Morris is Irish hockey MVP for second straight year

Staff reports
ND Insider

Junior goaltender Cale Morris was named the most valuable player for the second straight season Sunday at the Notre Dame hockey team’s annual awards luncheon Sunday at the Morris Inn.

The junior goaltender, an All-American following the 2017-18 season when the Irish reached the NCAA Frozen Four and finished runner-up to Minnesota Duluth, backstopped the Irish to 19 victories during a 23-14-3 season that included the Big Ten Tournament Championship. He finished with four shutouts, two against Michigan State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament and concluded the season with a 2.19 goals-against average and .930 saves percentage. In his two seasons, Morris is 46-21-4 with a 2.07 average and .938 save percentage and eight shutouts and plans to return for his senior season.

Coach Jeff Jackson, who became Notre Dame’s all-time leader in victories and also won his 500th game as a collegiate coach, received a plaque commemorating the achievements from Joe Wegwerth, who along with Jack Jenkins, Bobby Nardella and Dylan Malmquist will be graduating from the program in May. Nardella was absent because he signed a postseason contract with the Hersey Bears of the AHL. This senior class is the first in Notre Dame hockey history to receive NCAA berths in all four of its seasons.

Junior forward Cal Burke received the Compton Family Leadership in Service Award for his work on the ice, in the classroom and in the community. Sophomore forward Pierce Crawford, who has a 3.587 grade-point average majoring in business analytics, received the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award.

Senior forward Malmquist received the Brian Walsh Offensive Player of the Year Award. Junior defenseman and captain Andrew Peeke, now with the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup playoffs, won the William Donald Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year. Jenkins, a senior forward, won the Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award.

Junior center Mike O’Leary received the Most Improved Player honor and his freshman right wing, Michael Graham, was named the team’s rookie of the year.

Tom Parent, a center on the 1985 team, received the Distinguished Alumni Award, while Bob Mundy, the director of admissions, received the team’s Honorary Alumni Award from Jackson, who will welcome back 22 players and add eight incoming freshmen for the 2019-20 season.

Notre Dame’s Cale Morris, shown before a game in January, was named Notre Dame’s Most Valuable Player on Sunday.