Press Box

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The annual Northern Michigan University hockey banquet was held tonight and the big winners were Mike Santorelli with three awards and Matt Maunu with two.
Santorelli was awarded with the Gary Emmons Most Valuable Player Award, the Bill Joyce Best Forward Award and the Steve Bozek Plus-Minus Award. The junior from Burnaby, B.C. led the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in goals with 30. He led the Wildcats in goals and points (47) for the 2006-07 season and was second on the team in assists (17). Santorelli had a team-leading plus-minus of +6.
Maunu was named the winner of the Brad Werenka Coaches Academic Award and the Tom Laidlaw Best Defenseman Award. The senior from Esko, Minn. was named as a CCHA Scholar-Athlete for the 2006-07 campaign. On the ice he tallied five goals, 11 assists for 16 points.
Pat Bateman picked up the Dennis Sibilsky Memorial Senior Award. Bateman, from Calgary, Alberta, the captain of the team had 15 points for the season on seven goals and eight assists.
The Dallas Drake Defensive Player of the Year Award went to Marquette native and senior Rob Lehtinen. He ended the campaign with two goals, 14 assists for 16 points.
TJ Miller was chosen as the winner of the Don Waddell Best Freshman Award.  The defenseman from Placetia, Calif. led all newcomers with 14 points on two goals and 12 assists. 
Freshman Alan Dorich from Orland Park, Ill. was selected as the recipient of the Ed Ward Most Improved Player Award. Dorich ended the season with five assists.
Nick Sirota went home with the Steve Weeks Unsung Hero Award. The Beaver Dam, Wis. product and sophomore tallied 20 points for the 2006-07 season on 10 goals and 10 assists.
Senior defenseman, Zach Tarkir, from Fresno, Calif. walked away with the Jim Mussatto Memorial Fitness Award. Tarkir had seven goals, 13 assists for 20 points on the season. The award is presented to the player that holds the highest combined ranking in the following categories – three-mile run, bench press, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats and lowest body fat.
The Clara Pantalone Memorial Community Service Award was split among two of the goalkeepers. Bill Zaniboni, a senior from Plymouth, Mass., and Josh Hatinger, a senior from Negaunee, Mich., shared the award.  Both student-athletes have volunteered extensively in the community. As a team the ‘Cats have volunteered for YMCA Healthy Kid’s Day Game, YMCA Reading to Youth Program, Food Festival setup and ice cream tent attendants, and the Special Olympics. Zaniboni led all goalies with a 12-21-2 slate, 2.65 goals-against average and a .906 save-percentage. Hatinger saw his first action of his NMU career with a 39-second stint against Miami in the final home game of the season.    
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Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director