Colgate Hands Out Year-End Awards

Colgate Hands Out Year-End Awards

HAMILTON, N.Y. -- The Colgate University men's hockey team held its annual awards banquet in the Chandelier Room at the White Eagle Conference Center on Saturday, April 5. It was a night to celebrate the Class of 2008, as members of the senior class took home all eight team awards and were recognized for their contributions to the Raider hockey program.

Assistant captain Tyler Burton (Langley, B.C.) was the big winner, taking three awards: the Steve Riggs Memorial Award, the Terry Slater Award, and the Best Offensive Player Award. The Steve Riggs Award recognizes gentlemanly play and a high standard of ability, and the Terry Slater Trophy is presented by the Silver Puck Club to the senior whose performance, leadership, and dedication on and off the ice during his career has had the greatest impact on Colgate hockey. The Best Offensive Player Award, which Burton has won two other times, goes to the Raiders' leading scorer.

Burton, who was unable to attend the banquet as he has already joined the Lowell Devils of the AHL, led Colgate and ECAC Hockey with 41 points on 23 goals and 18 assists in 42 games. He finished his career with 155 points, which ties him for 16th on the Raiders' all-time scoring list with current St. Louis Blues center Andy McDonald. His 158 career games played is a school record, and his 82 career goals is tied for sixth in Colgate history. Burton earned a spot on an all-ECAC Hockey team in each of his four seasons, including being named to the first team as a sophomore.

Goaltender Mark Dekanich (North Vancouver, B.C.), who is in Milwaukee with the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators, received the Coaches Award as well as the Best Defensive Player Award for the third straight year. A three-time all-ECAC Hockey selection and the 2006 league Goaltender of the Year, Dekanich broke five of Colgate's seven career records as well as five single-season records. In early February, Dekanich put together a shutout streak of 217:16, which ranks seventh in NCAA history and is a new Colgate and ECAC Hockey record. He finished the 2007-08 season with a 2.16 goals against average and .924 save percentage, both of which ranked second in the league and among the top-15 in the nation.

Captain Jesse Winchester (Long Sault, Ont.), who took a break from his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators to be in attendance, received the Rob Ries Memorial Award. The Rob Ries Award is presented annually to a player who provides inspiration and leadership. Winchester paced Colgate and the league with 29 assists on the year, and finished second on the team with 37 points in 40 games. He ended his career with 114 points, which ranks 32nd on Colgate's all-time scoring list, and he played in 142 games, which ranks sixth in school history.

Defenseman Matt Torti (Oxford, Mass.) received the Dan Coley "Barrell" Award from former recipient and current assistant coach Brad Dexter '96. Each year, the award is presented to Colgate's best defenseman. During his four-year career, Torti has been the most steady and consistent player on the Raider blueline. He skated in 154 career games, which is tied for second in school history behind Burton, and finished with a +12 rating and 150 penalty minutes. Torti contributed 11 points during his career, and tied his career best with four points as a senior.

Forward Mike Werner (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.) received the Whit Williams Award, which is presented annually to the player who, over the course of his career or season, improved the most. Werner, who played sparingly over his first two seasons, earned a regular spot in the line-up over the last two years. His speed made him a valuable forechecker for the Raiders, and his continued improvement resulted in him recording four points over each of the last two seasons.

The Class of 2008 compiled a 78-63-19 record during their four years, which ranks sixth in school history in terms of wins by a class. During their time at Colgate, the Raiders won an ECAC Hockey regular-season championship, and advanced to the ECAC Championship in Albany in three of their four seasons.

Colgate finished the 2007-08 season with an 18-18-6 overall record, including an 8-9-5 record in ECAC Hockey play, and set a school record with 42 games played in the season. The Raiders advanced to the ECAC Hockey Championship in Albany for the fourth time in five years after upsetting top-seeded Clarkson in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.