Karl Henkel/At the CCHA Awards
DETROIT -- If this weekend’s CCHA Championship is anything like the CCHA Awards Thursday night at the Fox Theatre, coach Dallas Ferguson and the Alaska Nanooks will be a very happy bunch.
Ferguson took home Coach of the Year honors and goaltender Chad Johnson collected multiple pieces of hardware, including CCHA Player of the Year.
“It’s a tremendous honor and it truly pays recognition to the team at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks,” Ferguson said after receiving the award.
Johnson, who became the first UAF player to win the Player of the Year award (beating out Miami's Carter Camper and Notre Dame's Jordan Pearce), also won the Best Goaltender Award and Perani Cup individual championship.
“It’s a huge honor accepting this award,” Johnson said after being announced as the Player of the Year. “We (the team) worked hard all year and no one thought we would be here (at the CCHA Championship).
Johnson led the CCHA in goals-against average (1.70) and save percentage (.937).
Aside from the Nanooks, multiple Michigan players also earned honors. Tim Miller was named the Best Defensive Forward and David Wohlberg earned Rookie of the Year honors.
It was the second straight year a Michigan forward won the award (Max Pacioretty).
Not to be left out, both Notre Dame and Northern Michigan – the other two participants in the CCHA Championship, each collected accolades.
Kyle Lawson (Best Defensive Defenseman), Pearce (Scholar Athlete) and Erik Condra (Terry Flanagan Award) took the stage for the Irish.
Erik Gustafsson (Best Offensive Defenseman) was honored for NMU.
In the most heartwarming story of the night, UNO netminder Jared Kaufman and MSU goalie Jeff Lerg split the Illitch Humanitarian Award.
Kaufman was rewarded for his efforts in beginning the Military Appreciation Night, which took in $25,000 in its first two years of existence.
Lerg was part of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Spartan Buddies, Children’s Miracle Network and “Shoot for the Cure”.