WMU News

Bellissimo named to CCHA All-Rookie Team

March 13, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Vince Bellissimo, a freshman center on the Western Michigan University hockey team, has been named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie Team.

Bellissimo's selection marks the third straight year WMU has placed a freshman on the all-rookie squad. Right wing Pat Dwyer was selected in 2002 and center Jeff Campbell in 2001. In addition, WMU has received all-rookie honorable mention selections with Mike Jarmuth (2001) and Dave Cousineau (2000), along with Ryan Crane (1999) and Jeff Reynaert (1999).

"It's an incredible individual honor for Vince when you consider the candidates in this league, all the rookie are outstanding," said WMU Head Coach Jim Culhane. "The award is also a great accomplishment for our program and speaks volumes about the hard work our assistant coaches, Scott Garrow and Chris Brooks, are putting into recruiting."

Bellissimo ranks second in team goals (17) and points (32), having finished tied for third in CCHA rookie scoring with 26 points in 27 games. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward was twice named CCHA Rookie of the Week (Oct. 14, Jan. 20) and earned No. 1 Star of the Game honors on six occasions. He also placed second among Bronco players in the Perani Cup Star of the Game standings with 25 points.

Other season highlights include 10 multiple-point games and a memorable third period against eighth-ranked Michigan Jan. 11 in Lawson Arena. With the Broncos trailing 3-1 in the third, Bellissimo scored twice in a span of three minutes, 37 seconds to spark a 4-3 victory. He also scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, in his collegiate debut, a 6-5 win over Bowling Green on Oct. 11.

A native of Toronto, Ont., Bellissimo came to WMU as a highly-recruited junior player, having earned the Top Forward Award in the United States Hockey League last season. He was also selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (158th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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