Blair Riley Selected Ferris State Hockey's Most Valuable Player
The nationally-ranked 2009-10 Ferris State University men's ice hockey team officially wrapped up one of the most successful seasons in the program's history this Friday (April 16) evening at its annual awards banquet which was held at the Falcon Head Golf Club in Big Rapids, Mich.
The banquet, which was sponsored by the FSU Blueline Club, featured the presentation of individual awards, a highlight video of the 2009-10 season, and remarks from the graduating seniors on the 2009-10 team.
Senior Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) received the Most Valuable Player Award after registering his most productive season as a Bulldog this campaign. Riley paced Ferris State in scoring this season with 38 points on 18 goals and 20 assists in 40 games, which all represented career single-season highs. The left wing also produced nine multiple-point games while tallying four power-play goals, two short-handed markers, and a pair of game-winning lamplighters this season while also generating a plus 12 efficiency rating. Riley, who also was the recipient of the Lloyd Earl Trophy as the team's top points leader, was recognized as the RBC Financial Group Central Collegiate Hockey Association's (CCHA) Player of the Month for November after garnering both CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) National Player of the Week kudos (Nov. 23). Riley was a second-team honoree by MichiganCollegeHockey.com (MiCHO) following the 2009-10 campaign. He concluded his career ranking tied for 26th place among FSU's all-time leaders in games played (147), tied for 29th in goals (42), and tied for 38th in points (87). A 2009-10 season candidate for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player, Riley signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) contract with the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL) following this season.
The FSU Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to sophomore defenseman Michael Trebish (Yorkton, Saskatchewan) for compiling the team's highest cumulative grade point average. An accounting major, Trebish also earned was the team's recipient for the FSU President's Academic Award as a result of possessing the squad's best grade point average. The Bulldog blueliner recorded one point on an assist and had a plus one efficiency rating in 24 contests this season.
Senior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) was named the Blue Line Competitive Award winner as a result of being the team's top competitor on a daily basis from off-ice conditioning, practice, and games as voted on by his teammates. Case, who also was bestowed with same honor a season ago, recorded career season highs with four goals and 13 assists for 17 points in 40 outings. His points total was ninth highest on the squad and third most among the Bulldogs' defensemen. Following the season, Case began his professional career by inking an amateur tryout contract with the American Hockey League's Norfolk (Va.) Admirals. Matt Case along with sophomore defenseman Tommy Hill (Portage) were chosen as co-recipients of the Steve Banonis Memorial Most Improved Player Award. Hill appeared in a career-most 21 contests this season and chalked up 16 blocked shots, which also was a personal career single-season high.
The Rookie of the Year went to freshman center-right wing Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan). Kirzinger lead all Ferris State freshmen skaters in scoring with a team 10th-most 14 points on nine goals and five assists in 38 contests. The forward turned in two multi-point game efforts while scoring two power-play goals, one short-handed tally, and a game-winning marker to go with 17 blocked shots.
Senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) picked up the Plus/Minus Award after notching a team-leading 13 efficiency rating this season in 35 contests. Chupp also totaled a career season-best tying and a squad third-highest 30 points total with nine goals and a career season-high 21 helpers. Chupp, who was recently named to the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-America Second Team, currently ranks tied for 33rd place on FSU's all-time statistical leaders list in assists (60), 35th in points (95), and tied for 42nd in goals (35) for 144 games. The two-time (2008-09 and 2009-10) FSU team captain signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League upon the conclusion of his collegiate career.
Ron and Patty Patterson along with Jeff Totten were recipients of the FSU Blue Line Club Recognition Award for their numerous contributions to the Bulldog hockey program.
The six seniors on the 2009-10 squad - goaltender Jordan Barber (Caledonia), Matt Case, Cody Chupp, right wing-center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia), Blair Riley, and center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) were also acknowledged during the banquet.
Academically, a total of 17 student-athletes on this season's team earned FSU Dean's Academic Award status for having at least a 3.20 grade point average.
Ferris State, under the direction of 18th-year head coach Bob Daniels along with assistants Drew Famulak and Mark Kaufman, wrapped up its 31st season of competition at the NCAA Division I level with a 21-13-6 overall record and a third-place 13-9-6-4 ledger (49 league points) in the CCHA standings. The 21 victories represents a tie for the fourth-highest single-season wins output in the program's history. The Bulldogs also made their first CCHA Championships appearance at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., since the record-setting 2002-03 campaign. Nationally, Ferris State was among the top 15 teams in the final rankings this season as the Bulldogs were listed 13th by U.S. College Hockey Online.com, 14th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, and 15th according to Inside College Hockey.com.