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Cornell Men’s Hockey Doles Out Team Awards at Postseason Banquet

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Cornell men’s hockey team recently held its annual awards banquet at the Lake Watch Inn, announcing its postseason award-winners for the 2016-17 season. Senior forward Jake Weidner took home the night’s top honor by winning the Nicky Bawlf Award as the team’s most valuable player.

Weidner also won another award and was joined by freshman Yanni Kaldis as the only multiple award-winners on the event. Seniors Ryan Coon, Eric Freschi, Jeff Kubiak and Patrick McCarron, juniors Jared Fiegl and Dan Wedman, and sophomores Mitch Vanderlaan and Trent Shore also received awards. Each award is voted upon by the players on the 2016-17 roster.

Weidner embodied his role as the team’s captain this year, where he not only continued to excel in intangible categories but also finished third in team scoring with 24 points on eight goals and 16 assists through 35 games. His five power-play goals ranked second on the team, and he was also named the ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Forward after leading the team with a 57.6 faceoff winning percentage and leading forwards across the country in blocked shots per game (2.00). Weidner was also presented with the Joe DeLibero-Stan Tsapis Award for skilled efficiency, unselfish dedication and hard-nosed competitive desire.

The Greg Ratushny Award for the most promising rookie and the Crimson Cup award, which is given annually to the player who was the standout performer in the season series against rival Harvard, both went to Kaldis. He was named to the All-Ivy League first team led all of the team’s first-year players with 14 points on one goal — a last-minute power-play goal to give Cornell a 4-3 win Feb. 4 at Rensselaer — and 13 assists. In the Big Red’s first game against Harvard in November, Kaldis made the passes to set up all three of Cornell’s goals. The effort made him the first Big Red player to record three power-play assists in a single game since Byron Bitz on Jan. 7, 2006.

The Cornell Hockey Association Award went to Freschi for a second straight year. The award is given annually to the player whose contributions to the team don’t show up in the box score, but rather are in the form of energy, heart and hustle. Freschi was a fixture on the Big Red’s penalty kill and led the team with a plus-14 rating.

The Sam Woodside Award for overall career improvement by a senior went to McCarron, who doubled his career point total this season to end up on an even 50 before signing a professional contract with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins after the season. McCarron was essentially the captain of the defense, where he logged countless minutes while see the ice in all situations and finishing second on the team in scoring with 25 points on six goals and 19 points. He was named to the All-Ivy League second team.

Kubiak was presented the Mark Weiss Memorial Award, which is awarded to a senior with a career-long dedication and passion for the sport of hockey. After leading the team in scoring during the 2015-16 season, Kubiak fought back from an injury-related 10-game absence to start this year. His 61 career points were the highest total on the team at season’s end.

Vanderlaan was tabbed for the Bill Doran Sportsmanship Award after being whistled for just three penalties while leading the team in scoring with 28 points on a team-high 15 goals and 13 assists. Vanderlaan was also presented an award at the banquet to celebrate his short-handed goal at Dartmouth — the team’s only short-handed tally of the season. Senior Mitch Gillam was also presented awards for his three shutouts.

Fiegl picked up the Iron Man Award, which is presented to the player who, in spite of being bruised, broken, spliced, or other hurt, most demonstrates the will and determination to overcome injury and contribute to the team. In Fiegl’s case, he managed to fight off numerous ailments to appear in all 35 of the team’s games this season to give the Big Red depth at center.

Coon, Wedman and Shore were each presented the Wendall and Francelia Earle Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. The annual award is presented to the member in each class who has achieved the highest cumulative grade point average, with this year’s winner from the freshman class to be determined after the completion of the spring semester.

The Big Red will announce its captains for the 2017-18 season and the schedule at a later date.

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