In the midst of March Madness, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its 2011-12 Men’s Hockey Post-Season Awards earlier this week. Highlighting the announcement was the naming of Gustavus Adolphus senior Ross Ring-Jarvi (Anoka, Minn.) as the 2011-12 MIAC Men’s Hockey Player-of-the-Year.
Ring-Jarvi put the finishing touches on his MIAC career by ranking in the MIAC second in scoring with 29 points on 10 goals (12th) and 19 assists (3rd) following the MIAC Playoff Championship on Saturday, March 3rd. He also tallied a league-high two short-handed goals to go along with four game-winners. Currently with 129 career points (46G, 83A), Ring-Jarvi finished conference play as the highest scoring player in the MIAC. Ranking second is Hamline senior Brian Arrigoni who scored 124 points in his four-year career.
Also a member of the 2008-09 MIAC All-Rookie team, the senior forward takes home All-Conference honors for an astonishing fourth time in his career. To put this accomplishment in perspective, in the storied 75-year history of the Golden Gustie men’s hockey program, Ring-Jarvi becomes just the third Gustavus player to earn All-Conference honors four times. He joins a club occupied only by Gustie greats Pat McKusky (1966-69) and Steve Hanson (1975-78).
Ross is the fifth Gustavus men’s hockey player to be named MIAC Player-of-the-Year, joining Nave Newcomer in 1991, Jason Lesteberg in 1996, Dan Melde in 2002, and David Martinson in 2010.
Displaying an undeniable physical presence and play-making ability on every shift, Ring-Jarvi has been the model of hard work and versatility over his career at Gustavus. A staple of Head Coach Brett Petersen’s top line for four seasons, the Anoka product earns the “Iron Man” award for his durability. Ross has skated in all 114 games of his collegiate career, ranking fifth in Gustavus history. Only four players in the history of the program have played more games than Ringo, they include David Ellis (119), Doug Keys (118), Dave Newcomer (116), and Andy Cossette (115).
In what was a picturesque finish to his MIAC career, Ring-Jarvi was allowed to once again hold up the Ed Saugestad Cup following Gustavus’ 4-2 win over St. Olaf in the MIAC Playoff Championship. Ross was not done there, as the 5-11, 190-pounder simply refused to lose in his final game at Don Roberts Ice Rink four days later in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Ring-Jarvi scored the game-tying goal in the first period before later adding a pair of assists on the way to a 3-1 win over MSOE, earning a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals and a chance for a return visit to Lake Placid, N.Y. for the 2012 NCAA Division III Frozen Four.
Also being honored by the MIAC was freshmen John McLean (Eagan, Minn.) and Andy Pearson (Burnsville, Minn.). Since suffering a loss in his collegiate debut back on Oct. 29th, McLean has put together one of the finest season’s by a rookie goaltender in recent Gustavus history. McLean is a league-leading 15-4-2 with a 2.07 goals against average (1st/MIAC) and a .924 save percentage (3rd/MIAC). Only one other freshman netminder in the country (David Jacobson, St. Norbert) has more wins than McLean this season. McLean, who at 6′ 8″ is the tallest college hockey player in the country alongside defenseman Andrej Sustr of Division I University of Nebraska-Omaha, has garnered MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week honors twice this season.
Playing in 27-of-28 games, rookie Andy Pearson finished third in the MIAC in freshman scoring with five goals and 14 assists for 19 points (4th/Team). Pearson’s 14 assists ranks second on the team and is tied for ninth in the MIAC. With two power play goals and one game-winner, which gave Gustavus a 4-3 victory and a crucial split with Hamline on Feb. 3, Pearson currently carries a rating of +9 on the season. Since the 1995-96 season, Pearson’s point total ranks fourth in freshman scoring at Gustavus.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men’s hockey. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. Gustavus’ representative this season is senior Ross Ring-Jarvi.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will look to keep the momentum rolling into Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal test against St. Norbert. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. in Green Bay.