Feb. 17, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior captain Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior Class Award in the men’s ice hockey division. Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine this year’s winner with the award to be presented during the NCAA Frozen Four in Denver, Colo., this coming April.
The award, an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has developed into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award, which was launched in 2001 with college basketball, is in its second year for men’s hockey. Notre Dame goaltender David Brown `06 was the inaugural hockey division award winner in 2007.
Van Guilder and the nine other finalists were selected from a list of 20 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. The four primary criteria include: classroom, community, character and competition.
The 2008 finalists include: Mark Dekanich (Colgate), Bryce Hollweg (Army), Peter Mannino (Denver), Marty Mjelleli (St. Cloud State), Justin Pesony (St. Lawrence), Kevin Porter (Michigan), Frank Schiavone (Air Force), Topher Scott (Cornell) and Landis Stankievech (Princeton).
The 10 players will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award men’s hockey ballot for a nationwide vote that begins on Feb. 14 and concludes on March 28. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website – www.seniorclassaward.com – will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.
Van Guilder goes into the final two weekends of the regular season tied for second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points. He is second on the team with five power-play goals and three game-winning goals while being +2 on the year.
The Irish center iceman also has been successful in the classroom. A Sociology major at Notre Dame, Van Guilder has a cumulative 3.35 grade-point average, including a 3.83 mark for the fall of 2007. He has been selected to the Dean’s List in each of his last two semesters while serving as the team’s captain.
“Mark Van Guilder is a leader by example,” says Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson. “He is a self-made hockey player and a great example of what Irish hockey is all about.
Notre Dame is now 21-10-3 on the season following its three-point weekend (win and tie) at Alaska. The Irish are fourth in the CCHA with a 14-7-2 record and are ranked ninth in the nation as of Feb. 16.
The idea of an award to salute collegiate seniors was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. It was inspired by the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. The Senior CLASS Award was formed to honor senior student-athletes who fulfill their entire collegiate athletic eligibility, earn a college degree and give back to their community.
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, extended the award in 2007 to include six other NCAA sports: men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer.