April 1, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. - The Notre Dame hockey program announced its individual awards for the 2011-12 season at its annual Awards Program held Sunday afternoon at the Mendoza College of Business Atrium and Auditorium. The end-of-season program also honored the Irish graduating senior class of 2012.
Leading the list of honorees was sophomore center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) who was chosen as the Notre Dame Monogram Club's team most valuable player and the team's offensive player of the year award for the second consecutive season. In 39 games this season, Tynan led the Irish in scoring with 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points and was the CCHA's top scorer. He led Notre Dame in assists (28), short-handed goals (2) and multiple-point games (11). After a 54-point season as a freshman, the speedy center is the first Notre Dame player since David Bankoske `91 in 1989-90 and 1990-91 to have back-to-back 40-point or more seasons. A first team all-CCHA selection, Tynan becomes the first Notre Dame player to be selected all-CCHA twice in his career after being a second team selection as a freshman. Tynan is the 11th Irish player to be named the Monogram Club's team Most Valuable Player, joining Jordan Pearce `09 (`07-'08 and `08-'09), David Brown `07 (`05-'06 and `06-'07), Dan Carlson `01 (`99-'00 and `00-'01), Matt Eisler `98 (`94-'95, `96-'97 and `97-'98), Jamie Ling `96 (`92-'93 and `95-'96), Lance Madson `90 (`88-'89 and `89-'90), Mike McNeil `88 (`85-'86, `86-'87, `87-'88), Brent Chapman `85 (`83-'84 and `84-'85), (`78-'79 and `79-'80) and Dick Tomasoni `72 (`68-'69 and `70-'71). He also was Notre Dame's winner of the Perani Cup Award as the first star of the game in CCHA contests.
Junior goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) was the recipient of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley's Rockne Student-Athlete Award as the player with the top grade-point average on the team. A three-time monogram winner for the Irish, Johnson has a 3.578 grade-point average with a double major in Sociology and Computer Applications. He also was Notre Dame's choice for the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team and received that honor at the conference's Awards Show in Detroit in March. On the ice, Johnson played in 26 games, making 23 starts. He had a 9-10-3 on the year with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. During October and November, he had a career-high 10-game unbeaten streak, going 7-0-3 from Oct. 14 to November 25. For his career, Johnson has played in 91 games with a 39-33-1 career record and a 2.63 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage with two shutouts. He is third all-time in goals-against average, fourth in save percentage, tied for seventh in wins and is 10th in games played during the first three years of his Notre Dame career.
Sophomore defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) was the winner of the William Donald Nyrop defensive player of the year. The award is named after former Irish All-American defenseman Bill Nyrop `74, who played for the Irish from 1970-74. Recognized as one of the top defensemen ever to play at Notre Dame, Nyrop was an all-WCHA and All-American in 1973. He went on to play on three Stanley Cup championship teams with the Montreal Canadiens from 1976-78, before retiring to attend law school. Nyrop died from cancer on Dec. 31, 1995.
Johns had a break out season for the Irish in 2011-12, as he became a more consistent, all-around defenseman and a force on the Notre Dame blue line. Now in his second season, he has become a player that his opponents want to know where he is at all times on the ice. Johns played in 39 games for the Irish, missing just one while he was a member of the U.S. Junior National team. He had a career high four goals to go with six assists for 10 points on the season. Among his four goals were two power-play goals and two game winners. He finished the season as the team leader with 51 blocked shots.
Senior center Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was selected by the coaching staff as the winner of the Charles "Lefty" Smith Coaches Award an award presented to the unsung hero of the hockey program, a player who is unheralded, has overcome adversity and shows loyalty and commitment to his teammates, Notre Dame hockey and the University of Notre Dame. The award is named after the first Irish hockey coach of the modern era - the late Charles "Lefty" Smith who served as head coach of the Irish for 19 seasons from 1968 to 1987, compiling a record of 307-320-30. During his 19 seasons, Smith produced six All-Americans and was the WCHA coach of the year following the 1972-73 season.
Gaul, a true team player, had the best year of his career as a senior, getting career highs in goals (2), assists (5) and points (7). A player who has led by example throughout his career both on and off the ice, he has always been willing to accept whatever role the coaches wanted him to fill and went out and did it to the best of his abilities. In his four seasons he was a player that was respected by both his coaches and his teammates, always giving his best even when he wasn't playing a regular role. Former Irish player Tom Smith `89, the son of "Lefty" Smith presented the award to Gaul.
The winner of the team's Most Improved Player Award went to sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska). Summerhays shared playing time in goal with Mike Johnson for most of the season before becoming Notre Dame's go-to guy late in the season as the Irish advanced to the second round of the CCHA playoffs. For the season, Summerhays played in 20 games, making 17 starts, turning in a record of 10-8-0 with a 2.43 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and two shutouts. Along the way, he set career highs for games played, wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. He recorded shutouts in back-to-back starts on Feb. 24 against Michigan State and March 2 against Ohio State, setting a career high with a 124:35-minute shutout streak. The back-to-back shutouts were the first for the Irish since the 2008-09 season and the playoff shutout was the first since 2009. He played in the second longest game in Notre Dame history on March 9, playing 83:11, while making a career-high 42 saves in a 2-1 double overtime loss at Michigan.
Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) was the team's Rookie of the Year selection. The talented rookie finished second on the team in scoring among defensemen with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points and was named to the CCHA's all-rookie team in March. All four of his goals came on the power play and one was a game winner. The quarterback of the Notre Dame power play, he was one of five Irish players to rank in the top 10 in the CCHA in power-play points and was the leading scorer among freshmen defensemen in the CCHA.
The Irish also honored former goaltender Mark Kronholm `74 who played for legendary head coach "Lefty" Smith from 1970-74 with their Distinguished Alumni Award. The award honors an alumnus of the program to acknowledge their accomplishments and the example they have set for other alums of the Notre Dame hockey program. His former assistant coach - Tim McNeill - presented the award. Kronholm joins past winners - Dave Bossy `77, Paul Regan `73, Brian Walsh `77, Phil Wittliff '71, Greg Meredith `80, Bob McNamara `83, Andy Slaggert `89, Dave Poulin'82 and Dr. Michael Collins `70.
During his four seasons at Notre Dame between the pipes, Kronholm played in 85 games and had a record of 39-39-3 with a 4.16 goals-against average and a .884 goals-against average with four shutouts. During the 1972-73 season, he became the first Notre Dame goaltender to win 20 or more games in a season, going 20-10-1, while leading the Irish to its best finish ever at the time - second place in the WCHA regular season and second place in the WCHA playoffs - with a 23-14-1record. For his outstanding season, he was named honorable mention all-WCHA. The following year he was named Notre Dame's team MVP. His 68-save game versus Michigan State on Feb. 16, 1973 is still a Notre Dame record and ranks 10th all-time in NCAA history for the most saves in one game.
Since graduating from Notre Dame, his career has taken him into the field of education, specifically in the areas of fund-raising and development. He is currently the president of Mark Kronholm Consulting in Minneapolis, Minn., a consulting firm that he started in 2005 and specializes in fund-raising for liberal arts colleges. Prior to that he spent 26 years at three schools in Minnesota - Carleton College, Macalester College and Bethel University - working in external relations and development. From 2010 to 2011, he served as the interim vice-president of development of the Minnesota Private College Research Foundation Council that raises general operating and scholarship funds for 17 liberal arts colleges in Minnesota.
A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota, his ties to former coach "Lefty" Smith go all the way back to seventh grade when Smith was his gym teacher.
The hockey program also presented its Honorary Alumni Awards to athletic trainer Kevin Ricks who is in his ninth season with the Notre Dame hockey team and his 11th at the University. He is one of the key reasons for the success of the team as it is his job to keep the players healthy on a daily basis and when they do go down with an injury, he oversees their rehabilitation, spending long hours on getting players back in shape and ready to play.
Two special awards came from the HHC 2nd Battalion 151st Infantry Regiment in recognition of the hockey program's honoring local military members during home hockey games. Sergeant First Class Kevin Hollinger presented plaques to captains Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.) to recognize the team's participation and to Darin Ottaviani, the hockey marketing coordinato who oversees the program.
The awards program also recognized the various weekly and monthly CCHA award winners for the Irish and those players who received end-of-the-year honors from the CCHA.
Also, the seven members of the hockey class of 2012 - senior manager Joe Baroz (Staten Island, N.Y.), left wing Nick Condon (Wausau, Wis.), Patrick Gaul, defenseman Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.), Billy Maday, defenseman/student assistant coach Eric Ringel (Hinckley, Ohio) and left wing Richard Ryan (Toronto, Ont.) - were honored as they received their game jerseys from the coaching staff and spoke at the event.