April 10, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Torey Krug (Livonia, Mich.) took home three awards, and defensive partner Brock Shelgren (Chicago, Ill.) received two at the annual Spartan Hockey Banquet on Tuesday night at Eagle Eye Golf Club. Krug made history by taking home both the Outstanding Offensive Player and Dr. John Downs Outstanding Defensive Player Awards, in addition to team MVP honors; Shelgren was voted the team's Outstanding Senior, and also earned the Blue Line President's Award for the outstanding scholar-athlete in the senior class.
In addition, Dwayne Norris, who skated for the Spartans from 1988-92, was honored as the program's Distinguished Spartan for 2012.
Krug, who earned the Dr. Downs Award and the team MVP honors in 2010-11, becomes the first defenseman in program history to win both the team's Outstanding Offensive Player Award and Outstanding Defensive Player honors. (John-Michael Liles was the Outstanding Offensive Player in 2003, but was never named the team's Outstanding Defensive Player).
The three distinctions add to an already impressive list of honors for Krug this season, who has put together one of the most decorated seasons in recent memory. Krug earned First Team All-America honors, was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist, earned CCHA Player of the Year kudos and was a unanimous selection to the All-CCHA First Team. Krug led the team in scoring with 33 points, was one of the top scoring defensemen in the country, and won the CCHA scoring title, just the fifth defenseman in college hockey history to win his league's scoring title. Krug was the team's most reliable defender, was a team-best +17 as he played in all situations and logged nearly 30 minutes of ice time per game.
Shelgren put together his most productive offensive season while continuing to be a solid, steady defender on the Spartan back line. Shelgren put together a 3-10-13 scoring line, a career best, and led the CCHA in blocked shots (108). The senior rearguard also boasts a 3.7 grade point average as a finance major, and was MSU's CCHA Scholar-Athlete designee for the second straight season. Shelgren will earn Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season in 2012 and will be an Academic All-America nominee.
The Outstanding Rookie honors went to first-year winger Matt Berry (Canton, Mich.). Berry led all first-year players with 18 points, and ranked second on the team overall with 11 goals - five of which came on the power play. Berry finished the season in fifth place in scoring on the team. Most Improved Player votes went to sophomore Lee Reimer (Landmark, Manitoba). Reimer was third on the team in scoring with a 9-21-30 scoring line, and was second in assists. Reimer owned a 2-5-7 scoring line as a first-year player in 2010-11, and had eclipsed those numbers before the end of October this year.
The Amo Bessone Award went to senior Trevor Nill (Novi, Mich.). Nill, who was a Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist in 2011 and the recipient of the Ilitch Humanitarian Award as a junior as well captures this award for the third straight season - the only player in program history to accomplish that feat. The award honors former Spartan mentor Amo Bessone, and recognizes the Spartan player who best embodies hockey and academic achievement in addition to their community outreach endeavors. Nill is president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at MSU for the second straight year, and also serves as the vice president of Michigan State's chapter of Athletes in Action. He is active in the Spartan Buddies program, where he spends time visiting the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital. Nill spearheads the hockey team's involvement in Michigan State athletics "Teams for Toys," where each varsity team at MSU adopts a a local family during the holiday season. A Mechanical Engineering major, Nill carries a 3.4 grade-point average.
Senior Mike Merrifield (Beverly Hills, Mich.) is the recipient of the Spartan Fitness Award for the second straight season. The award recipient is determined based on the team's pre-season testing with Strength & Conditioning coach Mike Vorkapich. Merrifield is the team's first-ever repeat winner of the award.
Another repeat winner is sophomore Chris Sandmeyer (Kalamazoo, Mich.), who is the team's Goofus Award winner. The award is given annually to the team's humorist, and Sandmeyer is the fourth consecutive multiple-year winner of the award; Joe Markusen (2003, 2004), Zak McClellan (2005-08), and Jay Sprague (2009, 2010).
The Spartans completed the 2011-12 season with a 19-16-4 overall record, finished fifth in the CCHA standings, and earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 2008.
2011-12 MSU Hockey Team Award Winners
Blue Line Club President's Award: Brock Shelgren
Spartan Fitness Award: Mike Merrifield
Outstanding Rookie: Matt Berry
Most Improved Player: Lee Reimer
Dr. John Downs Outstanding Defensive Player: Torey Krug
Goofus Award: Chris Sandmeyer
Outstanding Offensive Player: Torey Krug
Bill Burgess Outstanding Senior Award: Brock Shelgren
Amo Bessone Award: Trevor Nill
Most Valuable Player: Torey Krug
Distinguished Spartan: Dwayne Norris