Chris Kunitz and Mike Brown Each Receive West Division First-Team Recognition

Senior left wing Chris Kunitz (Regina, Saskatchewan) and sophomore goaltender Mike Brown (Calgary, Alberta) of the Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team have been named to the 2002-03 JOFA/AHCA University Division West All-America First Team as announced today by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The JOFA All-America teams are sponsored by JOFA, an international leader in hockey equipment and chosen by members of the AHCA.

The two were joined on the first team by senior defenseman John-Michael Liles of Michigan State and senior defenseman Tom Preissing, junior forward Peter Sejna and senior forward Noah Clarke all of Colorado College. The second team consists of Colorado College sophomore goaltender Curtis McElhinney, senior defenseman Brad Fast of Michigan State, Minnesota junior defenseman Paul Martin, junior forward Shane Joseph and sophomore forward Grant Stevenson both from Minnesota State-Mankato, and junior forward R.J. Umberger of Ohio State. The All-America teams are divided into two six-member squads (first and second team) representing the East and West.

Kunitz and Brown are the second and third Ferris State players to earn first-team All-America recognition, joining defenseman John Gruden (1993-94). Defenseman Andy Roach, a two-time (1995-96 and 1996-97) second-team selection, and center Rob Collins, who received second-team kudos last season (2001-02), are the other two FSU individuals to achieve All-America laurels.

Chris Kunitz
Senior forward Chris Kunitz is among three finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award and was this season's CCHA Player of the Year.

Kunitz, who’s one of three Hobey Baker Award finalists as the nation’s top collegiate player, was the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s (CCHA) 2002-03 Player of the Year. A two-time (2001-02 and 2002-03) All-CCHA First-Team honoree, Kunitz led the CCHA in points, goals and assists this season. He presently ranks second nationally in both points (1.88) and goals (0.83) per game while listed fourth in assists (1.05). A four-time CCHA Offensive Player of the Week selection (Oct. 21 & 28, Feb. 3 and March 3) and a Detroit Free Press CCHA First-Teamer, Kunitz set a school single-season record with 79 points on 35 goals and 44 assists in 52 contests this campaign. His 35-goal output ranked second on the school’s single-season leaders charts while his assists was the third-best season production total at Ferris. Kunitz was tops among the CCHA’s overall plus/minus leaders with a school-best +47 rating and led the league in goal scoring for the second consecutive season. He compiled a career-high 24 multiple-point game performances this season, which included 13 multi-goal single-game efforts.

Kunitz, a two-time (Oct. 29 and Feb. 4) U.S. College Hockey Online’s (USCHO) Offensive Player of the Week, concluded his collegiate career ranked second among FSU’s all-time goal scorers with 99 career tallies and was two shy of tying the school record. He accumulated 175 career points with 99 markers and 76 assists in 152 career games to tie for the sixth-highest scoring total in Bulldog history. The FSU assistant captain registered 48 career multiple-point games while scoring a school-record 19 game-winning goals during his four-year career. Kunitz, who signed with the NHL’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks a week ago, was the award recipient of Ferris State’s Most Valuable Player, Lloyd Earl Leading Scorer and Plus/Minus.

Mike Brown
Sophomore goaltender Mike Brown set two single-season school records this season and was a league-record six-time CCHA Defensive Player of the Week selection.

A 2002-03 All-CCHA First-Team pick, Brown posted a single-season school-record 30-10-1 overall mark with a 2.35 goals against average and a school-best .925 save percentage in 41 appearances this campaign. He also set a FSU single-season record for most saves (1,154) and tied a school mark for shutouts (four) while his goals against average was second best in program history. Brown ranked tops among the league’s netminders for overall games in victories, goals against average and save percentage. On a national scale, Brown is listed fourth in save percentage, sixth in winning percentage (.744) and 10th in goals against average.

Brown, who was selected the CCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week a league record six times (Oct. 14, 21, 28; Nov. 4, 25; March 3) and was a two-time USCHO Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 5 and March 4), presently ranks first among the Bulldogs’ all-time leaders in save percentage (.920) and second both in victories (40) and goals against average (2.46). The CCHA Perani Cup Three Star Champion, Brown has registered a 40-23-1 overall record in 66 career contests. He also attained Detroit Free Press CCHA All-League First-Team honors and was named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team. Brown had a career-best 11-game winning streak (2/1-3/21) and an eight-game win string (10/12-11/8) during the 2002-03 season.

Ferris State finished with a 31-10-1 overall record, which represented its best mark ever in the program’s 25-year NCAA Division I history. The sixth-ranked Bulldogs also were the nation’s first team to reach the 30-win plateau this season. FSU claimed its first-ever CCHA Regular-Season title with a first-place 22-5-1 league mark and reached the title game of the NCAA West Regional Tournament in its first-ever NCAA appearance.

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