Men's hockey hands out awards

Andrew Joudrey named an assistant captain, joining returning captains Adam Burish and Tom Gilbert

The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team honored four seniors and announced its 2005-06 captains, as well as recognized other award winners, at its end-of-season banquet April 15 at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison.

The Badgers, who finished 23-14-4 and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, will have to replace senior goaltenders Bernd Bruckler and Luke Kohtala, and senior forwards Pete Talafous and John Funk when they return to the ice in the fall.

Bruckler, a first-team All-American in 2003-04, holds the school record for career goals-against average.

Kohtala earned the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award for his outstanding academics. Kohtala, a mechanical engineering major, is a Dean's List student, an academic all-conference selection and a former UW Athletic Board Scholar.

The players voted on three awards: Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Award and Most Competitive Player Award. The Spike Carlson MVP Award went to junior defenseman Tom Gilbert, who earned All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association third-team honors. Gilbert recorded eight goals and nine assists and averaged almost 30 minutes of ice time per game.

Sophomore netminder Brian Elliott earned the Otto Breitenbach Most Improved Award after earning three shutouts in nine games and posting a 1.16 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage.

Junior forward Nick Licari won the Fenton Kelsey, Jr., Most Competitive Player Award. He played in all 41 games, during which he had six goals and 11 assists.

The Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent Award for the highest plus/minus rating went to Gilbert and freshman Joe Pavelski, each of whom finished with a plus-20 rating. Gilbert previously won the award after the 2002-03 season. Pavelski had 45 points and 29 assists, becoming the first Badger freshman to lead the team in points since current head coach Mike Eaves accomplished the feat in 1974-75. He led the WCHA in freshman scoring with 1.10 points per game in 41 games and was named to all-rookie teams by and Inside College Hockey. Pavelski tied for the national rookie scoring lead with Bill Thomas of Nebraska-Omaha and Tom Fritsche of Ohio State.

Sophomore center Andy Brandt earned the Jim Santulli 7th Man Award, awarded via a Wisconsin Public Television fan vote. He served on Wisconsin's penalty kill unit, which was the top in the conference, and was the team's fourth-line center. Funk also won that award while at Wisconsin.

Junior captain Adam Burish earned the National W Club Community Service Award for leading the team on visits to the UW Children's Hospital, reading to area elementary schools and skating with area youth hockey teams.

Personnel outside of the skaters earned awards as well. UW program assistant Nancy Olsen earned the Mel Ross Blue Line Club Award and team doctor Tom Best earned the Gramps O'Sheriden Award. Best, who will leave UW to become the Chief of Sports Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and the Director of Sports Medicine Institute at Ohio State, earned the award for his extraordinary service to the UW hockey program.

Andrew Joudrey will be an assistant captain for the 2005-06 season, along with assistant captain Tom Gilbert and captain Adam Burish, who held those roles in the 2004-05 season.

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