Former Bulldog Chris Kunitz Hoists Stanley Cup
Chris Kunitz, a former men's ice hockey All-American at Ferris State University, will have his name engraved into Lord Stanley Cup for the second time in his National Hockey League (NHL) career as a result of helping the Pittsburgh Penguins capture the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship.
Kunitz, who played at Ferris State from 1999-03, along with his Pittsburgh teammates bested the Detroit Red Wings last Friday (June 12) by a 2-1 score in the seventh and deciding game of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Following the game's conclusion, Kunitz was the 13th player in line to hoist the Cup.
The 29-year old left wing, who was traded from the Anaheim (Calif.) Ducks to Pittsburgh in late February 2009, won his first Stanley Cup in the 2006-07 season with Anaheim. Kunitz would bring the famed Cup to Big Rapids, Mich., and Ferris State University for the first-time ever on July 23, 2007, before taking the trophy to his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Kunitz produced 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists in 20 regular-season games with Pittsburgh after starting the 2008-09 season at Anaheim in which he netted 35 points on 16 goals with 19 helpers in 62 outings. In this season's playoffs, Kunitz registered 14 points with a goal and 13 assists in 24 contests.
Kunitz concluded his fifth season in the NHL with the Stanley Cup. To date, Kunitz has appeared in 335 games while totaling 88 goals and 122 assists to go with 16 game-winning lamplighters while playing for Anaheim, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.
At Ferris State, Kunitz excelled during his 2002-03 senior season by garnering American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-America First-Team honors and was among the final three 2003 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player. A two-time (2001-02 and 2002-03) Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team pick, Kunitz became the first Bulldog skater to earn CCHA Player of the Year honors after leading the league in points, goals, assists, and plus/minus for the 2002-03 campaign.
Kunitz concluded his stellar Bulldog career ranking tied for sixth in career points (175), second in goals (99) and 18th in assists (76) in 152 contests. He played an integral role in leading the 2002-03 Bulldogs to a school-best 31-10-1 overall record, the school's first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title and the program's first-ever NCAA Division I Championship Tournament appearance. Kunitz was also recognized as the male student-athlete recipient of the 2002-03 Bulldog of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State student-athlete.