Western Michigan Press Release
The Western Michigan hockey team hosted its year-end banquet on Saturday, handing out its yearly awards.
Senior Riley Gill was named the Rob Hodge Most Valuable Player award winner, the first time a goalie has won since Jeff Reynaert in the 2001-02 season. Gill joins Reynaert, Marc Magliarditi and Glenn Healy as the only goalies in program's history to be named the team's MVP.
Gill finished the season with the nation's seventh best save percentage at .923 and added seven wins to his career total, giving him 39 in four seasons. He also left the Broncos with the highest career save percentage in school history at .915.
Senior Tyler Ludwig was named the Neil Smith Most Valuable Defenseman award winner for the second time in his career after taking the honor last season. He becomes the tenth defenseman in program history to win the most valuable defenseman award twice in his career. Only former Bronco Ryan Mahrle has won the award more than once, taking it three times in his career.
Ludwig was WMU's top scoring defenseman on the season with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points. He was named the CCHA Defenseman of the Week after the Broncos swept Notre Dame late in the season. Ludwig also was honored with the Dr. Peter Ellis Academic Award for his excellence in the classroom and finished his four years at Western Michigan with a combined GPA of 3.65 with a major in finance.
Sophomore Greg Squires was honored as the Vic Vanderberg Scoring Award winner after the leading the team with 24 points off of four goals and 20 assists.
Squires, who was last year's Suzanne Klopp Rookie of the Year Award winner along with former Bronco Kevin Connauton, saw teammate Dane Walters honored with the award this season.
Walters played in 31 games as a rookie, scoring two goals with six assists for eight points.
Senior Jared Katz was awarded the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association Grinder award for perseverance on the season, while junior forward Patrick Nagorsen was awarded the Catherine Lawson Sportsmanship award - the first award for Nagorsen in his career.
Freshman defenseman David Chaney was awarded with the Ed Edwards Most Improved Player award for his hard work throughout the season in practice.
Sophomore forward Derek Roehl was awarded the William Saunders Plus-Minus Award for finishing the season with the top plus-minus rating on the season at plus-five.
Photo - seniors Jared Katz, Riley Gill, Cam Watson, Chris Clackson and Jordan Collins - courtesy Zolton Cohen