USA Hockey Doles Out Awards

USA Hockey has named Angela Ruggiero and Adam Berkhoel as its hockey players of the year.

Ruggiero, who played at Harvard, and Berkhoel, from Denver, will be honored as the year’s best American-born hockey players during the USA Hockey’s annual congress. That runs June 2-6 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ruggiero’s award encompassed all women’s players, while Berkhoel’s was for college players.

Ruggiero earned the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top women’s collegiate player this past season. She also helped the United States win the silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s world championships. The led the tournament in scoring by a defenseman with seven points. Ruggiero had 20 goals and 25 assists for Harvard.

Berkhoel recorded seven shutouts during the 2003-2004 season, including a 1-0 victory over Maine in the Frozen Four championship game. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the West Regional and the Frozen Four as Denver won its first national championship since 1969.

Other honorees included:

The Goalie of the Year is Cory Schneider. He’s a Boston College recruit and the seventh-ranked goalie in the NHL’s Central Scouting Service NHL rankings. Schneider played at Phillips Academy, and led U.S. Under-18 teams to a gold medal at the Junior World Cup and a silver medal in the Under-18 World Championship.

The Junior Player of the Year is Joe Pavelski. He led Waterloo of the USHL to its first Junior A Tier I championship. Pavelski was captain of the U.S. team in the Viking Cup that won a silver medal. The San Jose Sharks picked him in the seventh round of last year’s NHL draft and he’s committed to play at Wisconsin next season.

The Bob Johnson Award winners are Ty Conklin and Zach Parise. They’re recognized for excellence in international hockey competitions. Conklin was the goalie for the U.S. team that won a bronze medal in the 2004 IIHF men’s world championships. Conklin played three seasons for New Hampshire, and had a 17-14-4 record for the Edmonton Oilers last season.

Parise played on the U.S. team that won a gold medal in the World Junior Championships. It was the first gold for the U.S. in the tournament’s 28-year history. Parise was named the tournament’s best forward and the Most Valuable Player after scoring 11 points in six games. After two seasons at North Dakota, Parise signed with the New Jersey Devils.

The Distinguished Achievement Award went to Mike Eaves. He coached the U.S. to the gold medal in the World Junior Championship. Eaves is the head coach at Wisconsin, which made the NCAA tournament last season.