The Big Ten announced their season end hockey awards on Tuesday and the Minnesota Gophers were the recipients of several of the awards. Junior forward Ben Meyers was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, sophomore defenseman Brock Faber was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and Bob Motzko was name dthe Big Ten Coach of the Year. The Gophers also had seven different players named to the All-Big Ten teams.
Meyers took home the big award on the season. The junior missed five games playing for the US in the Olympics but still led Minnesota with 16 goals and 36 points in 30 games. He led the Big ten with a 1.35 points per game average in conference play. He led the Big Ten in faceoff winning percentage as well at a .598 clip. He was one of two players to be unanimously named to the First Team All-Big Ten squad as well. He joins Tyler Sheehy and Adam Wilcox as the other Gophers to win the Big Ten POY Award in nine seasons of conference play.
Faber was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after setting a career high in points with 13 and leading one of the best defensive teams in the conference and is a top-ten defense in the nation in goals allowed per game. Faber also missed five games this season after joining Meyers and Mathew Knies in Beijing on the US squad. He also joins Meyers as an All-Big Ten first Team selection.
Bob Motzko was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in his career at Minnesota. He has six all-time coach of the year awards including two WCHA honors and two NCHC honors while at St. Cloud State. The Gophers are 24-11-0 this season and are currently tied for the most wins in Motzko’s four years with the program. In four seasons with the Gophers Motzko currently has a 82-48-11 record and is 358-40-60 all-time between Minnesota and SCSU.
Minnesota had two award finalists who did not win as Mathew Knies was beaten out for Big Ten Freshman of the Year by Ohio State goalie Jacub Dobes and Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes, and Justen Close was beaten out for Big Ten Goalie of the Year by Dobes.
Besides Meyers and Faber on the All-Big Ten First Team the Gophers also placed a pair on the All-Big Ten Second Team. Both freshman forward Mathew Knies and junior defenseman Jackson LaCombe were named to the second team, and Knies was named to the All-Freshman team additionally.
The Gophers had a trio of All-Big Ten honorable mentions including Sammy Walker, Blake McLaughlin and Justen Close.
Minnesota is back in action Saturday night when they host Michigan in the Big Ten Championship game at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Faceoff is at 7 PM and the game will air live on Big Ten Network. Tickets are still available for $30 if you hurry—lets pack the arena for the final home game for the Maroon and Gold.
The full Big Ten All-Big Ten Teams are below: