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Marc Cheverie was named WCHA Player of the Year today.
Courtesy: Clarkson Creative
Marc Cheverie was named WCHA Player of the Year today.
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Cheverie and Gwozdecky Take Top WCHA Honors
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 03/18/2010
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - University of Denver goaltender Marc Cheverie (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) was named WCHA Player of the Year and George Gwozdecky was named WCHA Coach of the Year, announced today by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association at the league's annual awards banquet at the RiverCentre.

League scoring champion Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Patrick Wiercioch (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) joined Cheverie on the All-WCHA first team. Senior forward Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood) was named to the All-WCHA second team and sophomore forward Joe Colborne (Calgary, Alberta) was named to the third team, while freshman Matt Donovan (Edmond, Okla.) was named to the All-WCHA rookie team.

In addition, Cheverie and Rakhshani were named Hobey Baker Award Top-10 Finalists, marking the first time a pair of DU teammates were named to the prestigious list in the same season.

Cheverie has posted a 24-4-3 record with 1.94 goals against average, .937 save percentage with six shutouts in 32 games. He leads the WCHA in wins, goals against average, save percentage, winning percentage (.823) and shutouts. He also leads the nation in wins, winning percentage, save percentage and shutouts, and is third in goals against average. The four-time Red Baron WCHA Defensive Player of the Week claimed the WCHA goaltending title with a 2.05 goals against average in league play. Cheverie is the sixth Pioneer to earn league MVP honors, joining Jerry Walker (1961), Keith Magnuson (1968), Ron Grahame (1973), Dallas Gaume (1986) and Matt Carle (2006).

Rakhshani led the Pioneers to the WCHA regular-season championship, Gold Pan Trophy and Wells Fargo Denver Cup championship as the first forward to captain DU since Mark Rycroft in 1999-2000. He captured the WCHA scoring title with 35 points on 15 goals and 20 assists in 28 league games. Rakhshani is tied for the WCHA lead with 49 points on 20 goals and 29 assists. The three-time Red Baron Offensive Player of the Week honoree is tied for seventh in the nation with 1.29 points per game. Rakhshani and Cheverie join Ed Beers (1982), Dallas Gaume (1986), Dave Shields (1990), Wade Dubielewicz (2002) and 2006 winner Carle as Hobey Baker Award finalists.

Gwozdecky earns his fourth WCHA coach of the year honor after guiding the Pioneers to their 12th WCHA regular-season championship and an overall 27-7-4 record. The Pioneers have won two NCAA titles (2004 & 2005), four WCHA playoffs championships and three WCHA regular-season titles (2002, 2005 & 2010) under Gwozdecky, who has posted a 373-224-50 mark at DU and 523-318-69 record in 24 seasons of collegiate coaching.

Wiercioch tied for second among WCHA blueliners in league scoring with 20 points on four goals and 16 assists in 26 games. He ranks fourth in WCHA defenseman scoring in all games with 25 points on six goals and 19 assists. He has added a +13 plus/minus rating and is a key member of Denver's top-ranked penalty kill unit.

Ruegsegger earns his first league honor after his best season in the Crimson and Gold. He is tied for 10th in WCHA overall scoring with 40 points on 16 goals and 24 assists. He sports a +15 plus/minus rating and tied for ninth with 31 points on 14 goals and 17 assists in 28 league games.

Colborne is tied for the NCAA lead with eight game-winning goals and has averaged 1.25 points per game since Jan. 1. He is tied for third in the WCHA with 21 goals and ranks fourth with 10 power-play goals.

Donovan tied for fifth in rookie scoring with 15 points on four goals and 11 assists in 26 league games. He is tied for fifth in overall rookie scoring with 19 points on six goals and 13 assists in 33 games.

No. 1 seed Denver plays No. 4 seed North Dakota or No. 5 seed Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals of the Red Baron WCHA Final Five on Friday, March 19 at 6:07 p.m. MT.

Notes: The three All-WCHA first team selections are the most for Denver since 1973 when the Pioneers had four players (Bruce Affleck, Ron Grahame, Peter McNab and Rob Palmer) named to the team. Cheverie is the first Pioneer to win the goaltending title since Wade Dubielewicz in 2001-02. Rakhshani is the first Pioneer to win the league scoring title since Paul Stastny in 2006. Gwozdecky also earned WCHA Coach of the Year honors in 1995, 2002 and 2005. Murray Armstrong earned the honor in 1961 and 1968, while Marshall Johnston won in 1978 and Ralph Backstrom in 1986. The Pioneers have landed a player on the All-WCHA rookie team for three consecutive seasons.

WCHA Player of the Year

Marc Cheverie, G

Hobey Baker Award Top-10 Finalists

Rhett Rakhshani, F

Marc Cheverie, G

WCHA Coach of the Year

George Gwozdecky

WCHA Goaltending Champion

Marc Cheverie, G

WCHA Scoring Champion

Rhett Rakhshani, F

All-WCHA First Team

Rhett Rakhshani, F

Patrick Wiercioch, D

Marc Cheverie, G

All-WCHA Second Team

Tyler Ruegsegger, F

All-WCHA Third Team

Joe Colborne, F

All-WCHA Rookie Team

Matt Donovan, D

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