Two Union hockey players have made the Hockey Humanitarian Award nominee list.
Dutchmen senior forward Cole Ikkala and Dutchwomen senior defenseman Ashley Johnston are two of the 18 nominees for the award, which were announced Thursday.
It’s the first time Union hockey has had two players nominated since the award was initially presented in 1997.
Ikkala is the fourth Dutchmen to be nominated, and the first since Stephane Boileau in 2011. The other Dutchmen to be nominated were Olivier Bouchard (2007) and Jeff Wilson (2002). Wilson is the only one who was a finalist.
“It’s a huge honor,” Ikkala said. “I take pride of my work off the ice, as well as on the ice. Being nominated for this award is a great accomplishment.”
Ikkala is also a nominee for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. He s a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has participated in the Team Impact project, which assists children with life-threatening illness.
Johnston is just the second Union women’s hockey player to be nominated. Jamie Laubisch was the first in 2004.
For her senior project, Johnston is developing an adjustable below-the-knee prosthetic for children that will grow with the child. The purpose of this project is to limit the financial burden placed on families who have to continually replace prosthetics as their child grows.
“I’m just absolutely thrilled to be a candidate,” Johnston said. ”I was really honored to even be nominated. I’m glad I can bring some pride to our program.”
The rest of this year’s finalists are Denver senior Wade Bennett, Quinnipiac senior Amanda Colin, St. Cloud State senior Nic Dowd, Connecticut College junior Kelsie Fralick, Cornell seniors Alyssa Gagliardi and Andy Iles, Merrimack senior Jordan Heywood, North Dakota junior Mark McMillan, Robert Morris senior Brandi Pollock, Vermont senior Danielle Rancourt, Notre Dame senior Joe Rogers, Holy Cross senior Jeffrey Reppucci, Army senior Mike Santee, Colgate senior Jocelyn Simpson, Concordia College sophomore Max Smith and Northeastern senior Kelly Wallace.
The finalists will be announced in February. The award will be presented April 11 at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
VOTE FOR HOBEY
The fan voting for the Hobey Baker Award is underway. Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute junior forward Ryan Haggerty and senior forward Brock Higgs are on the ballot.
The fans’ vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year’s award recipient. The first phase runs through March 9.
Phase two will start March 20, when the top 10 finalists are announced. The Hobey Hat Trick finalists will be named April 2. The award will be presented April 11 in Philadelphia, site of this year’s Frozen Four.
To vote, go to http://www.hobeybaker.com/awards/the-hobey-baker-memorial-award/vote. You can vote once a day.
FOO TO UNION
Spencer Foo, the leading scorer for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Bonnyville Pontiacs, has committed to Union for the 2015-16 season.
The 19-year-old Foo, who is a center, has 27 goals and 18 assists in 44 games. The is 6-foot, 177-pound Foo is the eighth-leading scorer in the AJHL.
“Very excited and honored to have committed to Union College,” Foo said on his Twitter page.
Last season with the Pontiacs, Foo had 13 goals and 17 assists in 55 games.
“Spencer is an incredibly driven individual who comes to the rink each and every day to improve his game,” Pontiacs coach/general manager Rick Swan said in a statement. “Over the last two seasons, he has made some excellent strides with respect to his development and Spencer’s potential is huge. More importantly than his on-ice attributes, Spencer is an excellent person who comes from an outstanding, supportive family and our organization is extremely excited that his hard work has been rewarded with a scholarship to Union.”
Foo is a native of Edmonton, Alberta.
PRAPAVESSIS, RENO RATED
Two players with ties to RPI are rated in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau Mid-Term Rankings, which was released Monday.
RPI recruit and Toronto Lakeshore Patriots defenseman Michael Prapavessis is ranked 137th among North American skaters. He has three goals and 32 assists in 34 games this season.
Current Engineers defenseman Parker Reno is ranked 202nd. He has a goal and an assist in 17 games.
PINK AT THE RINK
The Union women’s hockey team will have its seventh annual Pink at the Rink on Saturday when it hosts RPI at 4 p.m. at Messa Rink.
The game will be dedicated to members of the Union community affected by cancer, including baseball student-athlete Justin Lloyd, men’s lacrosse student-athlete Nate Greenberg and 11-year-old Union hockey fan Kristen Shinebarger. Donations collected will benefit Kristen’s Kause.
BOOK DRIVE SET
The Union men’s hockey team be participating in “Project: Cameron’s Story” for the third straight year.
Fans are asked to bring a new children’s book to the Dutchmen’s home games Feb. 7 against Brown and Feb. 8 against Yale.
Cameron’s story was created five years ago by a Glens Falls family following the passing of their son. He was born premature and spent several months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The organization now donates thousands of books to local hospitals.
The goal is to place a brand new book in the hands of every family admitted to the NICU at Albany Med and St. Peter’s. Often times parents can’t hold theses babies, but they can bond by reading to the them.
Dutchmen assistant coach Jason Tapp and his wife, WTEN (Ch. 10) reporter Nicol Lally, got involved with the organization after their daughter spent several weeks in the NICU following her birth in June 2009.
Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.
Union junior goalie Colin Stevens (Niskayuna) made 26 saves in last Friday’s 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac. He earned his third shutout of the season the next day against Princeton, stopping 33 shots in a 3-0 win.
Union freshman defenseman Jeff Taylor (Clifton Park) had an assist in the Quinnpiac game.
Boston University sophomore forward Jordan Juron (Latham) picked up an assist in the Terriers’ 5-3 victory over Maine last Friday.