April 3, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. - The Notre Dame hockey program announced its individual awards for the 2010-11 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 2011.
Leading the list of honorees was freshman center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) who was chosen as the Notre Dame Monogram Club's team most valuable player, won the team's offensive player of the year award and was one of the squad's two rookies of the year. Through 43 games this season, Tynan leads Notre Dame in scoring with 22 goals and 31 assists for 53 points. That ranks him fourth in the CCHA and ties him for eighth in the nation. His 53 points are the most for a freshman this season both in the CCHA and on the national level and the most by an Irish player since the 1989-90 campaign. He is just one of three Notre Dame rookies to record 50 or more points in his first season for the Irish, joining John Noble `73 and Dave Poulin `82 who each had 59 points in their first year at Notre Dame. So far this season, Tynan was selected as the CCHA rookie of the year, was a member of the CCHA all-rookie team and was a second team all-CCHA selection. For the year, he was named CCHA rookie of the week four times, was the CCHA rookie of the month for November and the CCHA player of the month in December. Nationally, he was the Hockey Commissioner's Association's (HCA) national rookie of the month in November.
Senior alternate captain Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) 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 at Notre Dame, Ridderwall has a 3.413 grade-point average while majoring in Finance in the Mendoza College of Business. 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. Ridderwall is currently fifth on the team in scoring with 15 goals and nine assists for 24 points with five of the goals being power-play goals and one being a game winner. During his four years on the Notre Dame hockey team, the talented Swede has played in 155 career games and has 56 goals and 34 assists for 90 points. Of his 56 goals, 27 came on the power play, a total that ties him for fifth all-time while his 155 games is 10th on the all-time list. He also is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that honors student athletes who excel both on and off the ice and has notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Junior defenseman Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) 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. He returned to the NHL for one season in 1981 with Minnesota. He returned to hockey in 1992 as general manager of the Knoxville Chiefs in the East Coast Hockey League and later founded a team in West Palm Beach, Fla., in the Sunshine Hockey League. Nyrop died from cancer on Dec. 31, 1995.
Senior right wing Ryan Guentzel (Woodbury, Minn.) 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 - 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.
The winner of the team's Most Improved Player Award went to sophomore defenseman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.). Calabrese overcame a freshman season (2009-10) that saw him play just three games due to a broken leg suffered early in the season and worked his way back to become one of the team's top blue liners this season. In 41 games to date, he leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points with one power-play goal and two short-handed tallies to his credit. He is second on the team in plus-minus to Sean Lorenz with a +23 to rank fourth in the CCHA.
As a player, Michael Collins played in 44 games on defense, scoring three goals with 11 assists for 14 points during the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons. While those numbers don't stick out to the average fan, its what Collins has done since that distinguishes him. Upon graduation from Notre Dame, he spent several years driving a cab and working construction before finally deciding upon medicine as a career. After returning to college for two extra years to take pre-med courses, he attended the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine followed by five years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Collins is currently a full-time, board-certified orthopedic surgeon practicing with Hinsdale Orthopedic Associates in Hinsdale, Ill. In addition to practicing orthopedics, he also has been writing professionally for more than thirty years. His first book, "Hot Lights, Cold Steel," was published by St. Martin's Press in 2005 and continues to be a best seller in the medical memoir field. His second book, "Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs," about his days as a construction worker and cab driver trying to get into medical school, was published in 2009. Since the publication of "Hot Lights, Cold Steel," has lectured extensively on topics relating to medicine and writing. On January 28th, Dr. Collins was awarded the Lou Lamoriello Award by the American Hockey Coaches' Association. Named in honor of the former Providence College player, coach, and administrator, the Lamoriello Award recognizes a former college hockey player or coach who goes on to a distinguished career in or out of the game of hockey.
The hockey program also presented its Honorary Alumni Awards to associate media relations director Tim Connor who has worked with the team directing the media relations efforts for the program since the 2000-01 season. The honorary alumni award winner receives a personalized team jersey to commemorate the honor.
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 six members of the hockey class of 2011 - senior manager Matt McManus (Stamford, Conn.), goaltender Brian Brooke (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Ryan Guentzel, defenseman Joe Lavin (Shrewsbury, Mass.), center Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) and Calle Ridderwall - were honored as they received their game jerseys from the coaching staff and spoke at the event.
Notre Dame will return to action this Thursday, April 7 at 4:00 p.m. (CT) when the Irish face Minnesota-Duluth in the first game of the Frozen Four at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The winner of that game will face the winner of the North Dakota-Michigan game at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, April 9 for the NCAA Championship.