(nchahockey.org) - The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association league office announced the Men's NCHA All-Conference Team, Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and All-Freshmen team Friday. The awards are voted on by the league head coaches.
The 2014-15 Player of the Year is Lake Forest College junior Leo Podolsky (G - Oakville, Ontario). Podolsky was impressive in goal all season, posting 15 victories, a 1.99 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.
His save percentage leads the NCHA and currently ranks No. 4 at the NCAA Division III level. He is also 15th nationally in GAA, adding three shutouts on the season.
"Leo being named NCHA Player of the Year is a confirmation of the hard work he has put in and the growth he has experienced over the past three seasons," LFC head coach Patrick Kelliher said. "We couldn't be happier for him. He was our backbone this year from day one. He came into this season with a quiet confidence and was as competitive as I have ever seen him in his three years."
Podolsky led the team to a program record 15-game unbeaten streak, a stretch that saw the Foresters go 11-0-4, with Podolsky allowing zero or one goal in nine of those games in the span. Lake Forest appeared in the national polls the majority of this season and rose to as high as No. 12.
"Our team's success during the regular season came in large part from the confidence that our players had in Leo when he was in the net," Kelliher said. "They knew he was going to make the saves he should and even a couple he probably shouldn't have."
The 2014-15 Coach of the Year is Adrian College's Adam Krug. Taking over after Ron Fogarty left after seven highly-successful seasons, Krug did not skip a beat, claiming the Peters Cup and the NCHA regular-season championship in his inaugural season on the bench. He currently has his team at 21-3-3 overall, ranked No. 1 in the D3Hockey.com poll and No. 3 in the USCHO.com poll. Adrian has home ice for this year's Harris Cup Playoffs and eye a return to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2014-15 Freshman of the Year is Adrian College's Kyle Brothers (Watford, Ont.). Brothers was named NCHA Offensive Player of the Week on a pair of occasions, including the opening week of the season when he became the first Bulldog to net a hat trick in his collegiate debut. He currently leads the NCHA with 43 points and 20 goals scored and stands fifth in the NCAA at 1.65 points-per-game. The highest scoring freshman in the country, Brothers also has a flair for the dramatic, leading the country with seven game-winning goals.
St. Norbert led all schools with five student-athletes named to the All-NCHA team, with Marian Fiala (Bratislava, Slovaki) and Blake Thompson (Listowel, Ont.) repeating as selections from last season. They were joined by Cullen Bradshaw (Medicine Hat, Alberta) and Michael Hill (Fort Worth, Tex.), as well as David Jacobson (Janesville, Wis.). Jacobson (2011-15) became the seventh player all-time to earn all-conference honors all four seasons, joining former Adrian College players Chris Stansik (2008-12), Shawn Skelly (2007-11) and Brad Fogal (2007-11), Lawrence's Josh Peterson (2004-08) and MSOE Raiders Jason Woll (2005-09) and Ryan Moren (1998-2002) on that prestigious list.
Adrian's Josh Ranalli (Stoney Creek, Ont.) joined Brothers on the team, as well as repeat selection Ryan Gieseler (Penetang, Ont.). MSOE's Omar Mullan (Dearborn, Mich.) was the only other freshman on the all-league squad.
The Bulldogs had three on the NCHA All-Freshmen team, with Brothers, Mat Thompson and Blake Butzow all earning the honors. Marian University had a pair in Mark Whiteley and Mike Gudmandson.
Regular-Season Champions: Adrian College ...
Peters Cup Champions
NCHA Player of the Year: Leo Podolsky (Lake Forest College)
NCHA Freshman of the Year: Kyle Brothers (Adrian College)
NCHA Coach of the Year: Adam Krug (Adrian College)
All-Conference (Alphabetically by position)
Forward: Brian Berger (Marian University, Senior)
Forward: Cullen Bradshaw (St. Norbert College, Senior)
Forward: Kyle Brothers (Adrian College, Freshman)
Forward: Michael Hill (St. Norbert College, Junior)
Forward: Omar Mullan (MSOE, Freshman)
Forward: Josh Ranalli (Adrian College, Senior)
Defense: Ben Certo (Lake Forest, Junior) | 2014 All-NCHA | 2013
Defense: Marian Fiala (St. Norbert College, Senior) | 2014 All-NCHA
Defense: Ryan Gieseler (Adrian College, Senior) | 2014 All-NCHA
Defense: Blake Thompson (St. Norbert College, Sophomore) | 2014 All-NCHA
Goalie: David Jacobson (St. Norbert College, Senior) | 2014
All-NCHA | 2013 All-NCHA | 2012 All-NCHA | 2012 All-Freshman
Goalie: Leo Podolsky (Lake Forest College, Junior) | 2014 All-NCHA
All-Freshmen Team (Alphabetically by position)
Forward: Kyle Brothers (Adrian College)
Forward: Omar Mullan (MSOE)
Forward: Mat Thompson (Adrian College)
Defense: Blake Butzow (Adrian College)
Defense: Sean Campbell (St. Norbert College)
Defense: Mark Whiteley (Marian University)
Goalie: Mike Gudmandson (Marian University)
*Note: Extra spot at all-freshmen team defense due to tie in voting