Notre Dame's Morris is MVP
SOUTH BEND — Sophomore goaltender Cale Morris, who entered the season with one period of experience and ended it as an All-American, picked up a pair of awards at the Notre Dame hockey team’s annual banquet Sunday afternoon in the Morris Inn.
Morris, whose .944 save percentage was the nation’s best and who allowed just 1.94 goals a game while compiling a 27-8-1 record on way to capturing the Mike Richter Outstanding Goaltender of the Year Award, was named the winner of the Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player Award.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Larkspur, Colo., resident earlier received the team’s most improved player award following a season in which he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, the Big Ten player and goaltender of the year and an Academic All-Big Ten team member.
Several other players were honored at the banquet to celebrate Notre Dame’s recent 28-10-2 season that ended with a 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the men’s NCAA Division I hockey championship game. Prior to that, coach Jeff Jackson’s 13th Irish team had a 16-game unbeaten string, the longest in the program’s history, that produced the material for the three new banners that will hang from the rafters of the Compton Family Ice Arena next fall — a regular-season Big Ten championship (17-6-1), a postseason Big Ten championship and the NCAA East Regional championship.
Junior center Andrew Oglevie, who led the team with 15 goals, nine of them on the power play and four of them game-winners, received the Brian Walsh Offensive Player of the Year Award. The award was presented by Walsh, who played from 1974-77 and is the program’s all-time leading scorer. Oglevie, who finished with 39 points, seven fewer than senior captain Jake Evans, recently signed a two-year, free-agent contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
Evans, a recent signee with the Montreal Canadiens, was honored with the Compton Family Leadership in Service Award for his community service. Evans, who had team highs in assists (33) and points (46), is the national Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s hockey.
Senior defenseman Jordan Gross, who made the Frozen Four all-tournament team and received all-Big Ten honors, was named the winner of the William Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year Award, given in memory of the late Notre Dame All-America defenseman who played from 1970-74. Gross was third in scoring with 30 points, including 10 goals, and played in all 159 games of his Notre Dame career.
The Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award, honoring the program’s first coach, was given to senior right wing Bo Brauer, who had five goals, including a pair of game-winners, skating on the fourth line. Brauer also was saluted for his locker room leadership and community service.
Freshman right wing Colin Theisen, who had six goals and 19 points, received the Rookie of the Year Award, and sophomore right wing Cal Burke, who had 14 goals, received the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award for compiling a 3.497 grade-point average in business analytics.
Special honorary alumni awards were given to current Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and assistant director of academic services Chad Grotegut. Former player Tim Reilly (1982-86), a Boston businessman, received a distinguished alumni award.
Jackson also saluted his seven graduating seniors — Evans, Gross, Brauer, Justin Wade, Luke Ripley, Tony Bretzman and Dawson Cook.