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Gremlins lead GLHC postseason awards

MARQUETTE — On Tuesday, the Great Lake Hockey Conference announced ist 2023-24 All-Conference Teams. The teams and individual honors had a decidedly Orange and Black tint as the Houghton Gremlins had multiple individual winners as well as earning the top spot in the conference standings.

The Gremlins finished the season 9-0-1 in GLHC play, good for 19 points. The difference between themselves and second-place Marquette was the win the Gremlins had over them on Nov. 21, 2-0, at Dee Stadium.

Houghton senior goaltender Bryant Lee was named Jim Crawford Player of the Year. The third-year starter went 16-2-2 in 20 appearances with a 1.20 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.

Coach Micah Stipech, who was in his first season as the Gremlins’ bench boss, oversaw a team that went 21-2-2 overall, gave up only 30 goals against in 25 games, and beat Hartland, Marquette, Traverse City Central, Trenton, Hancock, Saginaw Heritage, Capital City, Brother Rice, University of Detroit Jesuit, and Bay Port.

Hancock freshman center Tevin Stukel was named co-Rookie of the Year thanks to a season that saw him finish third on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 23 points. Marquette defenseman Kyle Moyer was also honored as co-Rookie of the Year.

On the All-GLHC First Team, Houghton senior center Michael Maillette and senior defenseman Connor Raffaelli were both named to the team, along with Hancock sophomore defenseman Todd Kilpela, Jeffers senior forward Cage Osterman, and Marquette forward Nash Riipi and goaltender Cole Kelly.

Maillette led the Gremlins in scoring with 27 goals and 42 points in 25 games. Raffaelli was fourth on Houghton in offense with nine goals and 29 points in 25 games.

Kilpela led the Bulldogs in scoring with team-highs in assists (22) and points (31) in 23 games.

Osterman was second on the Jets in scoring after earning a promotion to the team’s top line, He scored 13 goals and 31 points in 24 games.

Calumet captain Cam Anderson and senior goaltender Hunter Tuoriniemi were both named to the Second Team. Houghton’s Jace DeForge was also named to the second team, along with Escanaba forward Graham Johnson and defenseman Nolan Bink and Moyer.

Anderson led the Copper Kings in scoring as a senior, racking up team-highs in assists (22) and points (31). Tuorinemi was strong in net, where he went 6-16-2 in 24 appearances with a 3.44 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

DeForge finished third on the Gremlins in scoring with 16 goals and 35 points in 25 games.

Calumet junior forward Brendan Boberg, Hancock co-captain Bryce Hanner, Houghton sophomore forward Connor Arko, and Jeffers captain Kailob Bianco were all given honorable mention for their efforts this year. Also honored were Escanaba forward Brett Labre, Kingsford forward Gavin Moor, Marquette forward Brody Sheldon, and Negaunee defenseman Riley Williams.

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