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Big Rapids, Mich. - Seven members of the nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team have been recognized for their accomplishments both on the ice and in the classroom by being honored as 2013-14 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Scholar-Athlete Award recipients.
The Bulldogs's honorees include: Brandon Anselmini (D, So., Guelph, ON); Kenny Babinski (F, So., Midland, MI); Jason Binkley (D, Jr., Powell, OH); Cory Kane (F, Sr., Irvine, CA); Matt Robertson (F, So., Rohnert Park, CA); Travis White (D, Jr., Sterling Heights, MI) and Charles Williams (G, So., Canton, MI).
The WCHA, through Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport (Chair, Board of Directors), St. Cloud State University Faculty Representative Bill Hudson (Chair, women's league), men's Commissioner Bruce McLeod and women's Commissioner Sara Martin, announced a total of 114 conference-member student-athletes, who make up the ninth annual group of WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for 2013-14. The 114 figure represents every conference-member institution and is the second highest number of recipients in one season, behind the 116 honored a year ago (2012-13).
"On behalf of the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association family, we offer heartfelt congratulations to all of our men's and women's WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2013-14," said Dr. Davenport, Hudson, McLeod and Martin in a joint statement. "Each year at this time, as our member teams are engaged in the heat of competition for championships and playoff positions, we have a special opportunity to publicly recognize the very best in our student-athletes.
"It is with a true sense of pride that we today acknowledge the tremendous time-commitment, effort and dedication put forth by these outstanding young men and women. Earning a WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award, and achieving this highest of scholastic honors among your peers, is a most fitting tribute. We wish each and every one of them all the success in the future."
The WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award was developed through member team Faculty Representatives and approved by the conference membership for the 2005-06 season. To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, conference-member student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his/her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.
Over the nine years of the award, there have now been more than 750 WCHA Scholar-Athlete honorees representing every men's and women's conference-member institutions. Thirty-eight (38) of this season's 114 recipients are repeat honorees, with ten of those 37 now being three-time honorees.
Together, Ferris State's seven honorees have played a key role in helping the Bulldogs lead the WCHA standings, rank among the nation's top five teams and earlier compile a school-record and then nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak this year. The represent the school's first-ever WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipients.
The lone senior in the group, Kane has posted 16 points on nine goals and seven assists this season with two game-winning goals. He's scored a goal in each of FSU's last four outings to date this season.
Meanwhile, the group also includes a pair of juniors in defensemen Binkley and White. Presently, Binkley ranks among the league and nation's top scoring blueliners with three goals and 16 assists for 19 total points. He's also compiled a +12 rating on the ice with 42 blocks on the year. White has totaled four points with a pair of goals and two assists in 18 games and owns a team second-best +18 efficiency figure.
Finally, four sophomores are represented among FSU's honorees in Anselmini, Babinski, Robertson and Williams. A second-year regular in the lineup, Anselmini has compiled four goals and nine assists for 13 total points to go with a +3 rating and a team-leading 52 blocks this year. Meanwhile, Robertson has 11 goals and five assists for 16 total points, which includes both a team-leading five power-play goals and three game-winners to date.
Babinski has appeared in 30 of FSU's 31 contests and totaled seven goals and eight assists for 15 points while notching a +11 plus/minus rating. He also has a team-high tying two short-handed lamplighters. Williams has played in six games as one of the squad's top two goaltenders and notched a shutout win over Michigan Tech on the road in January. He holds an impressive 1.44 goals against average and .950 save percentage while making three starts to date.
Ferris State is back at home this weekend to host Alaska-Anchorage on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22) nights inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena with both games set for 7:07 p.m. (ET) starts. Advance tickets are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office, online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.
Following this weekend's home series against the Seawolves, the Bulldogs travel to Alaska for a two-game series in Fairbanks on Feb. 28-March 1 before returning home to host Lake Superior State in the final weekend of regular-season play on March 7-8 in Big Rapids.
Ferris State currently shares first place in the WCHA standings with Minnesota State and owns two games in hand on the Mavericks with six games left on the Bulldogs' regular-season schedule. FSU has also officially clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA Playoffs on March 14-16 in Big Rapids.