Michigan Hockey: 2013-14 Captain Named, Banquet Awards Given
The Michigan Hockey Annual Awards Banquet hosted by the Dekers was held 4/6 at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor.
The affair acknowledges the outbound senior class and offers a chance for fans to bid adieu to the team before breaking up for the summer and bid on valuable prizes donated by local businesses through a silent auction.
Coach Red Berenson was his typical glib self, offering some dry quips that broke up the rather sedate event. It was not the type of year that most would celebrate, but the day had its moments.
Berenson announced that senior to be Mac Bennett would wear the Captain’s ‘C’ and be flanked by fellow senior to be Derek DeBlois and surprise sophomore to be Andre Copp as alternate Captains. (Well, Copp is really not a surprise- he is a bulldog that demonstrated leadership qualities all season.)
Five seniors were also honored: Lindsay Sparks, Kevin Lynch, Lee Moffie, Jeff Rohrkemper and AJ Treais.
Here is a summary of the awards handed out:
The Howard Colby Sportsmanship Award was given to senior Jeff Rohrkemper.
The Deker Club Most Colorful Rookie Award was given to freshman Boo Nieves.
Sophomore defenseman Mike Szuma was honored with the Alton D. Simms Most Improved Player Award.
Departed freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba received the Vice Heyliger (Outstanding Defenseman) and Hal Downes (MVP) Awards.
Sophomore Alex Guptill was given the Hazel M. “Doc” Losh Award as the team’s scoring leader.
Senior Kevin Lynch was honored with the Joseph E. Barss (Coaches Choice for Team Player) Award.
All five departing seniors offered their own career reflections to the audience and participated in a give and take question format with acting Hockey SID Bruce Madej. Lynch, Treais, Rohrkemper (also a scholar-athlete) and Moffie all acknowledged that their hockey careers are most likely over and they will pursue some sort of a career that is related to their chosen field of study. Lynch and Moffie are draftees of the Columbus and San Jose Organizations, but have not been contacted by either. Sparks had an invite to play with the Ft. Wayne Comets, but is probably going to try to pursue another minor league option. Berenson awarded all the seniors with their rings which are sponsored by the Dekers.
In other miscellaneous notes, Alumni Band Director John Wilkins is officially retiring. He is notable for his excitement and enthusiasm while directing and will be sorely missed.
Associate Head Coach Billy Powers told the audience that, although the team suffered some early departures with Trouba and Jon Merrill leaving, the recruiting commitments landed more quality student athletes that are excited to be Wolverines. Powers suggested that at least five of the seven freshmen candidates will be taken in the upcoming NHL draft. The blue line will be crowded with the anticipation of no more early departures from the defense. The jury is still out as to whether any of the forwards will leave early.
Video Coordinator LJ Scarpace put together a terrific montage of the season which closed out the event. It was important to note that this graduating class won 98 games, lost 61, won two GLI Championships (2010 & 2011), won a CCHA regular season title (2011), won a CCHA playoff title (2010), was National Runner-up in 2011 and participated in three outdoor games- winning two-@ Wisconsin, @The Big Chill in Ann Arbor and against OSU in Cleveland.
I’ll keep our readers informed of any breaking hockey news this summer and will open up next season with a preview of our incoming freshman class. Until then, Go Blue!
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — YostMeister
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