The Sioux Falls Stampede announced team awards at their Clark Cup celebration ceremony last Tuesday night. Seven different players took home eight of the team awards, including forward of the year, defenseman of the year, rookie of the year and most valuable player.
Forward of the Year – Artem Ivanyuzhenkov (26 goals, 24 assists)
Forward Artem Ivenyuzhenkov, a native of Poldsk, Russia, was awarded forward of the year after competing in 59 games and recording a team-high 50 points from 26 goals and 24 assists during the regular season. He recorded seven goals while playing a vital role on the power play and four game-winning goals throughout the season. Ivanyuzhenkov combined for 47 goals and 36 assists in 115 games over two seasons with the team, ranking him tied tenth all-time in goals scored with Robbie Vrolyk.
Defenseman of the Year – Max Crozier (10 goals, 33 assists, +5)
Defenseman Max Crozier is a first-year defenseman from Calgary, Alberta. Playing in 60 games this season, Crozier tallied 10 goals and 33 assists for 43 points and a plus-5. His season performance ranks him ninth all-time in career points and tied tenth all-time in career assists for the Stampede. He tallied six power play goals and played a role on the penalty kill. Crozier will play with Providence College in the fall.
Rookie of the Year – Anthony Romano (26 goals, 21 assists) and Ryan Johnson (six goals, 19 assists, +24)
Both rookie forward Anthony Romano and defenseman Ryan Johnson were honored as this season’s rookies of the year. Romano, a native of Vaughn, Ontario, tallied a tied team-high 26 goals with 21 assists for 47 points. He recorded a team-high nine power play goals and four multi-goal games. Romano will play with Clarkson University in the fall.
Johnson, a former USHL Phase I first-round draft selection, competed in 54 games this season and recorded six goals with 19 assists for 27 points. He had a team-high plus-24 rating and holds the team record for most points in a single season by a defensive rookie. During the playoffs, he tallied eight points from two goals and six assists, including a crucial game-winning assist in game three against the Tri-City Storm. Johnson represented Sioux Falls and the United States at the 2018 World Jr. A challenge and secured a gold medal finish. He is committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota.
Leadership and Sportsmanship Award – Blake Bride (16 goals, 18 assists)
Forward Blake Bride captained the Stampede to their third Clark Cup Championship in team history, tallying 18 goals and 23 assists with a plus-17 rating during the regular season and postseason. Bride embodied strong leadership qualities on and off the ice, keeping a positive attitude and strong work ethic throughout. He played in every regular season and postseason game for the Herd, totaling 74 games, and attended and participated in several community service projects throughout the Siouxland area. Bride is committed to play collegiate hockey with Air Force in the fall.
Most Improved Player – Sam Stevens (10 goals, 15 assists)
Forward Sam Stevens finished the first half of the season with two goals and assists and improved to finish the final 31 games with eight goals and 13 assists, including a four-game goal streak in March. Stevens tallied three goals and three assists in the playoffs, including a game-winning overtime goal in game one over the Waterloo Black Hawks. He was an instrumental component of the team’s dominate penalty kill, tallying three short-handed goals in the regular season and one in game three of the Clark Cup Final game against the Chicago Steel. He will return to the Stampede in the fall and is committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Wisconsin.
Most Valuable Player – Max Crozier
Defenseman Max Crozier was named the 2018-19 Sioux Falls Stampede most valuable player. Along with a strong regular season performance, Crozier was a catalyst for the Herd throughout the playoffs tallying a team-high six goals and seven assists for 11 points. He served as an assistant captain for the team and demonstrated strong work ethic and character on and off the ice.
Playoffs Most Valuable Player – Jaxson Stauber (11-1, 1.46 GAA, .941 SV%, one shutout)
Goaltender Jaxson Stauber started all 12 games in goal for the Stampede during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. During his dominant performance throughout the postseason, Stauber set team postseason records with 11 wins, a 1.46 GAA, .941 SV% and one shutout. He protected the net for 821 minutes, almost 120 more than the next closest goaltender. His performance earned him 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player. The 11 wins is the most dominant performance by a goaltender and team in terms of win percentage in the USHL tier-1 era. He is committed to play collegiate hockey at Mankato State University.