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Cooper's Player of the Year Honor Leads St. Norbert in NCHA Accolades

From Sports Information Director, February 23, 2016 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College senior forward Erik Cooper was named the 2016 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year to pace the Green Knights' league honors announced by the conference office.

Cooper became the ninth different St. Norbert player to earn the Green Knights' tenth NCHA Player of the Year award. In addition to Cooper, senior forward Michael Hill and junior defenseman Blake Thompson also earned All-NCHA honors.

St. Norbert coach Tim Coghlin was named NCHA Coach of the Year, his seventh overall and first since 2010.

Cooper, an Anchorage, Alaska, native, led the Green Knights in scoring in the regular season with 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points. He has an active 17-game scoring streak to tie the school record held by Maris Ziedins, set in 2001. Cooper has scored in 24 of 25 games this season. This is Cooper's first All-NCHA honor.

Cooper joins Roby Gropp (1997), Rob Smillie (1998), Adam Sedgwick (2001), Ziedins (2002), Kyle Jones (2006 and 2008), B.J. O'Brien (2011) and Johan Ryd (2012) as previous NCHA Player of the Year selections.

Hill, a Fort Worth, Texas, native, has a team-high 14 goals with nine assists for 23 points this season. This year's All-NCHA award is Hill's second consecutive selection.

Thompson, a Listowel, Ontario, native, led the Green Knights' blue line with two goals and 16 assists for 18 points. St. Norbert also has the top scoring defense nationally allowing 1.28 goals per game. It is Thompson's third straight All-NCHA selection.

Coghlin piloted St. Norbert to a 21-2-2 regular-season record and a NCHA regular-season co-championship at 17-2-1. Coghlin, who won his 500th career game on Feb. 6, is in his 23rd season at St. Norbert. St. Norbert has won at least 18 games in an active string of 20 consecutive seasons.