May 6, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin men's hockey team put the finishing touches on the 2013-14 season at its end-of-season team awards dinner, with members of the team voting on awards from MVP to Most Competitive player.
For the first time since the 2005-06 season the Spike Carlson Most Valuable Player Award went to a goalie, with Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) earning the award based on the team-wide vote. The second-team All-Big Ten performer finished the season 21-6-1, with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He was also one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, and a finalist for the inaugural Mike Richter Award.
Rumpel was named Big Ten First Star of the Week twice, and Second Star of the Week once, and received honorable mention for the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Player of the Month in February.
Also receiving recognition was Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, California) who took home the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award for academic and athletic excellence. The personal finance major's strong GPA, as well as his performance on the ice, earned him the honor. He joins past winners such as Brian Elliott, Rene Bourque, Brad Winchester and Mike Eaves.
Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) received a pair of awards. The first honored his consistency, as Schulze's team-high plus-12 rating earned him the Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent player award, given to the team's plus-minus leader. It was the second-straight year that Schulze was granted the award, as his plus-21 rating led the team last season. He enters a star-studded group of past honorees, including Justin Schultz, Brian Rafalski, Joe Pavelski, Gary Suter and Brian Engblom.
Schulze's improvement was also highlighted, as he garnered the Otto Breitenbach Most Improved player award. The sophomore more than double his point total from his freshman season, jumping from seven points (4-3=7) to 16 (1-15=16). He was tremendous in conference play as well, finishing as the Big Ten's sixth-highest scoring defenseman with 10 points.
Eddie Wittchow (Burnsville, Minnesota) and Morgan Zulinick (Kamloops, British Columbia) both earned awards, with Wittchow being named the most consistent defenseman with a plus-12 rating and Zulinick being recognized as the most improved forward. Playing in his first full season after his freshman year was shortened by injury, Zulinick jumped from four points in 2012-13 to 14 this year (4-10-14).
Mark Zengerle (Rochester, New York) earned the final award voted on by the team, capturing the Fenton Kelsey, Jr. Most Competitive Award. Past winners include Adam Burish, Ryan McDonagh, Patrick Flatley and Brian Mullen. The Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player finished his career as the leading scorer during the Mike Eaves era with 162 points.
The WHA-TV Jim Santulli 7th-Man Award went to Chase Drake (Mosinee, Wisconsin), whose eight points this season were more than his point totals from his first two seasons combined. Named after Jim Santulli, who was key in initiating Badger basketball, football and hockey games on WHA in 1973-74, the award is voted on by Wisconsin Public Television viewers. Past winners include Jefferson Dahl, Aaron Bendickson, Andy Brandt, Nic Licari, Dan Boeser, Mark Osiecki, Matt Walsh and Tom Gorowsky.
Rounding out the awards were Jefferson Dahl (Eau Claire, Wis.), the team's faceoff champion, and Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), who led the team in both hits (158) and blocked shots (103).