OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Miami University senior defenseman Steven Spinell was selected a Senior CLASS First-Team All-American for hockey, Premier Sports Management announced Thursday as part of the NCAA Frozen Four festivities. Army defenseman Cheyne Rocha was named the winner of the Senior CLASS Award from among the 10 finalists announced Feb. 13.
Along with Spinell and Rocha on the five-member Senior CLASS All-America First Team are Western Michigan’s Brett Beebe, Air Force’s Stephen Carew and Holy Cross’ Brandon Nunn. The Senior CLASS Second Team consisted of Harvard’s Danny Biega, Ferris State’s Kyle Bonis, Connecticut’s Alex Gerke, St. Cloud State’s Ben Hanowski and Robert Morris’ Brendan Jamison.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s ice hockey coaches, national ice hockey media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s ice hockey. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.
Spinell (Vernon Hills, Ill.) was a leader for Miami on and off the ice throughout his career. The 2012-13 team captain played in 149 career games, including all 41 last year and 40 this season, missing just two to injury. The bruising blueliner totaled 36 points in his career, including 32 assists, with a career-best 12 coming this year, while compiling a +62 rating (+15 this year). He scored one goal in each of his four seasons and blocked 188 shots in his four-year career, including a career-best 72 this season. Spinell earned NCAA All-Midwest Regional Team and Three Rivers Classic All-Tournament Team honors during the year and was named CCHA Defenseman of the Week once last year. He has played on a penalty kill unit ranked in the top 10 nationally in each of his four seasons at Miami.
In addition to his on-ice contributions, Spinell has shown great leadership and courage during his time at Miami. Even prior to being named captain for 2012-13, he was making sure players were attending off-season workouts and took on a leadership role without being asked. He helped Miami create a video for the You Can Play Project, which supports LGBT athletes and says they have just as much right to play sports as anyone. He also played a leadership role in the Jr. Brotherhood program, which pits Miami's hockey team with a local youth hockey team and helps teach them skills such as leadership and responsibility.
Spinell carries a 3.26 grade-point average while majoring in finance in Miami's prestigious Farmer School of Business and will graduate in the spring. Spinell was named to the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team in March after being Miami’s nominee for CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He has been involved in the community, as well, during his time at Miami, taking part in several projects along with his teammates. This year he has participated in Miami's annual Therapeutic Disabilities Skate with the disabled, as well as Rico's Ristorante, where players served dinner to the community. Last year, he participated in Swoop's Stoop, a program created by classmate and goaltender Cody Reichard, by visiting and playing with sick children at Cincinnati's Children's' Hospital.
Miami has now had a Senior CLASS All-American each of the last three years as Reichard (’12) was named to the Second Team last year while forward Carter Camper (’11) earned First-Team honors two years ago. Spinell was one of just two CCHA players named a First-Team Senior CLASS All-American this year along with WMU’s Beebe.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
First-Team Senior CLASS All-Americans
Brett Beebe, Western Michigan
Stephen Carew, Air Force
Brandon Nunn, Holy Cross
Cheyne Rocha, Army
Steven Spinell, Miami
Second-Team Senior CLASS All-Americans
Danny Biega, Harvard
Kyle Bonis, Ferris State
Alex Gerke, Connecticut
Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State
Brendan Jamison, Robert Morris