Hockey Broncos announce award winners
April 16, 2001
KALAMAZOO -- Ten members of the Western Michigan University hockey team were honored at the season-ending awards banquet Saturday evening (April 14) at the WMU Fetzer Center.
Junior center Mike Bishai (Edmonton, Alta.) and senior captain David Gove (Centerville, Mass.) were named co-recipients of the Rob Hodge Most Valuable Player Award.
Bishai became a JOFA/AHCA West All-America Second Team selection after leading the nation in scoring (1.84 ppg) and assists (1.22 apg) [Final NCAA statistics are not yet available]. He also received WMU's Vic Vanderberg Top Scorer Award, amassing 23 goals, 45 assists and 68 points in 37 games this season. An All-CCHA Second Team pick, Bishai's point total was the most for WMU in the past 13 seasons.
Gove earned All-CCHA Second Team honors after sharing the league scoring title with Bishai, compiling 43 points in 28 conference games. He achieved CCHA All-Academic Team accolades and finished 22nd in WMU career scoring with 143 points. Gove also received the Catherine Lawson Sportsmanship Award, sharing honors with right winger Anthony Battaglia (Chicago).
Junior Austin Miller (Vestal, N.Y.) took home the Neil Smith Most Valuable Defenseman Award. A steady stay-at-home rearguard, Miller posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+13) and was one of only two players to appear in all 39 games. Battaglia was whistled for only four minor penalties over 35 games.
Freshman right wing Jeff Campbell accepted the Suzanne Klop Rookie of the Year Award. Campbell recorded the fourth-most goals ever by a Bronco freshman (26) and earned a spot on the CCHA All-Rookie Team. He recorded points in 32 of 37 games and set a WMU record with goals in nine consecutive games.
Sophomore defenseman Josh Akright (Haslett, Mich.) and freshman center Lucas Drake (Holt, Mich.) both received the Ed Edwards Most Improved Player Award. Akright became a regular in the lineup this season after appearing in just one game a year ago. Drake became a reliable defensive forward, working on the team's top penalty-killing unit.
Senior right wing Brett Mills (Chestermere, Alta.) overcame a series of shoulder injuries to complete a fifth season in the Bronco program and earned the (KOHA) Grinder Award for Perseverance, presented by the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association. Sophomore defenseman Andy Townsend (East Haven, Conn.) registered a team-high +16 rating to capture the Bill Saunders Plus/Minus Award for the second straight year.
Senior right wing Mark Wilkinson (Farmington, Mich.) added the Peter R. Ellis Academic Award to his portfolio. This previous week, he was named WMU's Top Male Scholar Athlete, the highest award available in Bronco Athletics.
Western Michigan (20-13-6 overall) finished tied for fifth in the CCHA, advancing the league playoffs for the second straight year. Among the team's season highlights were a Silverado Shootout Championship, an 11-game unbeaten streak and 15 weeks ranked in the top 15 national polls.
"This team took our program to another level, and it was made possible through the leadership of our senior class," said second-year head coach Jim Culhane. "We took a step in the right direction and made an impact on the national level."
For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138, email@example.com