Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team, which won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular Season Championship and reached the NCAA Elite Eight this past campaign, recently announced its 2013-14 season award recipients. The honorees were recognized during the annual Awards Banquet hosted by the FSU Blueline Club at Falcon Head Golf Course.
In addition to the awards presented at the banquet, the Bulldogs also honored various league and national award recipients from this past season and heard comments from either members or representatives of the senior class, which included forwards Justin DeMartino, Andy Huff, Cory Kane and Garrett Thompson along with defenseman and captain Scott Czarnowczan. FSU's five-member senior class compiled the most wins (89) of any four-year class in school history.
Below is a complete listing of the Award recipients:
Most Valuable Player - CJ Motte
Blue Line Club Recognition Award - Hailey Patterson
Blue Line Club Spirit Award - The "Dawg Pound"
Blue Line Competitive Award - Scott Czarnowczan
Rookie of the Year - Kyle Schempp
Steve Banonis Most Improved Player - Kenny Babinski
Lloyd Earl Leading Scorer Award - Cory Kane, Justin Buzzeo, Garrett Thompson (32 points)
Plus/Minus Award - Travis White (+21)
President's Award - Cory Kane (Top Scholar-Athlete)
Additionally, the Bulldogs honored the school's Dean's Academic Award recipeints. The listing of winners included Simon Denis, Brandon Anselmini, Jason Binkley, Charles Williams and Matt Robertson along with Babinski, Kane and White.
This season, the Bulldogs won the WCHA Regular-Season Championship in their debut campaign, reached the WCHA Final Five Championship game and came within a single victory of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in three years.
Along the way, FSU set a school-record with a nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak that stretched from late October to early January and the Bulldogs' 29 total wins led the country and ranked as the second-best seasonal mark in school history.
Ferris State was the lone team from the state of Michigan to reach the NCAA Tournament this campaign and one of only two schools from the WCHA along with Minnesota State. The Bulldogs led the WCHA race for the McNaughton Cup from wire-to-wire and became only the third program ever to win both the former Central Collegiate Hockey Association along with the WCHA.
FSU clinched the WCHA's regular-season crown on the final night of the regular-season against Lake Superior State, pulled out a double-overtime game-winner in game two to sweep its opening-round home playoff series versus Bemidji State and then won a second-straight overtime matchup by beating Alaska Anchorage to reach the league championship game at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The Bulldogs followed all of that up by topping Colgate 1-0 in the Midwest Regional Tournament before dominating North Dakota much of the night in a double-overtime Elite Eight setback.
Since the conclusion of the season, three of the five Bulldog seniors have moved on to professional hockey. Both Kane and Thompson signed American Hockey League (AHL) contracts while Czarnowczan began his professional career in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) this spring.