MARQUETTE, Mich. –The Northern Michigan University Hockey cats will honor its senior class prior to Saturday's home game at the Berry Events Center. The eight member class – Jared Brown (Gardner, Kan.), Alex Fernandez (Thunder Bay, Ont.), Phil Fox (Stillwater, Minn.), Greger Hanson (Lidingo, Sweden.), Nick Kosinski (Marquette, Mich.), Mike Maltese (Eastpointe, Mich.), Robert Skinner (West Vancouver, BC.) and Erik Spady (Deroche, BC) - have played major roles in the recent success of the Wildcat hockey program. They have been part of guiding NMU to the CCHA Final Four at the Joe Louis Arena the last three years, reaching the championship game last season. In 2010, the ‘Cats appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.
“This has been a very good and incredible group of guys from the beginning,” said Kyle. “They are good student-athletes and we were fortunate to have a group like this.”
Jared Brown: He scored his first goal in his first collegiate game at Michigan Tech during his freshmen season. During his sophomore season Brown was named CCHA offensive player of the week after he scored three goals in the series against Bowling Green State. In his junior year he scored 9 goals and recorded 14 assists and was awarded the Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness Award winner. “Jared is one of the best face-off players in college hockey and has done a tremendous job for us with his time at NMU scoring 10 goals every year,” said Kyle.
Andrew Fernandez: He scored his first collegiate point on an assist in his first collegiate game at Michigan Tech as a freshman. As a sophomore he scored his first career goal at Nebraska-Omaha. During Fernandez’s junior year he posted 1 goal against Alaska and had 2 assists on the season. “Andrew is a very efficient puck mover and defender that we can always count on,” said Kyle.
Phil Fox:As a freshman Fox had two goals against Michigan early in the season and registered two goals and an assist against Sacred Heart. Fox had four multi-point games during his sophomore season, scoring two goals at Western Michigan and at Notre Dame. His two-game goal streak at Western Michigan tied a career high. As a junior, Fox scored five goals and recorded six assists. “Phil has been a great leader for our program and captain,” said Kyle. “He will have a very successful career as a coach in hockey.”
Greger Hanson: In his freshmen year, Hanson recorded 18 points on six goals and 12 assists.He scored his first collegiate goal against Miami.During his sophomore year, Hanson playedin 40 games recording 13 goals and 21 assists for 33 points. Hanson scored his first career overtime goal at Miami, in the second game of the second-round playoff series, to extend the ‘Cats season. He was awarded the Ed Ward Most Improved Player and the Bill Joyce Best Forwards awards. Hanson was second on the team in points with 38 points off of 16 goals and 22 assists and was the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 30. “Greger has been a prolific goal scorer for our program and has had a solid academic career,” said Kyle.
Nick Kosinski:Scored his first collegiate goal against Ferris State as a sophomore. This season he has scored three goals with two assists, appearing in 27 games. Two of his three goals this season have been game-winners “Nick turned himself into one of the better penalty killers in the CCHA and stepped into the line-up for us over the last year,” said Kyle.
Mike Maltese: As a sophomore, Maltese scored the game-winning goal against Miami in the second round playoffs, which would send NMU to the Joe in 2009. He scored a goal and had three assists in his junior year. “Mike has developed his skills to be a very solid and hard-nosed player for us,” said Kyle.
Robert Skinner: Skinner was recruited as a hockey player, but had a career ending injury. He has been a student assistant coach for the last four years. Skinner has an eye for the game Coach Kyle says. He has assisted and helped guide the NMU skaters to CCHA and NCAA Tournament appearances. “Rob has overcome so much and has helped this program out so much that he will be very successful in the game in his future,” said Kyle.
Erik Spady: Spady scored his first collegiate goal against Sacred Heart as a freshman. He scored in the NCAA tournament game against St. Cloud State. As a senior he was named CCHA Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Ferris State last month. “Erik is a real solid defender that has done a solid job for us the last four years,” said Kyle.
Saturday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. from the Berry Events Center. Following the game will be a fourth period reception at the Landmark Inn.
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