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Farmington Hills, Mich. – Ferris State University senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) was recognized as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Thursday (March 15) night during the annual CCHA RBC Financial Group Awards Banquet held at the historic Fox Theatre in Detroit.
The senior co-captain previously had been recognized as FSU's Scholar-Athlete Award recpresentative and was chosen over 10 other student-athletes representing their own schools as the 2011-12 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award winner.
The faculty athletic representative at each CCHA-member school, in consultation with the head coach, selected the institution's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Each school's Scholar-Athlete of the Year subsequently served as the school's nominee for the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Nominees must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 through the fall term of the selection year to receive their school's Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
The CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year was selected by the 11 faculty representatives at each CCHA-member school. Voting was based on a system awarding five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.
This season, Billins has presently produced a team second-most 29 points on a career-best seven goals and 22 assists in 39 games while ranking first in scoring among Ferris State's defensemen. The 5-10, 175-pound skater has tallied five power-play and two game-winning goals this campaign to date. The Marysville, Mich., native tied Michigan State's Torey Krug for the league lead among defensemen in assists with 18, while finishing second on his team in scoring with 29 points overall.
A marketing major, Billins has also been chosen as a finalist for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community, and competition.
In addition to Billins' recognition, Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels was named the CCHA Coach of the Year for the second time in his career as the league presented 11 individual awards at Detroit's historic Fox Theatre, including six determined by a vote of the league's 11 head coaches.
Ferris State, picked to place ninth in the league in a preseason coaches poll, finished in first place for the second time in school history under Daniels' direction. The Bulldogs went on a 15-game unbeaten streak at the end of the regular season, vaulting them to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in program history. They are expected to receive the program's second-ever NCAA Tournament berth this season and own a current 23-11-5 overall record.
Krug was named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Year at the annual CCHA Awards Show. He tied for the league lead in points with 29, making him the first defenseman to accomplish the feat since 1986-87. The Livonia, Mich., native recorded 12 goals and 33 points overall, including nine multi-point performances, good for fifth nationally among blueliners. His +18 is tied for eighth among defensemen in the country.
Michigan's Alex Guptill, the 2012 Rookie of the Year, was the only freshman to be named the league's Postgame Offensive Player of the Week. The Wolverines forward was also Gongshow CCHA Rookie of the Week twice as well as the Gongshow CCHA Rookie of the Month in January. Guptill led Michigan and all CCHA rookies in scoring both overall (16-16-32) and in league play (13-12-25). His totals tied him for the national lead among first-year players in goals while tying him for eighth in points.
Miami senior goaltender Cody Reichard received the Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award as the league's top citizen, based on his contributions off the ice, as well as on, to his team, his program, his school and his community. Reichard, a Celina, Ohio native, was inspired by the generous amounts of community service NHL players perform and decided to bring that love and support for the community to the college game. He came up with Swoop's Stoop after talking about it at length with his goalie coach. Swoop's Stoop is an initiative that seeks to help sick children at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The program started out small by recognizing a few children at Miami home hockey games and has now expanded into a fully-funded program providing many more opportunities for children facing life-threatening illnesses.
Lake Superior junior forward Domenic Monardo was presented with the Terry Flanagan Memorial Award in recognition of his perseverance, dedication and courage while overcoming severe adversity. In the 2007-08 season, Monardo broke his C2 vertebra, which contains major blood vessels to the brain, while playing junior hockey in Oakville, Ont. Monardo managed to avoid surgery but was fitted for a neck brace and told he might never play hockey again. This season, Monardo led the Lakers in points with a scoring line of 11-18-29.
Krug was named CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman for the second straight year. The Spartans second-year captain saved his best for league play, recording 11 of his 12 goals in conference action as well as 29 of his 33 overall points. Krug became the first blueliner in school history to lead all CCHA players in points.
Western Michigan sophomore Dan DeKeyser was honored as the Best Defensive Defenseman. DeKeyser finished +11 this season while racking up 30 minutes of ice time per game.
Michigan senior captain Luke Glendening became the second Wolverine in as many seasons to win the Best Defensive Forward award. Ex-Michigan standout Carl Hagelin won the award in 2011. Glendening was a part of a Wolverines squad that gave up just 2.14 goals-per game, second in the league this season.
2011-12 CCHA Award Winners
RBC Player of the Year: Torey Krug, Michigan State
Coach of the Year: Bob Daniels, Ferris State
Rookie of the Year: Alex Guptill, Michigan
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Chad Billins, Ferris State
Terry Flanagan: Domenic Monardo, Lake Superior
Ilitch Humanitarian: Cody Reichard, Miami
Best Offensive Defenseman: Torey Krug, Michigan State
Best Defensive Defenseman: Dan DeKeyser, Western Michigan
Best Defensive Forward: Luke Glendening, Michigan
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