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Jack Gorniak is named WHCA Player of the Year

By Michael Trzinski, WiPH Staff, 02/28/18, 8:15PM CST


West Salem forward earns coveted honor

Jack Gorniak was named the 2018 Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year at the POTY/State Tournament banquet held Wednesday night at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall.

Gorniak, a senior forward from West Salem/Bangor, was selected Player of the Year by voting members of the WHCA.

Twenty-three seniors were nominated by the coaches to begin the procedure, which was whittled down to the eight finalists.

The eight finalists were:

  • Colin Ahern, G, St. Mary's Springs
  • Dylan Brown, F, Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells
  • Jacob Dirks, F, Onalaska
  • Alec Elkin, F, Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha
  • Jack Gorniak, F, West Salem/Bangor
  • Jordon Halverson, D, Hudson
  • Trevor Hudecek, G, Eau Claire Memorial
  • Max Techel, D, Wausau West

Also receiving awards were:

  • Tim Ahern, St. Mary's Springs (Bob Johnson Coach of the Year)
  • Pat McDonald, Wisconsin Rapids (George Baumann Friends of Hockey)
  • Eau Claire Memorial (First Choice Dental State Academic Champion)
  • Shane Ryan, Madison Edgewood (Jeff Sauer Award)

Assistant Badgers coach Mark Strobel made a stirring speech as he announced the finalists and winner of the inaugural Jeff Sauer Award.

The annual award was designed to encourage community service among girls and boys high school hockey players in Wisconsin. It is named after Jeff Sauer, the legendary former University of Wisconsin coach and hockey ambassador, who died in February, 2017.

Finalists were Russell Albee, Brookfield Stars; Maddie Gibson, Bay Area Ice Bears; Baileigh Johnson, Black River Falls; and Ryan.

Present were members of Sauer's family, including wife Jamie, daughter Beth Frederick, and son Chip Sauer.

Bill Brophy, president of the Coach Sauer Foundation, was also on hand to introduce the award and the speaker, Mark Strobel.

Tim Ahern (Bob Johnson Coach of the Year)

Pat McDonald (George Baumann Friends of Hockey)

Shane Ryan (Jeff Sauer Award)