May 30, 2007
East Lansing, Mich. - Spartan sophomore goaltender Jeff Lerg (Livonia, Mich.) and incoming defenseman Jeff Petry (Farmington Hills, Mich.) will be honored by USA Hockey at its 2007 Annual Congress at the Sheraton Hotel in Colorado Springs. Lerg has been named the organization's College Player of the Year, while Petry will be honored as the Junior Player of the Year.
The five-day Congress provides USA Hockey's various committees, districts and employees the opportunity to come together for a series of forums, workshops and award ceremonies intended to improve the organization and honor those who have contributed to its great success. USA Hockey will honor its service award recipients and present the player of the year awards on Wednesday, June 6, at an award banquet tabbed "A Night of Tribute." The event will be staged in the Sheraton's Grand Ballroom beginning at 7 p.m. MDT.
Lerg, who was honored as the USA Hockey Junior Player and Goalie of the Year while playing for the Omaha Lancers (USHL), helped lead Michigan State to the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey national championship this season for the first time since 1986. The sophomore played in all 42 of Michigan State's games in 2006-07 and posted a 26-13-3 record, to go along with a 2.41 GAA and .931 save percentage. Lerg was perhaps at his best in the NCAA Tournament, as he allowed just five goals in four tournament games (1.25 GAA, .954 sv%). He was named NCAA Midwest Regional MVP and also to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team
Petry completed an outstanding second season with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) and is the recipient of USA Hockey's Junior Player of the Year award. Petry, the USHL's 2006-07 Defenseman of the Year, notched 18 goals and 27 assists in 55 games to triple his point production from the previous season while leading Des Moines to the Clark Cup Final Four. He will join the Spartan defensive corps in the fall, and was a second-round draft selection of the Edmonton Oilers (45th pick overall) in the 2006 NHL entry draft.
Other award winners include Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year Julie Chu (Harvard/Fairfield, Conn.), USAdult Ironman of the Year Marv Jorde (Woodbury, Minn.), Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Jeremy Smith (Brownstown, Mich.), and Disabled Athlete of the Year Erica Mitchell (Chicago, Ill.).