HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech hockey coach Joe Shawhan honored eight different Huskies with the program’s annual team awards at a team dinner last week. Goaltender Blake Pietila was named the Merv Youngs Most Valuable Player. Descriptions of the awards are listed below.
Blake Pietila racked up a plethora of awards after being named a First Team All-American, the CCHA Player of the Year, CCHA Goaltender of the Year, All-CCHA First Team, Mike Richter Top 3 Finalist, Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist, MVP of the Desert Hockey Classic, and CCHA All-Acedemic Team member. Pietila appeared in 37 games for the Huskies going 23-11-3 overall. He broke Michigan Tech records for shutouts in a season (10) and career (20) while becoming the all-time wins leader with 58—a record he shares with Bruce Horsch. Pietila led the nation in shutouts while ranking fifth nationally with 23 wins, seventh in save percentage (.924), and ninth in goals-against average (2.15).
Ryland Mosley received the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the team’s leading scorer. The alternate captain was also named to the All-CCHA First Team and tallied 31 points with 12 goals and 19 assists while skating in all 39 games. He was second in the nation with three shorthanded goals and buried the game-winner at Alaska (Oct. 13), versus St. Lawrence (Oct. 29), at St. Thomas (Nov. 19), and against Northern Michigan (Dec. 3). Mosley was named to the CCHA All-Academic Team.
Kyle Kukkonen was honored with the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award as the most outstanding freshman. Kukkonen was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year and was a unanimous selection on the CCHA All-Rookie Team. He skated in all 39 games and led the Huskies with 18 goals while also tallying nine assists. Kukkonen ranked seventh in the country with five game-winning goals. The Anaheim Ducks draft pick had the fifth-most goals by a Michigan Tech freshman in program history and his 18 goals were the most by a Tech freshman since 1988 when Kelly Hurd potted 18 tallies.
Captain Arvid Caderoth picked up a pair of awards with the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award and John MacInnes Slide Rule Award. He had the team’s best GPA and was named a CCHA Scholar-Athlete and to the CCHA All-Academic Team for the second year in a row. Caderoth skated in 38-of-39 games and tallied nine points with two goals and seven assists. He scored the overtime game-winner in a win over Michigan State at the GLI and also scored at Northern Michigan. Caderoth ranked second on the team in faceoffs won.
Brett Thorne was awarded the Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Award as the most outstanding defensive player. Thorne was honored on the CCHA All-Second Team after he led the Huskies with a plus-13 rating and was second with 15 assists and 49 blocked shots. He appeared in 34 games and also added three goals, including a playoff game-winner over St. Thomas while also being named to the GLI All-Tournament Team. Thorne was named a CCHA Scholar-Athlete and to the CCHA All-Academic Team for the second straight season.
Captain Logan Pietila received the George McCarthy Performance Award for scholastic and athletic achievement. Pietila skated in all 39 games and tallied 11 goals and 11 assists. He tallied two power-play goals, a game-winning goal, and a shorthanded tally. Pietila led the team in faceoffs won and was named to the All-Academic Team for the third straight season.
Jed Pietila collected the Elov Seger Memorial Award as the most improved player. He skated in 35 games for the Huskies back on the blue line and tallied one goal and was second on the team with 15 assists. Pietila ranked second on the team with a plus-11 rating and fourth with 35 blocked shots. His first collegiate goal was scored against Lake Superior State and he was named to the CCHA All-Academic Team.
Jack Works received the Rick Yeo Unsung Hero Award after he appeared in all 39 games in his first season with the Huskies. Works tallied 17 points with eight goals and nine assists. He scored game-winning goals at Arizona State and Bemidji State while registering three points with a goal and two assists at Lake Superior State.
Merv Youngs Award (Team MVP)
The award is named after Merv Youngs, a journalist, and editor for the Daily Mining Gazette. Youngs is credited with convincing Doc Gibson to join and organize the Portage Lake hockey organization.
Gary Crosby Memorial Award (Leading Scorer)
The award is named after Gary Crosby who led Tech in scoring his sophomore season and was drafted and signed by the LA Kings after the season. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident soon after. He played 67 games for the Huskies from 1970-72.
Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award
The award is named after Harold Meese, a professor, and dean of students at Michigan Tech from 1947-83. He was an active supporter of the Huskies and has a sportsmanship award named in his honor across all sports teams. Meese was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
George McCarthy Performance Award for Scholastic and Athletic Achievement
The award is named after the late George McCarthy, a former hockey player and member of Michigan Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame. McCarthy played for the Huskies from 1935-38 and was named the team MVP all three seasons.
John MacInnes Slide Rule Award
The award is named after legendary hockey coach John MacInnes who had a record of 555-295-39 from 1956-82. MacInnes was most proud of the fact that 94 percent of his hockey letter winners graduated with degrees. He won three NCAA Championships as head coach of the Huskies and is in the US Hockey Hall of Fame, UP Sports Hall of Fame, and Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Award (Outstanding Defensive Player)
An annual award since the 1957-58 season, the Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Hockey Award, is presented each year to Tech’s most outstanding hockey defenseman in their honor. Robert Gitzen played hockey for Tech from 1949-50. He and team manager Dick Loutit were killed in a bus accident while the team was traveling home from a series at Michigan State on January 14, 1950.
Rick Yeo Unsung Hero Award
The award is named after Rick Yeo who played hockey for Tech from 1963-66, winning the NCAA Championship in 1965. He was also an assistant coach for Tech from 1973-76 and then the Athletic Director from 1990-2005. He was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
Norbert Matovich Memorial Outstanding Freshman Award
The award is named after Norbert Matovich who was a freshman hockey player from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1966 he was killed in a car accident over Christmas break.
Elov Seger Memorial Most Improved Player Award
The award is named after Elov Seger, who passed away in the mid-sixties as a result of a brain tumor. Throughout his career, he battled against great odds and was always successful. He played for Tech from 1959-62 and was an All-American in 1962 when the Huskies won the NCAA Championship. He was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.