On- and Off-Ice Contributions Acknowledged
Veteran trainer Todd Klein was saluted for 20 years of service to the Waterloo Black Hawks during the team’s annual season celebration on Sunday at McElroy Auditorium.
“I can’t think of a better recipient than Todd,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley while presenting the Karen Wente Distinguished Service Award. “The countless number of lives he has impacted is remarkable and admirable. He means a ton to this organization, and he’s a friend.”
Klein joined the team in 1996/97. He is the longest-serving member of the Black Hawks staff and her been on the bench for over 1,000 United States Hockey League games. In addition, Klein has been USA Hockey’s repeated choice to serve as trainer for various international competitions in which the U.S. Junior Select Team has represented the nation.
Karen Wente served as a housing parent and then as the team’s housing coordinator. The team has presented its Distinguished Service Award in her memory since 2009.
The Black Hawks organization also took time to acknowledge Rick Murphy as the “Best Mascot in all of Hockey” and for his contributions to Waterloo hockey over three decades.
During the annual player awards, as voted on by members of the 2015/16 roster, goaltender Cale Morris was recognized as the team’s Most Valuable Player. The veteran netminder earned his 20th win of the season Saturday during a 6-4 win against the Sioux City Musketeers. Last month, Morris set a Black Hawks junior-era career record by notching his seventh regular season shutout for the team.
Other awards conferred by the players to their peers included:
Rookie of the Year – Shane Bowers
Hardest Worker – Ronnie Hein
Unsung Hero – Collin Saccoman and Zach Yon (tie)
Most Improved Player – Mikey Anderson
The Black Hawks Booster Club presented their annual award to Saccoman, in recognition for both his efforts on the ice and his interaction with the fans.
In addition, Hein was awarded the Roth Jewelers Front Office Award for service to the organization off the ice, while Saccoman was honored with the Black Hawks’ Community Service Award for outstanding efforts representing the team on visits to schools, health care facilities, and during other outreach efforts.
Ben Newhouse earned the Slumberland Furniture Fan’s Choice Player of the Year Award. Slumberland Fan’s Choice voting raises funds for local non-profit organizations. This is the seventh time in eight years fans have chosen a defenseman.
The Black Hawks’ regular season concludes this weekend on home ice with games Friday and Saturday against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Dubuque Fighting Saints respectively.