The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team officially closed out its 2010-11 season this Saturday (April 2) evening by holding its annual awards banquet at the Falcon Head Golf Club in Big Rapids, Mich.
Sponsored by the FSU Blueline Club, the event featured the presentation of awards to various 2010-11 team members along with a season highlights video and thoughts from the eight graduating senior student-athletes on the 2010-11 squad.
The team's Most Valuable Player Award was presented to senior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield), whp earned both All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team plaudits and was a finalist for the RBC CCHA Player of the Year Award this 2010-11 season. Nagle compiled an 18-14-5 record this season while posting a 2.02 goals-against average (74 goals allowed) and a .923 saves percentage (885 saves) as a starter in all 37 of his appearances. A 2010-11 Hobey Baker Memorial Award candidate, Nagle was recognized as the CCHA's Goaltender of the Week (Nov. 8) and garnered Inside College Hockey.com First-Half All-CCHA Team recognition. Among this season's national statistical leaders, Nagle currently ranks fifth in goals-against average, 11th in saves percentage, and 32nd in winning percentage (.554).
Nagle concluded his four-year (2007-10) career at Ferris State by registering a 45-42-11 record to go with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in 101 appearances. The 6-3, 185-pound netminder wrapped up his stellar career ranking tied for first place among the Bulldogs' all-time goaltending leaders in save percentage (.916), second in both victories (45) and goals-against average (2.32), third in minutes played (5,801), fourth in saves (2,451), tied for fourth in games played (101), fifth in shutouts (five), and sixth in winning percentage (.515). Nagle, who recently signed a two-year contract with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning, is currently playing for the team's top affiliate the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Sophomore center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) received the Lloyd Earl Trophy as the squad's top points leader with 21 points on a team-high 10 goals and 11 assists in 36 contests. Ouellette compiled six multiple-point games and generated at least a point in 15 outings, which included a season-ending five-game point streak with a combined nine points (5-4=9). He paced Ferris State with five power-play lamplighters and had two game-winning markers.
The Rookie of the Year Award went to Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb), who led all Bulldog freshmen in scoring as a result of totaling 11 points with a goal and 10 assists in 35 games. The FSU defenseman ranked 13th in team scoring and placed fifth in points among the squad's top-scoring blueliners. Czarnowczan, who racked up a team sixth-most 30 blocked shots and had a plus two efficiency rating, claimed a point in 11 contests this campaign.
Junior right wing Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wis.) picked up both the Steve Banonis Memorial Most Improved Player and Scholar-Athlete Awards. Schmit produced a career season-best and team 14th-highest 10 points on seven goals and three assists in 37 games this season. Schmit's points output this season exceeded his combined two points (1-1=2) for 42 contests in his initial two (2008-09 and 2009-10) collegiate campaigns. The FSU forward's seven goals not only were a career season best, but tied for the fourth most on the team's goal-scoring producers. An accountancy-finance academic major, Schmit received the Scholar-Athlete Award by attaining the squad's highest cumulative grade point average.
The winner of the Blue Line Competitive Award was junior defenseman Tommy Hill (Portage) as a result of being recognized as the team's top competitor on a daily basis from off-ice conditioning, practice, and games as voted on by his teammates. Hill skated in five games this season.
Sophomore ring wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) was bestowed with the Plus/Minus Award by turning in a team-leading plus six efficiency rating. Alexander racked up a career season-high and a squad ninth-best tying 13 points total with five goals and eight helpers, which were also career bests, in 32 contests this season.
The recipients of the FSU Blueline Club Recognition Award for their numerous contributions to the Bulldog hockey program were Doug and Kim Hancock.
The eight senior student-athletes on the 2010-11 squad - left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.), left wing Mike Fillinger (Grand Ledge), left wing-center Nate Hennig (Macomb), center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan), Pat Nagle, right wing Todd Pococke (Saginaw), defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City), and defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) were also acknowledged during the banquet.
Ferris State, under the direction of 19th-year head coach Bob Daniels along with assistant coaches Drew Famulak and Mark Kaufman along with strength and conditioning coach Dave Cencer, finished the 2010-11 season at 18-16-5 overall with a fifth-place 12-12-4-3 (43 league points) CCHA record. The 18 victories posted by Ferris State represented a tie for the eighth-most single-season wins in the program's 32-year history at the NCAA Division I level.