CC honors seniors, hands out team awards
May 6, 2012 2 Comments
The Colorado College hockey program and about 250 of its fans celebrated a winning 2011-12 campaign with a season-ending awards brunch at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel on Sunday that featured three former Tigers – David Civitarese, Nick Dineen and Jaden Schwartz – repeating as team award winners.
The Tigers posted an overall record of 18-16-2 and hosted a first-round WCHA playoff series for the 17th time in the last 19 years.
“I am very proud of this team,” coach Scott Owens said. “I will miss this senior class in particular. They have been good Tigers with a 3.13 grade point average combined. All six will have their degree in their back pocket and will be successful CC graduates.”
Civitarese, who joined the AHL’s Hershey Bears after his senior season, was the team’s top student for the second straight year and took home the Paul Markovich Award.
The physics major with a minor in biochemistry is a three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and one of 11 Tigers named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s all-academic team. He remains under contract with the Bears.
“This award is a testament to the support staff and CC and everything that makes this program great,” he said. “I want to thank the coaches for accommodating my schedule.”
Dineen received the Steve Ebert Award – dedication, desire, ability and sportsmanship – for the second year in a row. As team captain in ’11-12, he posted career highs with 14 goals, 12 assists and 26 points. He went on to finish out the season with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL and is a free agent this offseason.
Schwartz, now with the St. Louis Blues, received both the M.B. Hopper Award as top scorer as well as the Thayer Tutt Award (MVP) for the second year in a row. A first-team All-America West selection, he paced CC with 41 points (15g, 26a).
“I learned a lot as a person and a player in my two years,” Schwartz said in a letter read by roommate Jeff Collett. “I would not have been able to get through the past two years without you guys.”
Senior defenseman Gabe Guentzel, another Tiger who launched his pro career this spring (AHL’s Syracuse Crunch), claimed the Rodman Award for demonstrating the highest degree of sportsmanship. Many jokes were made about his verbal exchanges with certain league officials over the past four seasons.
Also recognized were sophomore winger Alexander Krushelnyski and sophomore goalie Josh Thorimbert who shared the Dave Peterson Award as CC’s most improved players. Freshman defenseman Aaron Harstad received the Bob Johnson Award as rookie of the year.
“A lot of who I am as a player and person I learned from the older guys and that helped me win this award,” Krushelnyski said.
Junior Rylan Schwartz received the annual “Cat in a Hat” award for his three hat tricks this past season, including two in a row at North Dakota Thanksgiving weekend.
“Back-to-back hat tricks in Grand Forks on their ice is memorable,” Owens said. “I won’t see that again for a long time.”
Retired economics professor Ray Werner, a former WCHA faculty representative at Colorado College, was honored with the Joni Brandner Memorial Award, given to individuals who have shown remarkable dedication to the program. Werner is known for his nightly game recaps he emails to about 75 CC alumni.
“I am honored to be included among the people who have received this award,” said Werner, who turned 90 three weeks ago. “Now I pass the torch to (president) Jill Tiefenthaler’s son (Owen, age 10). I will end this as I always do. ‘Go Tigers!’”