MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team announced its award winners for the 2011-12 season. The team most valuable player, most improved and best freshman awards were handed out at the Sports Hall of Fame and Student-Athlete Awards Banquet on April 14. The Wildcats finished the season 17-14-6 overall and 11-11-6-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
For the second year in a row, senior forward Justin Florek took home four awards after leading the team with 19 goals on the season. The captain, and Marquette native, received the Gary Emmons Most Valuable Player Award, the Bill Joyce Best Forward Award, the Clara Pantalone Memorial Community Service Award and the Dallas Drake Defensive Player of the Year. Florek received all four awards last season.
Senior forward Andrew Cherniwchan received the Dennis Sibilsky Memorial Senior Award. Cherniwchan played through an emotional season with the loss of his father and finished the season with 10 goals and 10 assists.
Sophomore defenseman CJ Ludwig received the Tom Laidlaw Best Defenseman Award after being the freshman of the year a season ago.
Freshman defenseman Jake Baker was named the Don Waddell Best Freshman. Baker was an honorable mention for the CCHA All-Rookie Team.
The Ed Ward Most Improved Player Award went to freshman forward Ryan Daugherty after recording five of his six points in the final seven games.
The Brad Werenka Coaches Academic Award went to sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau who was NMU’s nominee for the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Sophomore forward Stephen Vigier received the Steve Weeks Unsung Hero Award. Vigier finished third on the team in goals (13) and tied for fourth in total points (26).
Junior forward Matt Thurber led the team with a plus nine rating and received the Steve Bozek Plus/Minus award during his first season on the ice for the ‘Cats.
The Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness Award went to junior forward Brian Nugent.
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