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Perkovich is named Laker hockey MVP and most-valuable forward

Nathan Perkovich

April 19, 2008

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State goal-scoring leader Nathan Perkovich was named the Lakers' Most-Valuable Player and Most-Valuable Forward at the 26th annual Soo BlueLiners Banquet held Saturday at the Cisler Center.

Perkovich (Canton, Mich.) is only the second non-goalie to earn the prestigious MVP award during the past seven seasons. He improved upon his totals from a year ago by leading the Lakers in goals scored with 17 and finishing third in points with 25. Through two seasons he has 32-15--47.

Laker Hockey MVP

He scored a goal in both games of the season-opening Superior Showcase and tallied seven goals through LSSU's first eight games. He overcame a four-game scoring drought and notched five goals in his next six games midway through the season, including a goal in three of four games against Michigan State. Perkovich scored a goal in two of the Lakers' three Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff games and totaled five points during the three-game series. His 17 goals this season is the most by a Laker since Terry Marchant scored 17 in 1998-99.

Perkovich was ranked 14th in the CCHA in goals scored and eighth in power-play goals with nine.

Other special award winners were sophomore Simon Gysbers (Most-Valuable Defenseman), freshman Will Acton (Most-Improved Player), freshman Rick Schofield (Outstanding Freshman), senior Jason Blain (Scholar-Athlete and Jim Howie Unsung Hero), senior Dan Eves (Soo BlueLiner Award) and junior Josh Sim (Gay Blade). The evening was dedicated to seniors Eves, Blain and Justin Gutwald.

Gysbers (Richmond Hill, Ont.) led Laker defensemen in scoring with six goals and 13 assists and was named CCHA Defenseman of the Week in mid-January after an outstanding series against Bowling Green State. He also contributed a goal and three assists during the CCHA Playoffs at BGSU. He increased his season point total by nearly 40 percent from a year ago.

Acton (Stouffville, Ont.) contributed a goal and six assists during his first collegiate season. He scored his first goal as a Laker at Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 8, picked up a point in both games at No. 1-ranked Michigan and finished the season with three goals and one assist during the playoff series at BGSU.

Schofield (Pickering, Ont.) was LSSU's most-consistent freshman through 2007-08 and top-scoring rookie with 10 goals and 10 assists. He also led the Lakers in plus/minus at plus-8. Schofield had several outstanding games, scoring a goal in both games of LSSU's home series against Michigan State and enjoying a seven-game point streak from Feb. 16 through March 8. He tallied his first collegiate goal against Frozen Four finalist Notre Dame on Nov. 1 and was named CCHA Rookie of the Week on Feb. 25 after scoring three goals during a series sweep at home against Alaska. He tied for fourth in the CCHA in goals scored by a freshman against league opponents.

Blain (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) earned the Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight year. While playing Division I hockey and managing family life with a 2-year-old daughter, he has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate with a finance and economics degree this spring. Blain, who was this year's LSSU nominee for the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Award, scored his first goal as a Laker against American International in October, 2006. He provided fourth-line leadership as a winger during the first half of this season, then blossomed after moving to center during the UNO series in early December. He totaled two goals and six assists in 2007-08.

Sim (Saskatoon, Sask.), a two-time winner of the Gay Blade Award presented by legendary equipment manager Roy Forrest, maintained a positive attitude throughout the season despite some personal setbacks, including his own season-ending injury in February. He stood on the bench with the coaching staff and supported the team during the Lakers' last three series.

Eves (Lake Orion, Mich.), a two-time winner of the Soo BlueLiners Award, was a hard-hitting forward who enjoyed a breakout season. He reached double figures in goals and assists in 2007-08, totaling 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points. He finished his collegiate career with an impressive 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points in 145 games played.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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