MARQUETTE, Mich. – Senior Ray Kaunisto was the big winner at the annual Northern Michigan University Hockey Awards Banquet. The Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. native took home four awards.
Kaunisto received the Ed Ward Most Improved Player, Clara Pantalone Memorial Community Service, Steve Bozek Plus-Minus and the Dennis Sibilsky Memorial Senior Awards. He ended the 2009-10 season with 32 points on 18 goals and 14 assists. Kaunisto led the Wildcats in the plus-minus category with a +19.
Erik Gustafsson was a multi-award winner as he walked away with the Dallas Drake Defensive Player of the Year and the Tom Laidlaw Best Defenseman Awards. He was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Best Offensive Defenseman for the 2009-10 season which was the second time Gustafsson picked up the award. Gustafsson led the CCHA in defenseman scoring with 22 points on a goal and 21 assists. Overall he finished the season with 32 points on three goals and 29 assists. He was also a first team All-CCHA and a second team All-American selection.
Goaltender Brian Stewart was named the team’s Gary Emmons MVP Award winner. He was 18-11-7 for the season with a 2.43 goal-against average and a .927 save-percentage. Stewart also recorded four shutouts during the 2009-10 season.
Mark Olver picked up the Bill Joyce Best Forward Award. He led the 2009-10 ‘Cats in points (49), goals (19) and assists (30). He was a first team All-CCHA and a first team All-American selection. Olver led the CCHA in scoring for the 2009-10 regular season with 35 points on 17 goals and 18 assists.
The Steve Weeks Unsung Hero Award went to Andrew Cherniwchan. He recorded 28 points on 12 goals and 16 assists for the past season. Six of his goals were scored on the power play.
Kyle Follmer received the Don Waddell Best Freshman Award. He collected 14 points on two goals and 12 assists during the 2009-10 season.
The Brad Werenka Coaches Academic Award was picked up by Reid Ellingson. He was designated NMU’s selection to the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team for the 2009-10 season. Ellingson carries a 3.88 grade-point average in the classroom. On the ice he was 2-2-1 with a 2.39 goal-against average and a .919 save-percentage with a shutout.
Jared Brown received the Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness Award. He collected 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists for the past season.
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