DETROIT, Mich. -- Senior defenseman Matt Hunwick (Sterling Heights, Mich.), sophomore defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and senior defenseman Tim Cook (Montclair, N.J.) of the University of Michigan ice hockey team each earned individual laurels at the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's annual awards ceremony Thursday night (March 15) at the Fox Theater. Hunwick was chosen as the CCHA's Best Defensive Defenseman while his defensive partner, Johnson, was designated the league's Best Offensive Defenseman. Cook received the Ilitch Humanitarian Award.
Since each award's creation in 1989-90, two other Wolverines have collected the Best Defensive Defenseman award (Steven Halko, 1994-95 and Mike Komisarek, 2001-02).
One other U-M player has won the Best Offensive Defenseman honor (Jeff Jillson, 1999-2000). Cook is the second Michigan player to garner the Ilitch Humanitarian Award (Kevin O'Malley, 2002).
Hunwick, Michigan's captain, leads all Wolverine blueliners with a +22 rating. His +14 rating in CCHA contests tied for the best mark among the conference's defensemen. Hunwick earned a plus/minus rating of +3 or better in five games. Offensively, Hunwick contributed six goals and a career-high 20 assists for a total of 26 points. His 16 assists in CCHA play was tops among defensemen. Hunwick was also named to the All-CCHA first team last week (March 7).
Johnson's 16 goals this season leads all defensemen in the nation; his 34 points are third-best in the country. In CCHA play, he led his fellow defensemen with 12 goals and 25 assists. Johnson's 16 markers are a career high; the mark is the second-most goals ever scored in a single-season by a U-M defenseman. Johnson tallied four points in a game twice this season. He also had point streaks of nine games (4-5-9) and six games (8-6-14). His +21 rating is third-best on the U-M roster. Johnson was named to the All-CCHA first team on March 7.
Cook is an ardent participant in Michigan's From the Heart program, which organizes student-athlete activities at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. This year, Cook served on the student advisory committee for From the Heart; he is also involved in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization.
Michigan had two other players that were finalists for individual CCHA awards. T.J. Hensick (Howell, Mich.), the CCHA's leading scorer, was a finalist for Player of the Year recognition. David Rohlfs (Northville, Mich.) was nominated for the Best Defensive Forward honor; head coach Red Berenson was a finalist for the Coach of the Year distinction.
Winners of the CCHA's individual awards were selected by the 12 head coaches in the league based on their play in conference games; coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
As the No. 2 seed in the 2007 CCHA Championship, the No. 9-ranked Wolverines will face off against No. 11 Michigan State in a semifinal match on Friday (March 16) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. FSN Detroit will air the game live beginning at 8 p.m.
Contact: Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423