Connolly, Pearson, Schultz Among Top WCHA Award Winners
CHN Staff Report
Minnesota-Duluth's Jack Connolly was named WCHA Player of the Year, the first Bulldogs winner since 2004 when eventual Hobey Baker Award winner Junior Lessard was honored. Connolly also captured the league's scoring title with 43 points while playing in all 28 league games for the defending national champion Bulldogs.
A native of Duluth, Minn., Connolly was a finalist for the 2010-11 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, was a first team All-American last season, and is a finalist for this season’s Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
For the second straight season, the league’s 12 head coaches voted Wisconsin blueliner Justin Schultz as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. This is only the third time in the history of the award that started in 1991 that a player has won it twice. Colorado College defenseman Eric Rud won the award in both 1995-96 and 1996-97 while Minnesota defenseman Jordan Leopold earned the honor in both 2000-01 and 2001-02.
The WCHA Coach of the Year Michigan Tech's Mel Pearson, who led the Huskies from a 2-24-2 league record a year ago to 11-13-4 this season, and competing for a home-ice berth in the playoffs until the final weekend.
WCHA Player of the Year: Jack Connolly, Sr., F, Minnesota-Duluth
WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year: Brad Eidsness, Sr., G, North Dakota
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year: Justin Schultz, Jr., Wisconsin
WCHA Rookie of the Year: Joey LaLeggia, Denver
WCHA Scoring Champion: Jack Connolly, Sr., Minnesota-Duluth
WCHA Goaltending Champion: Kent Patterson, Sr., Minnesota
WCHA Coach of the Year: Mel Pearson, Michigan Tech
2011-12 All-WCHA First Team
F Jack Connolly, Sr., Minnesota-Duluth
F Nick Bjugstad, So., Minnesota
F J.T. Brown, So., Minnesota-Duluth
D Justin Schultz, Jr., Wisconsin
D Joey LaLeggia, Fr., Denver
G Kent Patterson, Sr., Minnesota
2011-12 All-WCHA Second Team
F Jaden Schwartz, So., Colorado College
F Drew Shore, Jr., Denver
F Jason Zucker, So., Denver
D Gabe Guentzel, Sr., Colorado College
D Nate Schmidt, So., Minnesota
G Kenny Reiter, Sr., Minnesota-Duluth