrior Goaltender of the Week once in the 2012-13 season. While anchoring the Michigan blue line, Trouba finished fourth in conference scoring among all rookies. His seven goals and 18 points topped all defensemen in the conference.
Miami freshman Matthew Caito, Western Michigan freshman Kenney Morrison and Trouba are the finalists for Best Offensive Defenseman. Caito was a two-time Gladiator Defenseman of the Week while pacing all Miami defensemen in scoring. Morrison was named the Gongshow Rookie of the Week once while finishing just one point behind Trouba in conference scoring with six goals and 17 points. Morrison also finished tied for second in the league in power-play points with 14. Trouba led all freshman defensemen in the nation in overall scoring in the regular season with nine goals and 23 points.
CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman nominees include Western Michigan junior Dan DeKeyser, Bowling Green senior Bobby Shea and Miami senior Steven Spinell. DeKeyser is looking to repeat as the league’s top defensive defensemen. Shea finished with a team best +14 in conference play while blocking 32 shots in conference action. Spinell captained the league’s stingiest blue line, helping the RedHawks to a league-low 50 goals against in conference play while registering a +10 rating and blocking 46 shots.
The finalists for CCHA Best Defensive Forward are Czarnik, Lee and Western Michigan senior Dane Walters.
The CCHA Awards kick off CCHA Championship Weekend on Friday, March 22. The banquet, an Academy Awards-style event with music videos and highlights, is held at historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit. The event begins with a social hour at 5:45 p.m. The world premiere of the Celebrating the Legacy DVD starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by the Awards Program at 7:30 p.m. Awards Show tickets are $25 and can be purchasedby calling the CCHA at (248) 888-0600 or at the door the day of the event.
The 2013 CCHA Championship is March 23-24 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Visit CCHA.com for tickets and more information.