Air Force seniors Greg Flynn and Mike Phillipich each earned two of the seven major awards at the annual Air Force hockey banquet at Embassy Suites, Sunday, April 5. Goaltender Andrew Volkening was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Flynn, from Lino Lakes, Minn., earned the team’s Larry Cronk Award as the most inspirational player and the Defensive Player of the Year Award. A third-team InsideCollegeHockey.com All-American, Flynn was the top scoring defenseman in the nation with 1.02 points per game (7-35-42 in 41 games). He led the AHA and ranked fifth in the nation in assists by all players (0.85 per game). His +19 in league games was the best by an AHA defenseman. He was a +22 in all games. In the third and deciding game of the AHA Quarterfinals vs. Sacred Heart, he tied his career highs with two goals and four points. Then, in the NCAA East Regional, he assisted on both goals in the 2-0 win over Michigan and earned all-tournament team honors. He had at least one point in 10 of his last 13 games. A first-team all-AHA selection, he was named the league’s best defenseman and was also named to the AHA all-tournament team. Flynn will compete in the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge, April 10, in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Cronk Award is voted on by the team while the Defensive Player of the Year award is selected by the coaching staff.
Phillipich, from Lansing, Mich., earned the prestigious Vic Heyliger Award and also the Jim Bowman Scholar-Athlete Award. Phillipich is one of just five players in school history to be a two-year team captain. He is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, recognizing excellence in academics, athletics, character and leadership. The senior has played in 134 career games and had 36 goals and 90 points. Phillipich carried a 3.7 GPA as a systems engineering management major. The Heyliger Award is voted on by the team.
Volkening, from Genoa, Ill., earned the team’s Chuck Delich Award as the team MVP. A first-team all-Atlantic Hockey selection, he was named to the all-tournament teams at the NCAA East Regional and at the AHA Final Four. Volkening was second in the nation with 28 wins, sixth with a 1.97 goals-against average and 19th in the country with a .920 saves percentage. He posted three consecutive shutouts in the playoffs with victories over Bentley and Mercyhurst in the AHA Final Four and third-ranked Michigan in the NCAA East Regional. His 262 consecutive shutout minutes is a school record. He also set school records with six shutouts this season and 11 in his career. The Delich Award is voted on by the team.
Sophomore Kevin Wright earned the team’s most improved player award. After playing just five games as a freshman, he became a regular on defense in the second half of the season. The San Jose, Calif., native played in 25 games this season, including the final 13 consecutive games. He finished the season with three points and 18 shots on goal. The award is voted on by the team.
Scott Mathis was named the winner of the John Matchefts Award as the team’s freshman of the year. Mathis was named to the AHA all-rookie team as he ranked second in the league in points by a freshman defenseman with 12 points (3-9-12) in 28 AHA games. In all games, the Crystal Lake, Ill., native had 23 points (4-19-23). He had at least one point in 10 of the last 13 games, including an assist against Vermont in the NCAA East Regional. The award is voted on by the team.