March 7, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State junior defenseman Torey Krug has been selected to the All-Conference First Team for the second straight season, as announced today by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Krug, who shared the CCHA scoring title with Notre Dame forward TJ Tynan, was a unanimous selection to the All-CCHA First Team. He is the first defenseman to capture a CCHA scoring title since Western Michigan's Wayne Gagne did so in 1986-87; he is the fifth Spartan and first MSU defenseman to win a CCHA scoring title. In history, only four other defensemen have won scoring titles in their respective leagues: Gagne, Lou Nanne (1963, Minnesota/WCHA), Mike Crowley (1997, Minnesota/WCHA) and Reid Cashman (2005, Quinnipiac/Atlantic Hockey).
"It really is a tremendous honor," said Krug. "However, I'm not sure that any of the individual awards will be something I really think about or worry about until after the season is over. We officially start the playoffs this weekend, and all of our energies as a team are focused on having a strong playoff run. We haven't done particularly well in the post-season over the last few years, and our focus is on changing that for our seniors; to send those nine guys out on the right note."
Krug is the first Spartan player since Jim Slater (2003, 2004) to earn First Team All-CCHA honors in back-to-back seasons. The last defenseman to accomplish the feat was current NHL'er John-Michael Liles (2002, 2003). Krug has earned postseason honors in each of his three seasons, as an All-Rookie team pick in 2010, and earning First Team honors as a sophomore and a junior.
On the season, Krug leads his team in scoring (11-21-32); he leads the Spartans in goals and shares the team lead in assists. He is enjoying his career-best offensive season (32 points) and is the team's active leader in career scoring (81 points). He played in his 100th career game on Jan. 20 against Lake Superior State. Krug also ranks third nationally among defensemen in points and second in goals, he is fourth among blueliners in points per game (0.94). He is tied for seventh nationally (and is second among defensemen nationally,) at a +21.
Krug and Miami's Reilly Smith were the two repeat selections to the first team, as well as the two unanimous choices for the first team in 2012. Smith led the league in goal-scoring with 18 goals in conference play and overall (26). The Spartans will get another good look at the high-flying junior as MSU faces off with the Red Hawks this weekend in Oxford, Ohio.
Ferris State senior defenseman Chad Billins earned nine first-place votes after finishing second in conference scoring among defensemen with 25 points and leading the Bulldogs to a CCHA regular-season title. Northern Michigan forward Tyler Gron received seven first-place votes after a stellar senior campaign that saw him finish third in overall scoring with 36 points and fourth in league scoring with 27 points. Billins' teammate and fellow senior, goaltender Taylor Nelson, received six first-place votes on his way to a First-Team selection. Nelson is the second Bulldogs goalie in as many years to earn First-Team honors, following Pat Nagle in 2011. Nelson posted a 2.08 goals-against average and .927 save percentage for the CCHA regular-season champions. Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan, who showed no signs of a sophomore slump following an outstanding rookie season that earned him Second-Team honors last year, rounds out the First Team after tying for the lead in points (29) in league action with Krug and leading the conference in overall scoring with 41 points.
The teams were selected by a vote of the league's head coaches and are based on performance in conference games. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
2011-12 CCHA All-Conference TeamsHonorable Mention (next six point totals, regardless of position with first team-votes in parentheses): Connor Knapp, SR, G, Miami, (1) 23; Lee Moffie, JR, D, Michigan, (1) 17; Chris Brown, JR, F, Michigan, (1) 15; Kevin Kapalka, SO, G, Lake Superior, (2) 13; Anders Lee, SO, F, Notre Dame, (1) 10; Kyle Follmer, JR, D, Northern Michigan, 10.
First Team Position Name, Year, School First Totals F - Reilly Smith (JR, Miami) 10 50 F - Tyler Gron (SR, No. Michigan) 7 42 F - T.J. Tynan (SO, Notre Dame) 5 40 D - Torey Krug (JR, Michigan State) 10 50 D - Chad Billins (SR,, Ferris State) 9 48 G - Taylor Nelson (SR, Ferris State) 6 34
Second Team F- Justin Florek (SR, No. Michigan) 4 34 F- Cody Kunyk (SO, Alaska) 2 23 F- Jordie Johnston (SR, Ferris State) 3 22 D- Dan DeKeyser (SO, W. Michigan) 2 20 D- Matt Tennyson (JR, W. Michigan) -- 20 G- Shawn Hunwick (SR, Michigan) 2 24
Vote Values: 1st place = 5, 2nd place = 3, 3rd place = 1
Others receiving votes: -- Alex Guptill, FR, Michigan, 9; David Wohlberg, SR, Michigan, 9; Chase Balisy, SO, WMU, 8; Chris Wideman, SR, Miami, 8; Kyle Haines, SR, LSSU, 6; Zach Trotman, JR, LSSU, 6; Matt Kirzinger, JR, FSU, 5; Domenic Monardo, JR, LSSU, 5; Greg Pateryn, SR, Michigan, 5; Kyle Bonis, JR, FSU, 4; Shane Berschbach, SO, WMU, 4; Lee Reimer, SO, MSU, 4; Riley Sheahan, JR, ND, 4; Aaron Gens, SR, Alaska, 4; Austin Czarnik, FR, Miami, 3; Dane Walters, JR, WMU, 3; Brock Shelgren, SR, MSU, 3; Jared Coreau, SO, NMU, 3; Kyle Jean, SO, LSSU, 2; Brett Perlini, SR, MSU, 1; Scott Czarnowczan, SO, FSU; Andrew Hammond, JR, BG, 1; Cal Heeter, SR, OSU, 1.