The Wisconsin mens' hockey team is hoping for a fresh start in 2015-16, and will do so with senior defensemen Eddie Wittchow and Kevin Schulze leading the way. The pair were named co-captains on Wednesday, and will be joined along with junior-to-be Grant Besse, who was named alternate captain.
The Badgers also announced award winners for the 2014-15 season. Leading the way was goaltender Joel Rumpel, who was named Spike Carlson Most Valuable Player, as voted on by his teammates. Rumpel ranks fifth all-time at Wisconsin in victories and his 10 career shutouts are second in program history. Rumpel also ranks third all-time with a .918 save percentage and sixth with a 2.51 goals-against average.
Senior forward Brad Navin took home the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoroee, Navin served as one of the team's co-captains this past season.
Voted the team's Fenton Kelsey, Jr. Most Competitive Payer was senior assistant captain Joseph LaBate. LaBate ranked second on the team with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists in 35 games. He also led the Badgers with 100 shots on goal and four power-play tallies.
Winning the Otto Breitenbach Most Improved Player, as voted on by his teammates, was freshman defenseman Cullen Hurley. Hurley, who came to the Badgers as both a forward and defenseman, ended up on the blue line and skated in four games. He played in games at Colorado College and Denver in November, then skated in Wisconsin's series against Michigan on Jan. 23-24 at the Kohl Center.
Senior forward Matt Paape won Wisconsin Public Television's Jim Santulli 7th Man Award, as voted on by Wisconsin hockey fans. Badger fans voted on who they thought gave his all on the ice and best represented the Badger trademarks of team spirit and good sportsmanship.
Also handed out were team awards for stat leaders, including Jedd Soleway for faceoffs, Kevin Schulze for blocked shots and Ryan Wagner for hits.
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