American International senior forward Jared Pike has been named the winner of the 2019-20 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award.
The award was established by the Hockey Commissioners Association in honor of former Army West Point player Derek Hines (1999-2003), who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005, in Afghanistan.
“It’s an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” Pike said in a statement. “Derek Hines was a champion at the game of life. Winning this award is a reflection of AIC hockey and the culture we have built at this program. Again, I’m completely humbled to receive this award and all that it represents.”
AIC coach Eric Lang, who spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Army, felt that Pike was an outstanding choice for this award.
“I couldn’t think of a better recipient than Jared Pike for the Derek Hines Award,” Lang said. “Having been around the Army West Point community and knowing, from a distance, all that Derek Hines stood for, Jared is the type of person that will make the Hines family proud. Jared encompasses team first, accountability, and commitment in every facet of his life. This is, in my opinion, one of the most prestigious awards in all of college sports. We are very proud of Jared and honored as a program.”
Pike, a four-year letter-winner for AIC, was part of the first recruiting class in Lang’s tenure at AIC. In his 144-game career, he scored 29 goals and added 15 assists for 44 points.
Off the ice, Pike was part of a number of community service initiatives in his tenure at AIC, and was also named an Krampade/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American Scholar in each of his first three seasons for which the award has been given.
“Jared Pike epitomizes everything the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award embodies,” said AIC associate head coach Stephen Wiedler. “Time and time again, Jared has raised the standard of what it means to be an AIC Yellow Jacket through his competitive fire, accountability, and team-first mentality. We are very proud of Jared for winning this distinguished award.”
The other finalists for this year’s award were Michigan State senior defenseman Brutus Ghafari, Connecticut senior defenseman Wyatt Newpower, Minnesota State senior defenseman Edwin Hookenson, St. Cloud State junior forward Will Hammer and Rensselaer senior defenseman T.J. Samec.
The HCA coordinates the award, with nominations from each of the six Division I men’s hockey conferences.
The selection committee, made up of the six conference media contacts, Lt. Steve Hines, Derek’s father, and Army West Point coach Brian Riley, vote on the winner “who displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic.”