(Photo Courtesy Frank Vanecek, Norwich University)
2011-12 Season Highlight Video
(By Kevin Hartmann)
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich men's ice hockey team put a close to the 2011-12 season on Friday night with its annual season-end banquet hosted by the Blue Line Club at Milano Ballroom.
The Cadets (24-3-2) won their unprecedented 14th straight ECAC East regular season title and 10th ECAC East Tournament title. They also qualified for their 10th Division III Frozen Four, all coming under current head coach Mike McShane.
The banquet featured a season highlight video, dinner, as well as McShane and the rest of the coaching staff presenting the annual end of season awards and naming the 2012-13 captains.
Freshman defenseman Alec Thieda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was named the Rookie of the Year after a standout first-year campaign playing on the top defense pair for much of the season. Thieda earned ECAC East All-Rookie team honors after tallying five goals and 12 assists for 17 points.
Sophomore goalie Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) earned the Most Improved Player award with a breakout second year compiling an 8-1-1 record with a 1.14 goals against average and a .940 save percentage after never playing a minute last year as a freshman.
Senior defenseman Shawn Baker (Mont-Laurier, Quebec) earned the Robert Priestley Award for the player who best exemplifies the spirit of Norwich University hockey after leading the Cadets on and off the ice as not only the team captain, but also as a volunteer firefighter in the Northfield fire department.
Baker was named to the ECAC East All-Conference Second Team, featured on the cover of the Fall 2011 edition of NCAA Champion Magazine and named one of just five finalists nationwide across all levels of college hockey for the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award.
Junior forward Colin Mulvey (Worcester, Mass.) was the recipient of the Coaches Award after a bounce back junior campaign which saw the speedy winger post career highs in goals (12) and points (20).
Junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) was named the Most Valuable Player (In honor of Kevin Crowley '70) for the second straight season after posting career highs in goals (21) and points (42). His 12 power play goals led the nation and he was named the ECAC East Player of the Year, as well as a CCM Old Time Hockey First Team All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).
The banquet ended with the traditional naming of the captains for the 2012-13 season. Cotnoir takes over the captain's 'C' from Baker next season after serving as an assistant captain this past season. Mulvey and will-be senior Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) were named the assistant captains.
2011-12 Team Awards
Rookie of the Year –Alec Thieda
Most Improved Player – Chris Czarnota
Priestley Award – Shawn Baker
Coaches Award – Colin Mulvey
Most Valuable Player – Pier-Olivier Cotnoir
Blue Line Club Sportsmanship – Patrick Debroisse
2012-2013 Captains – Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (C), Colin Mulvey (A), and Kyle Thomas (A)
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