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May 5, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team held its annual awards dinner at the Fawcett Center to honor its student-athletes.

Senior Jean-Francois Dufour (Bedford, Quebec) won the Bobby Brown Most Valuable Player Award. Dufour ranked second on the team in scoring with a career-high 36 points, in goals with a career-high 15 and in assists with 21. He ranked first on the squad with eight power-play tallies.

Senior Jaisen Freeman (Mahtomedi, Minn.) received the Scarlet Letter and Coaches’ Awards. The Scarlet Letter award goes to the most intense competitor on the squad as voted on by the off-ice and minor officials. He played in all 37 games, tallying eight points on two goals and six assists. Freeman, an alternate captain, tied for the team lead among active blueliners with a +5 rating.

The George Burke Most Valuable Freshman Award was give to both Dave Steckel (West Bend, Wis.) and R.J. Umberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Both freshmen were named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie Team, with Umberger earning league rookie of the year honors. Umberger led the Buckeyes in points (37) and assists (23). Steckel ranked first on the squad with 17 goals and was third with 35 points. Umberger also won the Ohio State Leading Scorer Award.

The Most Improved Award was won by forward Scott May (Fr., Surrey, British Columbia) and defenseman Reed Whiting (Fr., Rochester, Minn.). May, the only freshman to play in all 37 games, ended the season with 18 points, on nine goals and nine assists. Whiting was entered into the lineup halfway through the season, playing in 16 games for the Buckeyes. He posted two assists and went +1 on the year. Miguel Lafleche (Crysler, Ontario), an engineering major, earned the Center Ice Club Scholar-Athlete Award for academic excellence. He was an Academic All-CCHA honorable mention honoree.

The Joseph W. Smith Best Defensive Player Award was shared by defensemen Eric Skaug (So., Portland, Ore.) and Pete Broccoli (So., Milford, Conn.). Skaug posted nine points on the year and ended the season tied for first among defensemen with a +5 rating. Broccoli, who has not missed a game since joining the Buckeyes, tallied two goals, including the overtime game-winner against Bowling Green. He was +3 on the year.

The Buckeyes’ two seniors, Dufour and Freeman, also were honored at the banquet. During their four years with the squad, the team advanced to two NCAA Tournaments, including the Frozen Four in 1998. They were a part of 78 wins during their tenure.

The Buckeyes ended the season 17-18-2 and 13-13-2 in CCHA play. They competed in the first round of the league playoffs, falling on the road to Nebraska-Omaha in double-overtime in the deciding third game of the best-of-three series.

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