March 16, 2000
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior center and team captain Shawn Horcoff (Castlegar, B.C.) was presented the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year and CCHA Best Defensive Forward awards at the CCHA Awards Banquet tonight at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit. Horcoff, who was also honored for winning the conference scoring title and his selections to the All-CCHA first team and the CCHA All-Academic Team, earned five individual CCHA awards for the year, the most of any player in conference history.
Two players (Bowling Green's Brian Hills in 1982-83 and Western Michigan's Marc Magliarditi in '95-96) have won four CCHA awards in a season, but Horcoff is the first to win five. Horcoff, a 1998 fourth-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers, is the third consecutive Michigan State player to earn CCHA Player of the Year honors (Chad Alban in 1997-98, Mike York in '98-99) and the fifth Spartan to win the award since MSU joined the conference in 1981-82.
Also Thursday night Horcoff was announced as one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the nation's top college player. Horcoff is the 14th Hobey Baker finalist from Michigan State, the most of any college, and the fourth in the last three years.
"Those are all fitting awards for Shawn," head coach Ron Mason said. "I don't appreciate anything more than a kid getting the accolades he deserves, and Shawn Horcoff deserves everything he gets. He has worked extremely hard from day one here at Michigan State to become a better player. He has been dominant player this season at both ends of the ice."
"I owe my success to my teammates, espcially my linemates Adam Hall and Brian Maloney," Horcoff said. "It's an honor to be recognized by the coaches in the CCHA, but I've learned from the players before me like Chad Alban and Mike York that individual awards come from team success, and I just hope we can keep that going."
Senior defenseman Mike Weaver (Bramalea, Ont.) earned the CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman award for the second year in a row. It marks the fourth straight year that the award has gone to an MSU player (Tyler Harlton won it in 1996-97 and '97-98).
"Mike is not only the best defensive defenseman in our conference, but probably all of college hockey," Mason said. "It's special to be able to recognize a player like him whose impact isn't always seen on the scoresheet. He's the most intense player on the ice and the best penalty killer I've ever coached."
Weaver, an assistant captain, leads MSU defensemen with a +14 plus/minus rating in 35 games this season. He has eight points (all assists). He was +14 with seven assists in 26 conference games.
Horcoff led the CCHA in scoring with 44 points in 28 conference games (eight goals, 36 assists), with a hand in 52 percent of the Spartans' 84 CCHA goals. He led the team at +19 in league games. Overall, Horcoff has 58 points (12-46-58), good for second in the nation in scoring, in 39 games. He is +19 overall and has had a hand in 46 percent of MSU's goals, the highest percentage of any player in the nation.
Michigan State is 25-10-4 overall (18-8-2 CCHA) entering tomorrow night's
CCHA semifinal against Notre Dame at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. The
Spartans are ranked ninth in the nation this week and finished the regular
season second in the CCHA.