Inside College Hockey 2003 Awards
Hockey is proud to honor its 2003 award winners – five honorees
who represent the very best in the college game this season.
Over the course
of the year, these players and this coach dazzled us, surprised
us, and impressed us – weekend after weekend, night after
were made by Inside College Hockey editors and staff, with input
from media and coaches from around the country.
2003 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Colorado College | Junior | Forward
Statistics: 42 GP, 36-46—82
Sejna’s numbers are mind-boggling: 36 goals and 82 points
in 42 games, 15 power-play goals, eight game-winning goals,
at least one point in 41 of the Tigers’ 42 outings. The
junior wing was just as good scoring (seven multi-goal games)
as he was setting up his teammates (12 games with two or more
with most aspects of the game of hockey, Sejna’s impact
cannot be defined solely by mere statistics. His skating,
agility, vision and puck skills are superb. Not only is he
outstanding on the power play, but he’s a surprisingly
effective penalty killer to boot and he rarely puts his team
in bad situations – witness his 12 penalty minutes this
scored in 39 out of 40 games," Colorado College head
coach Scott Owens said prior to last month’s NCAA Midwest
Regional. "He's on the power play, penalty kill, regular
shift. He's a factor every single game."
2003 GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR
Cornell | Sophomore
28-2-1, 1.14 GAA, .942 sv. pct.
Dave LeNeveu gave glimpses last year of what a special player
he could be, but sharing time with All-American Matt Underhill,
he wasn't often in the spotlight.
he not only grabbed the spotlight, he shined – at least
statistically – as no goalie has before. And he backboned
a Cornell team that methodically marched to titles in the
ECAC regular season, ECAC Tournament and NCAA East Regional.
the real deal," head coach Mike Schafer said. "If
an offensive player put up the best numbers in the history
of the game, we wouldn't even be talking about who would win
the Hobey Baker."
2003 DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR
Colorado College | Senior
42 GP, 23-29—52
While the Tigers had a multitude of contributors offensively
– Senja, Noah Clarke and Brett Sterling, to name a few
– Tom Preissing was the team’s most surprising weapon.
The senior was always a steady point-getter, but his work on
offensive always took a back seat to his defensive prowess.
changed this season. The Colorado College captain scored 23
goals – all but six on the power play – and added
29 assists, playing a major role in the Tigers’ run
to the WCHA regular-season title. Like his teammate Sejna,
Preissing saw ice time in every situation and, in addition
to his other duties, was charged with breaking in freshman
phenom Mark Stuart, his blue line partner for the bulk of
was really lucky to play with Tom most of the year,"
Stuart said. "He taught me a lot about leadership and
how to keep your composure, not to give up during games, how
to prepare for games and to come out strong."
2003 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Minnesota | Freshman | Forward
Statistics: 43 GP, 29-29—58
For all the things he accomplished offensively – and there
were many – the most impressive thing Thomas Vanek achieved
this season may have been improving his commitment to defensive
responsibilities and always giving a full effort.
any coach in the nation would probably take 29 goals and 29
assists is a pretty good way to start one’s college
career. And while detractors may argue that fellow WCHA rookie
Zach Parise deserves accolades (and he does), Vanek gets the
nod here for his season-long development into an all-around
leader on a Frozen Four team.
2003 COACH OF THE YEAR
31-10-1 (22-5-1 CCHA)
Pegged to finish ninth by both the coaches and the media in
the CCHA preseason polls, Daniels’ Ferris State team opened
the year with a respectable split vs. St. Cloud State. Then
came an eight-game winning streak. The Bulldogs were 13-5-0
and in first place in the conference heading into 2003.
waited for Daniels’ team to fade. They didn’t.
In fact, they were better during the second half of the season
than they were prior to the new year. A 14-3-1 mark over the
last 10 weeks of the regular season enabled Ferris State to
win the school’s first CCHA regular-season title and
propelled the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA Tournament
bid. Daniels acknowledged that the talent he had was better
than the lineup in years past, but the wins started to pile
up because the players bought into his system and embraced
didn't think it was a surprise we did well,” Daniels
said during last month’s CCHA Super Six Tournament at
Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. “I don't think it was a
surprise that we got home ice (in the first round of the playoffs)
and we're at the Joe. I do think it was a surprise we won
the league. I really think this validates our membership in
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