The Northern Collegiate Hockey Assocation league office announced the Men's NCHA All-Conference Team, Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and All-Freshmen team on Friday. The awards are voted on by the league head coaches.
The 2014-15 Coach of the Year is Adam Krug. Taking over after Ron Fogarty left after seven highly-successful seasons, Krug did not skip a beat, claiming the Peters Cup and the NCHA regular season championship in his inaugural season on the bench. He currently has his team at 21-3-3 overall, ranked No. 1 in the D3Hockey.com poll and No. 3 in the USCHO.com poll. Adrian has home ice for this year's Harris Cup Playoffs and eye a return to the NCAA Tournament.
"I'm extremely proud of our players who received conference awards this season. Their hard work and dedication has certainly paid off, to this point. I think that each one of those guys would agree that all of these awards are team awards. Obviously, each player had a fantastic season, but could not have done it without each other. Maybe a few other players were deserving, as well, and it's unfortunate that they were not selected. However, I am sure that all of our players would gladly trade in the individual hardware for a Harris Cup and NCAA championship," said Krug.
The 2014-15 Freshman of the Year is Kyle Brothers (Watford, Ont.). Brothers was named NCHA Offensive Player of the Week on a pair of occasions, including the opening week of the season when he became the first Bulldog to net a hat trick in his collegiate debut. He currently leads the NCHA with 43 points and 20 goals scored and stands fifth in the NCAA at 1.65 points-per-game. The highest scoring freshman in the country, Brothers also has a flair for the dramatic, leading the country with seven game-winning goals. Brothers also earned a spot on the All-Conference and All-Freshmen Teams this season.
Senior Ryan Gieseler (Penetang, Ont.) is a repeat All-Conference selection on defense and recently played his 105th game for the Bulldogs. This season, Gieseler ranks third in the conference with 15 assists and is second among defensemen with 0.83 points-per-game. Gieseler also ranks 18th in the NCAA in defensemen scoring with 20 points (0.77 ppg). He has totaled 11 goals and 55 assists in his career and his 20 points this season is a career-best.
Senior Josh Ranalli (Stoney Creek, Ont.) claimed one of six spots on the All-Conference team at the forward position. Ranalli ranked second in the conference in points (30), goals (14) and assists (16) while also ranking third in power-play points per game (0.56). Ranalli also ranks ninth in the NCAA in points per game (1.48). He is having a career year with 17 goals and 23 assists overall. Ranalli has played in 108 career games and has totaled 63 goals and 61 assists (124 points). He ranks fourth in school history in goals and is ninth in points.
Mathew Thompson (Bolton, Ont.) and Blake Butzow (Plymouth, Mich.) were both named to the All-Freshmen team this season. Thompson has played in 24 games this season with 19 goals and 18 assists. He has seven power-play goals and four game-winning goals to his credit. Thompson ranks seventh in the NCAA with 1.54 points-per-game and also ranks third in freshmen scoring and fourth in goals-per-game (0.79). Thompson also finished second in freshmen scoring in the NCHA and third in points (25). Butzow saw action in 21 games this season and finished with a goal and assist. He also finished with a plus-nine on the ice for the Bulldogs.