Sunday, April 16, 2006

UAA Awards Banquet

The UAA Awards Banquet was held this past Wednesday evening at the Anchorage Hilton. Mark Smith was named both the team's Most Valuable Player and Most Inspirational; his 15 points (6g - 9a) tied for the team lead. This season was the first time in UAA history that a defenseman lead the team in scoring. Congratulations to Mark. Unfortunately the accomplishment of being the first came in a season when the Seawolf offense was inept at finishing. Nevertheless Mark had a nice comeback season from a nightmare of a sophomore season that was injury shortened and short on scoring. Mark's freshman and junior years were indicative of the caliber of player that he is. Steady and smart on the blueline; Mark is a good skater and a key contributer on the power play.

Most Improved Player was awarded to Mike Rosett whom circumstances moved from the 3rd-string practice goalie to starter in just over a week. Mike responded with solid play that even inspired confidence in the rest of the team.

For the fourth year in a row Justin Johnson was awarded the Corner Man Award. And for the second year he was voted Leon Thompson Fan Favorite Award. What can I say about Justin that I haven't said here before? J.J. is one of those special players that comes through a program from time to time. He was totally dedicated to performing game in and game out up to his potential. J.J. was the heart and soul of this team in my book. Will anyone assume his mantle? I hope so.

Rookie of The Year was earned by Jay Beagle. After half a season adapting to the D-1 game Jay began to make himself a factor in games especially toward the end of the season. I suspect there is much to look forward to in the next three years from Mr. Beagle.

The Jack Peterson Student-Athlete award was earned by Blair Tassone who is a Natural Sciences major. Blair is everyone's best friend the week before mid-terms I'd imagine.

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