Florek Named Finalist for CCHA Best Defensive Forward Award

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.– The Central Collegiate Hockey Association today announced the top three finalists for six major individual awards that will be presented at the CCHA Awards presented by RBC Financial Group on Thursday, March 15 at historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Year finalists include Miami junior forward Reilly Smith, Michigan State junior defenseman Torey Krug and Ferris State senior defenseman Chad Billins. Smith was named the league's Postgame Offensive Player of the Week four times this season and his 18 conference goals earned him the league goal-scoring title for the second consecutive year. Krug had points in 21 of 35 games played, including nine multi-point performances. The junior became the first defenseman to capture the league scoring crown in MSU history and the first in CCHA history since the 1986-87 season. Behind the staunch defense and strong leadership of Billins, Ferris State earned its first regular-season title since the 2002-03 season and ascended to No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history.

The three finalists for CCHA Coach of the Year are Red Berenson of Michigan, Tom Anastos of Michigan State and Bob Daniels of Ferris State. Under Berenson, the Wolverines reached 20 wins for the 25th consecutive year, the longest streak in NCAA history. Berenson is vying for his third CCHA Coach of the Year award. In his first year as head coach, Anastos improved his alma mater by 12 conference points and five positions in the standings. Ferris State, picked to place ninth in the league in the preseason coach's poll, finished in first place for the second time in school history. The Bulldogs move to the top of the league standings included a 14-game undefeated streak at the end of the regular season.

Western Michigan goaltender Frank Slubowski, Michigan forward Alex Guptill and Miami forward Austin Czarnik are finalists for CCHA Rookie of the Year honors. Two of Slubowski's 12 league victories came in shutout fashion. The rookie goalie was also tops in shootouts with four wins. Guptill was the only freshman to be named the league's Postgame Offensive Player of the Week and was also Gongshow Rookie of the Week twice as well as the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Month in January. Guptill led all rookies in scoring, both overall and in league play. Czarnik, who placed second on his team in scoring, led all rookies with 20 assists in 35 games.

Western Michigan junior Matt Tennyson joins Billins and Krug as the finalists for Best Offensive Defenseman. Krug's 11 goals led the league for defensemen for the second straight year. The Spartans' captain tied for the conference lead in points with 29. Billins, the Bulldogs' captain, tied Krug for the league lead among defenseman in assists with 18, and led his team in conference scoring with 25 points. With a heavy shot from the point, Tennyson led the Broncos with six power-play goals this season.

CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman nominees include Ferris State sophomore Scott Czarnowczan, Western Michigan sophomore Dan DeKeyser and Michigan senior Greg Pateryn.  Czarnowczan led the Bulldogs with a +16 rating and 65 blocked shots. DeKeyser led the Broncos with a +11 rating while playing 30 minutes per game. Pateryn posted a +15 rating while blocking a team-high 48 shots.

The finalists for CCHA Best Defensive Forward are Northern Michigan senior Justin Florek, Michigan senior Luke Glendening and Notre Dame junior Riley Sheahan.

The CCHA Awards presented by RBC Financial Group kick off CCHA Championship Weekend on Thursday, March 15. The banquet, an Academy Awards-style event with music videos and highlights, is held at historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit. The event begins with a social hour at 6:30 p.m. The Awards Program starts at 7:30 p.m. Awards tickets are $15 and can be purchasedby calling the CCHA at (248) 888-0600 or at the door the day of the event.


Chad Billins, Ferris State
Torey Krug, Michigan State
Reilly Smith, Miami

Tom Anastos, Michigan State
Red Berenson, Michigan
Bob Daniels, Ferris State

Austin Czarnik, Miami
Alex Guptill, Michigan
Frank Slubowski, Western Michigan

Chad Billins, Ferris State
Torey Krug, Michigan State
Matt Tennyson, Western Michigan

Scott Czarnowczan, Ferris State
Dan DeKeyser, Western Michigan
Greg Pateryn, Michigan

Luke Glendening, Michigan
Justin Florek, Northern Michigan
Riley Sheahan, Notre Dame