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Friday, March 17, 2006

Pair of Spartans earn CCHA recognition

Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Scott Parse (Portage) became the first Maverick to be named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Year at the annual CCHA Awards banquet last night. Eight individual honors were awarded at Detroit's historic Fox Theatre, including six determined by a vote of the league's 12 coaches.

Parse was the first player in the nation to top both the 50 and 60-point plateaus, finishing his junior year with 61 points and a 1.52 points per-game average. He is the first Maverick to be named player of the year since Nebraska-Omaha joined the CCHA in 1999.

Michigan State netminder Jeff Lerg (Livonia) was selected the CCHA Rookie of the Year after ranking second among CCHA goaltenders in conference action with a .926 save percentage and a 2.03 goals-against average. Lerg, who was named HCA National Rookie of the Month for January, appeared in 24 contests for the Spartans, notching a 12-4-6 record.

Lake Superior senior forward Steve McJannet (pictured) was presented with the Terry Flanagan Memorial Award in recognition of his perseverance, dedication and courage in his battle with Crohn's Disease. The Lakers' captain was a team best +5 this season and led his squad to a sixth-place finish in the standings, their best season since 1999-2000.

Miami senior defenseman Andy Greene (Trenton) became the fi rst player in CCHA history to garner both the Offensive and Defensive Defenseman of the Year awards. Greene's nine goals and 18 assists rank him fourth in the CCHA among defensemen in scoring. He also produced a +17 rating as the RedHawks, on average, gave up just 1.91 goals-per game, making them the top defensive team in both the CCHA and the nation. Greene, Miami's captain, was named Defenseman of the Week four times this season and was honored as the Offensive Defenseman of the Year last season.

The sixth-annual Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian award was presented to Michigan State junior forward Drew Miller (East Lansing). Miller, involved in several Lansing-area programs, was a major force behind the creation of the Spartan Buddy Program. The program involves MSU student-athletes becoming buddies with pediatric patients at Sparrow Hospital. The Ilitch Humanitarian Award is given to the league's top citizen based on his contributions off the ice, as well as on, to his team, his program, his school and his community. Miller also earned the Best Defensive Forward award. The sixth-round NHL draft pick by Anaheim in 2003 was voted by CCHA captains as the Smartest Player in the CCHA and excelled as a penalty killer. He joins former MSU forwards John Nail, Shawn Horcoff and Mike York to become the fourth Spartan to win the award.

2005-06 Award Winners
Player of the Year: Scott Parse, UNO
Coach of the Year: Enrico Blasi, MIA
Rookie of the Year: Jeff Lerg, MSU
Terry Flanagan: Steve McJannet, LSSU
Ilitch Humanitarian: Drew Miller, MSU
Best Offensive Defenseman: Andy Greene, MIA
Best Defensive Defenseman: Andy Greene, MIA
Scholar-Athlete: Michael Eichman, UNO
Best Defensive Forward: Drew Miller, MSU

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