Jan. 27, 2011
Minneapolis, Minn. - Notre Dame hockey senior alternate captain Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) has been named as one of 25 nominees on the national level for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented by BNY Wealth Management. The award is presented every year to college hockey's finest citizen for their contributions to society in all areas.
This is the 16th year for the Hockey Humanitarian Award that will be presented in a special ceremony on Friday, April 8th at the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ryan is in his fourth season at Notre Dame and is one of three alternate captains for the Irish. He is currently fourth in scoring on the squad with five goals and 17 assists for 22 points. Two of his goals have come on the power play and one is a game winner. Ryan is +5 for the year. The veteran center has had a strong career at Notre Dame as he enters this weekend with Miami having played in 143 career games with 34 goals and 60 assists for 94 points. He owns 11 power-play goals and eight game winners since joining the Irish for the 2007-08 season.
During his career, Ryan has been active with the team's community service projects and as a senior this season the alternate captain has become the team's leader in the Notre Dame and South Bend-area communities.
Among his many duties, Ryan serves as the hockey team's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative that plans service work within the Notre Dame and local community for student athletes. That committee also works to initiate change within the athletic department to improve the student-athlete experience and relations in the community.
During this season, Ryan has helped set up the Irish Youth Hockey Clinics where he and his teammates host a free hockey clinic at a local arena - The Ice Box - where youth hockey players in the local community can participate in skill development and team-oriented small games.
He is the coordinator of the Robinson Learning Center's involvement with the Notre Dame hockey team. The Robinson Center is a learning/schooling facility for inner-city kids. Once a month members of the team will go to the Robinson Center to inspire the students to set goals for themselves. They also teach the kids how to play hockey in a highly successful after-school program that was started two year ago by former player - Luke Lucyk. On December 29th, students from the Robinson Center attended an Irish home hockey game. Later in the winter, they will have a chance to skate at the Joyce Center with the team.
Some of the other community service projects that Ryan has overseen with his hockey teammates include:
A team trip to the Habitat for Humanity center in September where the activities consisted of conditioning and moving building materials to be shipped out to different construction locations within the region.
Volunteering on the ice for the Irish Youth Hockey League (IYHL) tryouts
Volunteering for the IYHL chicken sale fundraiser
Volunteering for U.S.A. hockey athlete development camp
Coordinating a fundraiser walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
As a member of the Notre Dame hockey team in previous years, Ben has participated in many of the events the team and University has sponsored. Among the events the team has participated in are the annual Buddy Walk for Kids with Downs Syndrome and the annual Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology Christmas Party with Memorial Hospital that brings Christmas to kids from the local hospital who are undergoing cancer treatment.
Joining Ryan on the list of nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award are: Jenni Bauer (Niagara); Jackie Berglass (Williams); Stephane Boileau (Union); Joseph Calvi (Bentley); Isaiah Carlson (Salve Regina); Ryan Corry (Plattsburg State); Paul Dainton (Massachusetts); Brooks Dyroff (Boston College); Kristin Faber (Wisconsin Eau-Claire); Alyssa Grogan (Minnesota); Alex Higgins (St. Michael's); Tanner House (Maine); Aleca Hughes (Yale); Sam Kuzyk (Adrian); Ciara Lee (Wayne State); Mario Mielleli (Augsburg); Ron Meyers (Alaska); Scott Moser (Canisius); Trevor Nill (Michigan State); Whitney Pappas (Robert Morris); Brigid O'Gorman (Connecticut College); Cody Reichard (Miami) and Paul Zanette (Niagara).
Colgate's Ethan Cox was the 2010 recipient of the award, which covers all divisions and both genders. He was among 18 nominees and seven finalists.
Finalists for the award will be announced in mid-February on the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation website at www.hockeyhumanitarian.org.