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Franck And Richards Honored As Team MVP's

April 14, 2008 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Youngstown SteelHounds News Release

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO - Youngstown SteelHounds Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Kaminski yesterday announced the team's end of year awards. The presentation took place at a banquet presented by the SteelHounds Booster Club at the Eagles Lodge in Austintown.

Team MVP's - Chris Richards and Andy Franck

For the second straight season Chris Richards takes home MVP honors. The captain led the team in assists (56) and points (80) as he guided the Hounds to their best season in franchise history. The Austintown, Ohio resident is the team's all time leader in games played (190), assists (193), points (278) and game winning goals (17). Andy Franck, 26, finished the regular season second in the CHL in wins with a 26-10-4 record. The third year pro from Lakewood, Ohio was the starter for the Northern Conference in the 2008 CHL All Star Game. He was 7-1-1 in nine starts for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. He was named CHL Goaltender of the Week twice (weeks ending October 21st and February 3rd) and was the Goaltender of the Month for March.

Rookie of the Year - Steve Birnstill

Defenseman Steve Birnstill was announced as the team's Rookie of the Year. The native of Commack, New York was third on the team for scoring as a defenseman. He had seven goals, 17 assists, 56 penalty minutes and was a +11 in 62 regular season games. A four year letterman at Northeastern University, Birnstill was given an amateur tryout with the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League where he played five games at the tail end of the 2006-07 season.

Defenseman of the Year - Kurtis Dulle

First year Hound and fourth year pro Kurtis Dulle led the team in plus/minus at +27. He led all defenseman on the team in scoring with 31 points coming from five goals and 26 assists. His +27 was seventh in the CHL and fourth amongst defenseman.

Most Improved Player - Nathan Schwartzbauer

Rookie defenseman Nathan Schwartzbauer took home honors Most Improved Player. Schwartzbauer, 25, came to Youngstown after playing NCAA Division I hockey at Bemidji State University (Minnesota). The Wasilla, Alaska native was durable playing in all 64 games. He had three goals, eight assists and was a +11.

Unsung Hero - David Simoes

David Simoes was the fourth defenseman and third rookie to take home post season accolades as the team's Unsung Hero. Simoes, 23, was acquired from the New Mexico Scorpions on the trade deadline. In 18 games with the Hounds he had an assist, a +6 and 90 penalty minutes. Including his 45 games with the Scorpions he accumulated a goal, six assists, 236 penalty minutes and was a +14. His 236 penalty minutes was tops in the CHL amongst rookies as was his 28 majors which was tied for third overall with fellow defenseman Milan Maslonka.

The SteelHounds thank the booster club and all of the fans who attended the banquet. Take advantage of our "Early Bird Special" where you can save up to 15% on your 2008-09 season ticket purchase. For more information call (330) 747-PUCK.

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