Senior forward Chris Conner, who led the team in scoring for the second time in his four-year career, was honored with the prestigious Merv Youngs Award as the most valuable player of the Michigan Tech hockey team Saturday evening at the annual Blueline Club Awards Banquet. The event was held in the Memorial Union Ballroom on the MTU campus.
Conner finished his career as Tech's all-time leader in shorthanded goals (15). The winger ranks 19th among all MTU players in career goals (69) and is 35th all-time in overall point scoring (69-60--129).
In addition to MVP honors, Conner earned the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the team’s leading scorer with 29 points off 17 goals and 12 assists.
Junior Tyler Skworchinski earned the John MacInnes Slide Rule Award for scholastic achievement for the second straight year. Skworchinski, who tallied two goals on the season, owns a 3.73 cumulative grade point average in business administration. The forward was also tabbed with the Elov Seger Memorial Award as the team’s most improved player. Skworchinski appeared in 30 games this season after playing in 20 contests as a sophomore.
For the second time in as many years, junior Lars Helminen (pictured) gained the team’s Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Award as its outstanding defenseman. He led all MTU blueliners in scoring with 19 points and provided a team-best 13 points on the power play.
Senior Nick Anderson earned the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. A participant of the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge held in conjunction with the 2006 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four last Friday (April 7) in Milwaukee, Anderson was second on the team in power-play goals (6) and ranked sixth on the team in point scoring (16) in 2005-06.
The Norbert Matovich Award as the team’s outstanding freshman was presented to Michael-Lee Teslak, who garnered Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Rookie of the Week accolades twice and WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors once in his rookie campaign. The netminder led all WCHA newcomers in saves (812), saves per game (31.2) and save percentage (.902).
Combining scholastic and athletic achievement, senior forward Brandon Schwartz was the recipient of the George McCarthy Performance Award. The owner of three shorthanded goals and 26 points this season, Schwartz closed his career with 34 goals and 48 assists in 143 games.
The Wildcat Slayer Award was presented to sophomore Jake Wilkens as a result of his standout defensive performance in two games against rival Northern Michigan.
Michigan Tech also honored its seven seniors at the event, including Conner, Anderson, Schwartz, Taggart Desmet, student manager David Jukuri, Pekka Saittakari, and John Scott.