Johnson named CCHA Player of the Year
Submitted by Jamie Schanback
Senior goalie and Hobey Baker candidate Chad Johnson became the first Alaska Nanook to be named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Year at the annual CCHA Awards banquet on Thursday, March 19. Alaska's first-year head coach Dallas Ferguson also collected a top league honor as the CCHA Coach of the Year at Detroit's historic Fox Theatre.
Also announced Thursday were the top ten finalists for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award, a list which includes the Nanooks' netminder. Johnson was second in the nation and first in the CCHA in goals-against average (1.70) and save percentage (.937). He was named First Team All-Conference and was also the overall Perani Cup champion, being named a game star in 15 of 28 league contests.
Ferguson led the Nanooks to a fourth-place finish, tied for best in school history, and a first-round playoff bye. The first-year Nanook coach beat all expectations, predicted to finish tied for 11th in the preseason CCHA coaches poll, and led the country in scoring defense allowing only 1.74 goals a game. He is the third first-year coach to capture the award in the past 34 years.
In addition to his Player of the Year award, Johnson took home awards for the CCHA Goaltender of the Year, Perani Cup Champion and CCHA All-Conference First Team.
Johnson's classmate, Trevor Hyatt, collected silverware as the team's CCHA Scholar-Athlete for the third consecutive season. The Anchorage native maintains a perfect 4.0 in his civil engineering studies.
The Alaska Nanooks kick off CCHA Championship weekend Friday night, when they take on the Michigan Wolverines Friday night at 8:05 p.m. EST at Joe Louis Arena in semifinal action.