May 3, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin men’s hockey program handed out its annual awards during a team gathering at the Kohl Center this evening.
Junior defenseman Justin Schultz won the Spike Carlson Most Valuable Player Award, one of three year-end awards voted on by the team. The two-time first-team All-American became the first Badger defenseman to lead a team in goal scoring on his way to first-team all-league honors and a Hobey Baker Memorial Award top-10 finalist nod. He finished the season with 16 goals and 44 points to lead the nation’s defensemen in scoring for the second-consecutive season.
Spike Carlson was both a player and a coach at the University of Wisconsin. He was one of the first hockey players for the Badgers and coached the UW during the 1930-31 season.
Schultz also captured the Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent Award. The honor goes to the team leader in plus-minus and the defenseman led the way with a plus-11 in 37 games played.
The award’s namesake, Dr. Joseph Coyne, was a big supporter of the UW hockey program in the early days of John Riley and Bob Johnson as a dentist in Madison.
The Fenton Kelsey, Jr., Most Competitive Player award went to junior forward Ryan Little. A team assistant captain, Little tallied three goals and 10 points, but more importantly wore his heart on his sleeve all season to impress his teammates. He even went a stretch of weeks playing with a severely injured hand, before sitting out games at the end of the first semester to heal for the second half.
Fenton Kelsey, Jr., was the first executive director of the Blue Line Club and locally was a big supporter of hockey in general. He played a major role in the building of Hartmeyer Ice Arena on the city’s east side.
Little was also awarded the Ivan B. Williamson Award for Academic/Athletic Excellence. Little was a member of the WCHA All-Academic team for the second consecutive season.
Ivan B. Williamson served the University of Wisconsin as its Director of Athletics from 1955–69. He was instrumental in the revival of UW hockey as a varsity sport in 1963.
Freshman forward Brendan Woods was voted the team’s Otto Breitenbach Most Improved Player award winner. Woods scored five goals and 10 points on the season, and after starting the year as a wing, moved into a position at center with his improved play.
Otto Breitenbach was a member of the UW Athletic Department for 14 years (1973-87), serving as an associate athletic director. He is a past executive director of the Badger State Games and a past commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The final award handed out was WHA-TV’s Jim Santulli 7th Man Award. Senior defenseman Eric Springer garnered the favor of viewers of Badger hockey on Wisconsin Public Television. Badger fans voted on who they thought gave his all on the ice and best represented the Badger trademarks of team spirit and good sportsmanship.
Named for the man who started Badger hockey broadcasts on WPT, the Jim Santulli 7th Man Award was awarded for the 33rd year.
Also handed out were awards for team stats leaders for hits, blocked shots and faceoffs. Little led the team in hits for the season, while sophomore defenseman Frankie Simonelli sacrificed his body to pace the team in blocked shots and Mark Zengerle was the team’s leading faceoff man.
2011-12 Wisconsin Men's Hockey Team Awards
Spike Carlson MVP – Justin Schultz
Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent – Justin Schultz
Otto Breitenbach Most Improved – Brendan Woods
Fenton Kelsey, Jr., Most Competitive – Ryan Little
Ivan B. Williamson Academic/Athletic – Ryan Little
Jim Santulli 7th Man Award – Eric Springer
Hits Leader - Ryan Little
Blocked Shots Leader - Frankie Simonelli
Faceoffs Leader - Mark Zengerle