March 24, 2011
Sid Watson Award Winner is First from Hamline University

Senior defenseman Chris Berenguer of Hamline University has been chosen by the nation's coaches as the 2011 winner of the Sid Watson Award Award, symbolic of the nation's best Division III men's hockey player. The 6-1, 205-pound native of Eden Prairie, MN, helped Hamline to a 17-7-5 record and both the regular season and tournament titles of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The Pipers finished the season with a 4-0 NCAA quarterfinal loss to St. Norbert last week after defeating Wisconsin-Superior in the opening round, 3-2 in OT.

Berenguer, the second straight MIAC Player of the Year to win this award, earned first team All-American honors for the third time this season. His four-year career marks: 37 goals and 79 assists for 116 points Said Hamline head coach Scott Bell in nominating Berenguer, "Chris Berenguer is the best player to ever put on the Hamline University sweater, and he is without question one of the best to ever play in the MIAC. He scores as well as any defenseman in college hockey, to be sure – his 32 points rank him third nationally and his 13 goals are second nationally among defensemen – but more importantly, he scores the big goals. None of his scoring prowess takes away from his play as a defensive defenseman. He is a rock in front of the net, and lugs the puck up the ice consistently and steadily.

"Chris embodies the D-3 spirit and philosophy. He is happily married to Nicole and has a beautiful daughter, Stella. His ability to balance hockey with academics and family has caught heartwarming conference and national press."

Berenguer signed a professional contract with the Trenton Devils of the East Coast Hockey League last week. The Devils are an affiliate of the NHL's New Jersey Devils.

The award is named in honor of former Bowdoin College head coach Sid Watson, a three-time winner of the Edward Jeremiah Award as Division III Coach of the Year. Watson won 326 at Bowdoin in a career that spanned from 1959 to 1983. He was also the school's athletic director.

The runner-up for the 2011 Sid Watson Award was B.J. O'Brien, a senior goaltender from St. Norbert College.

Winners of the Sid Watson Award
AHCA Men’s Ice Hockey College Player of the Year
1993 Frank Cirone Wisconsin-Stevens Point Forward
1994 Ray Alcindor Middlebury Forward
1995 Charlie Gaffney Bowdoin Forward
1996 Ian Smith Middlebury Defense
1997 Steve Toll RIT Forward
1998 Mark Spence Middlebury Forward
1999 Rob Smillie St. Norbert Forward
2000 Steve Aronson St. Thomas Forward
2001 Keith Aucoin Norwich Forward
2002 Jerry Galway RIT Defense
2003 Maris Ziedins St. Norbert Forward
2004 Kevin Cooper Middlebury Forward
2005 Kurtis McLean Norwich Forward
2006 Adam Hanna St. John's Goalie
2007 Andrew Gallant Manhattanville Goalie
2008 Kyle Jones St. Norbert Goalie
2009 Jeff Landers Amherst Defense
2010 David Martinson Gustavus Adolphus Forward
2011 Chris Berenguer Hamline Defense