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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Western Michigan doles out hardware

Western Michigan Press Release

The Western Michigan hockey team celebrated its successful 2010-11 season and handed out its post season awards at the year-end banquet recently.

Senior Max Campbell was voted the Rob Hodge Most Valuable Player by his teammates, the first post-season award in his career. Campbell led the Broncos in points with 35 and goals with 18 and won the Vic Vanderberg Scoring Award. Campbell had career highs in all offensive categories, adding a personal-best 17 assists to his point total.

The New York Rangers draft pick scored one of the most important goals of the season, the overtime game-winner in game three of the CCHA quarterfinals over Ferris State to send the Broncos to the CCHA semifinals for the first time since 1994.

Freshman Danny DeKeyser was named the Niel Smith Most Valuable Defenseman. DeKeyser was a member of the CCHA All-Rookie Team, was second on the team in scoring among defensemen with five goals and 12 assists, was named to the CCHA All-Tournament Team, led the Broncos in blocked shots with 54 and finished second on the team in plus/minus with a +12 rating.

Freshman Chase Balisy was voted the Suzanne Klop Rookie of the Year by his teammates. Balisy was second on the team in scoring with 30 points on 12 goals and 18 assists. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team and was Rookie of the Month in January.

The team voted Dane Walters and Mike Leone to share the Dr. Ed Edwards Most Improved Player Award.

Walters, a sophomore, only tallied eight points last season and exploded this year when matched with Balisy and Shane Berschbach to tally 21 points on nine goals and 12 assists.

Leone sat out the first half of the season per NCAA transfer rules. He appeared in 24 games scoring six goals and eight assists for 14 points and did not take a single penalty. Leone was named to the CCHA All-Tournament team after tallying two goals and an assist at the CCHA Championship Weekend.

Walters was received the Catherine Lawson Sportsmanship Award.

Ian Slater received the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association Grinder Award. The junior captain was known for his fierce determination and physical play on the ice. He reached career-highs in goals and assists, tallying eight in each category for 16 points.

Ryan Watson was received the Dr. Peter Ellis Academic Award for posting the team's highest GPA of 3.88, while Luke Witkowski was awarded the Bill Saunders Plus/Minus Award for finishing with a team-high +12 on the season.

Photo by Nicole Watkins

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