Senior goalie Chad Johnson became the first Alaska Nanook to be named the CCHA Player of the Year, as announced at the annual CCHA Awards banquet Thursday. Nine individual awards were handed out at Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre, including six determined by a vote of the league’s 12 coaches.
Johnson was second in the nation and first in the CCHA in goals-against average (1.70) and save percentage (.937). He was named First Team All-Conference and was also the overall Perani Cup champion, being named a game star in 15 of 28 league contests.
Michigan forward David Wohlberg became the second straight Wolverine (after Max Pacioretty in 2008) to be honored as the CCHA Rookie of the Year. In conference scoring, Wohlberg finished tied for first among rookies with 23 points in 27 games. He was also tied atop the freshmen charts in goals, and game-winning goals and finished tied for third in assists.
Alaska’s Dallas Ferguson was recognized as the CCHA Coach of the Year after leading the Nanooks, who were predicted to finish tied for 11th in the preseason coaches poll, to a fourth-place finish, tied for best in school history. The Nanooks led the country in scoring defense at 1.74 goals a game. Ferguson is the third first-year coach to capture the award in the past 34 years.
Notre Dame senior goaltender Jordan Pearce was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Pearce, a pre-med and anthropology major, led the CCHA in victories and shutouts and has a 3.81 grade-point average.
The ninth annual Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award was presented to Michigan State senior goaltender Jeff Lerg and Nebraska-Omaha senior goaltender Jerad Kaufmann.
Notre Dame senior forward Erik Condra was presented with the Terry Flanagan Memorial Award in recognition of his perseverance, dedication and courage while overcoming adversity. Condra spent his summer rehabbing ACL and MCL injuries and less than seven months after the injury returned to the lineup as team captain.
Tim Miller of Michigan was honored as the Best Defensive Forward. The senior, who never missed a regular-season game in his college career, scored 13 points in 28 conference games and finished +10. The Wolverines finished tied for first in team defense and second in penalty-killing efficiency.
Northern Michigan sophomore Erik Gustafsson picked up the Best Offensive Defenseman Award after leading CCHA blueliners with 22 assists and 25 points in 28 conference games and finishing tied for 10th in the nation. Notre Dame junior Kyle Lawson earned Best Defensive Defenseman honors, tallying 16 points and finishing with a +7 rating for the Irish.
Meanwhile, Michigan was the only school to have a pair of players named to the All-CCHA First Team, while Notre Dame saw four players honored, one on the First Team and three on the Second Team. This year’s First Team features five sophomores and one senior, the youngest class for a First Team since 2000-01.
Michigan classmates Louie Caporusso and Aaron Palushaj, who finished second and third in league scoring, along with Miami forward Carter Camper, who finished fourth, make up the front line. Camper, all All-Rookie Team selection last season, led the conference in goals with 16, Caporusso was tied for second and Palushaj led the conference in assists (29).
Notre Dame’s Ian Cole and Erik Gustafsson of Northern Michigan comprise the defense pairing for the squad. Gustafsson led CCHA defensemen in assists and points with 3-22-25 while Cole finished with 17 points, tied for seventh among CCHA defensemen and two game-winning goals, tied for the top spot for rearguards.
Johnson rounds out the First Team. He led the conference in goals-against average and save percentage and was second in shutouts.
A trio from Notre Dame, forwards Erik Condra and Christian Hanson along with defenseman Kyle Lawson, account for half of the Second Team. Condra and Hanson both finished in the top 10 in points and goals scored in conference play while Lawson finished eighth among defensemen in scoring.
Patrick Galivan of Western Michigan, who led the CCHA in scoring with 36 points, fills out the forward line. The other half of the defensive pairing is Nebraska-Omaha junior Eddie DelGrosso, who placed second in defenseman scoring, one point behind the leader. The All-Conference Second Team is capped off with senior goalie Jeff Lerg of Michigan State. Lerg, who was a First Team selection last season, averaged 32 saves per game to lead the CCHA.
The All-CCHA teams were selected by a vote of the league’s head coaches and are based on performance in conference games. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.