Huskies hand out hockey awards

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Tanner Kero earned the Merv Youngs Award as most valuable player as the Michigan Tech hockey program handed out its 2014-15 awards at a team meeting yesterday.

The Hancock, Mich., native scored 25 points on the season with a team-high 15 goals. Kero, a center, played in all situations, posting four power-play goals and one shorthanded tally. He was whistled for just eight penalties in just 40 games and notched a team-high four game-winning goals.

Rookie Cliff Watson, who played in all 40 games and finished third in the nation in blocked shots, earned the Gitzen Loutit Memorial Award as the team’s outstanding defensive player. He also posted four assists on the season.

Blake Pietila and Alex Petan shared the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the team’s leading scorer as each player had 28 points on the season. Pietila, a captain and junior forward, totaled eight goals and 20 assists. Petan, a sophomore forward, registered his 28 points on 11 goals and 11 assists.

The Elov Seger Memorial Award for the team’s most improved player went to freshman Reid Sturos, The right wing went from being in and out of the lineup in the first half of the season to the Hockey Commissioner’s Association National Rookie of the Month in February. Sturos finished fifth on the team in scoring with 8-13=21 in just 30 games.

Fellow newcomer, Shane Hanna earned the Norbert Matovich Award as the team’s outstanding freshman. The defenseman led all WCHA blue liners as well as the league’s freshmen (forwards and defensemen) in scoring with 4-18=22 in 28 league games. He was fourth overall among Huskies with 4-19=23 in 40 total games and earned All-WCHA Rookie Team honors.

For the third straight season, the Rick Yeo Unsung Hero Award was presented to forward Dennis Rix. The senior posted two goals and three assists in 38 games. He also blocked 38 shots—the most among the team’s forwards.

The Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award was given to senior Daniel Holmberg, who recorded 2-2=4 in 20 games playing up front.

Academic awards were presented to CJ Eick and Brad Stebner. Eick was named the George McCarthy Performance Award winner for scholastic and athletic achievement. The sophomore forward totaled 18 points on five goals and 13 assists in 40 games while maintaining a 3.56 grade point average in sports and fitness management. Stebner, a senior defenseman, earned the John MacInnes Slide Rule Award for his 4.00 GPA in biological sciences.