April 17, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -The University of Notre Dame hockey team held its annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon (April 17) at the University’s Morris Inn.
Sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen was named the team’s Monogram Club Most Valuable Player, which was voted on by the players.
Petersen started all 37 games in 2015-16 and led the nation in percentage of team minutes played while posting a 19-11-7 record. He finished with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage, which ranked 12th in the country. His .927 save percentage ranks as the third best, single-season mark in program history, while his 2.20 goals-against average is the sixth-best, single-season total in the Irish records book.
An Honorable Mention Hockey East All-Star, Petersen posted a 1.77 goals-against average in Hockey East Play, good for second in the league, while his .937 save percentage in league play ranked third. He was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week three times. One of those honors came after a dominant performance at 2016 Frozen Four participant Denver when he led the Irish to a pair of overtime ties, stopping 92 of 95 shots on goal he faced against the Pioneers. He also earned Hockey East Goaltender of the Month honors for January.
A Mike Richter Award nominee as the nation’s top collegiate goaltender for the second consecutive year, he also led the Irish to a 1-0 win over ninth-ranked Boston University on February 27 to close out the regular season. He made 35 saves in that victory to post his fifth-career shutout.
Senior defenseman Andy Ryan picked up two awards, including the Compton Family Leadership in Service Award and the team’s William Donald Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Ryan has been involved in all aspects of Notre Dame hockey’s community service efforts since arriving on campus and is the leader in the locker room when it comes to getting his teammates involved in the community. He was Notre Dame’s nominee for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award in 2016 and has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a Rosenthal Leadership Academy participant. He led the team’s involvement with the Fighting Irish Fight For Life program and he spearheaded the team’s involvement with the Green Dot initiative, which was a campus-wide program. He was also instrumental in getting the team to do three days of work at the Habitat for Humanity build during the first semester.
On the ice, Ryan, who served as an alternate captain, led a young defensive corps that included three sophomores and two freshmen to go along with a sophomore goaltender. A steadying presence on the blue line, he scored a career-high two goals in Notre Dame’s first game of the season and went on to add eight assists for 10 points. He finished the season with a +8 plus/minus rating. He blocked 52 shots during the year, including three in the NCAA Tournament game against Michigan.
Senior forward Thomas DiPauli earned the team’s Offensive Player of the Year Award, which was also decided by a team vote. He finished the season with a team-high 14 goals to go along with 18 assists for 32 points. A Hockey East honorable mention All-Star, he had two game-winning goals in league play and also finished sixth in plus/minus rating in Hockey East games. He scored three power-play goals on the season. His 14 goals and 32 points marked career-high totals for the senior.
Senior goaltender Nick Stasack won both the Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches’ Award, which is selected by the coaches, and the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award, presented annually to the player with the top grade-point average on the team. Stasack began his career by playing on Notre Dame’s club team as a freshman and sophomore before making the varsity team as a junior. A 2015 Hockey East All-Academic Team honoree, he made the first two appearances of his career this past season. He also boasts a 3.80 GPA in aerospace engineering and after graduating in May, he will head to East Hartford, Connecticut to work for world renown aerospace manufacturer Pratt and Whitney.
Sophomore forward Jake Evans earned the team’s Most Improved Player Award after a breakout year offensively while making the transition from wing to center. He played in all 37 games and finished second on the team with 33 points on eight goals and 25 assists, all of which were career-high totals. His 25 assists led the team and ranked tied for seventh in Hockey East. He scored four power-play goals as well as one game-winning goal and finished the season with nine multi-point games, including a pair of three-assist games.
Freshman defenseman Bobby Nardella was named the team’s Rookie of the Year. A Hockey East All-Rookie team honoree, he finished tied for fifth on the team with 24 points on four goals and 20 assists. With three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in Hockey East play, he ranked eighth in scoring among defensemen while also ranking eighth in scoring among rookies. Twice named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week, he scored one power-play goal, finished with a +9 plus/minus rating and also blocked 20 shots. Nationally, he ranked 13th in points-per game among defenseman and fourth among freshmen defenseman.
The team also gave out its Distinguished Alumni Award to Matt Eisler ’98. Eisler, a goaltender, played for both Ric Schafer and Dave Poulin while at Notre Dame. He played in 111 games and stands fourth on the all-time list with over 6,276 minutes played. He is also ninth all-time in goals-against average and third all-time in career saves with 2,892. He was selected the Monogram Club team most valuable player in three of his four seasons and was a two-time honorable mention all-CCHA selection.
In addition, Sue Halasz was bestowed this season’s Honorary Alumni Award by Head Coach Jeff Jackson and Equipment Specialist Dave Gilbert was honored with a special presentation.
2016 Award Winners
Compton Family Leadership in Service Award – Andy Ryan
Distinguished Alumni Award – Matt Eisler
Honorary Alumni Award – Sue Halasz
William Donald Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year – Andy Ryan
Offensive Player of the Year – Thomas DiPauli
Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award – Nick Stasack
Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award – Nick Stasack
Most Improved Player – Jake Evans
Rookie Of the Year – Bobby Nardella
Monogram Club Team MVP – Cal Petersen
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).