CCHA Announces Super Fan Contest Winners From Each School

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) has announced the 11 winners of the Celebrate the Legacy Super Fan contest.

The CCHA, in partnership with Fox Sports Detroit, Olympia Entertainment and Warrior Hockey, is pleased to provide each member school's Super Fan with a 'Celebrate the Legacy Prize Pack' for the final CCHA Championship Weekend in Detroit on March 22-24, 2013.

"This is a tangible way to thank our winners for their superlative support of their favorite CCHA school," said Rob Murphy, CCHA Sales and Marketing Director.

Ferris State's "Super Fan" is Gary Wigent.  He has been a season ticket holder and beloved supporter of Ferris State hockey for 10 years. His interaction with the players goes well beyond game day and Wigent can be frequently seen at the Bulldogs' practice facility or on the road watching the team play. Wigent even has a friendly rivalry with the "Lawson Lunatics" of Western Michigan, who refer to him as "Santa Claus" due to his white beard. Wigent truly is a super fan, who lives and breathes Bulldog hockey.

The CCHA Celebrate the Legacy Prize Pack includes:

• A two-night stay at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance, the host hotel of the CCHA Championship Weekend.

• Two tickets to the CCHA Awards at historic Fox Theatre on March 22.

• Two lower-bowl tickets to both CCHA Championship semifinal games at Joe Louis Arena on March 23.

• Two lanyards and admission to the Celebrate the Legacy party at Cobo Hall on March 23.

• Two lower-bowl tickets to the final CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena on March 24.

• Two tickets to the Post-Championship Game Skate with CCHA Alumni at Joe Louis Arena on March 24.  

• Two limited edition CCHA Championship Warrior Hockey jerseys.

• Transportation to and from CCHA Events on the FOX Sports Detroit Fan Express Bus.

Additionally all eleven CCHA Super Fans will be entered in a random drawing during Saturday night's Celebrate the Legacy party at Cobo Hall and one lucky winner will receive three nights hotel accommodations and two tickets to the 2013 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The CCHA and FOX Sports Detroit received over 300 Super Fan nominations and worked closely with the 11 member schools to select each Super Fan. Murphy was moved by the passionate, thoughtful and impactful submissions.

"We truly had a difficult time selecting only one Super Fan per school, as most of our schools had three or four outstanding nominees," said Murphy. "We are optimistic that many of these fans will join us in Detroit on March 22-24 for what is shaping up to be a remarkable weekend of celebration with the great players, coaches and fans that have helped make the CCHA so special."

To help fans Celebrate the Legacy of the CCHA at the final Championship Weekend, Olympia Entertainment and Joe Louis Arena have a limited number of $80 'CCHA Fan Packages' (see attached PDF) that provide:

• Two tickets to the CCHA Awards at Historic Fox Theatre on March 22.

• Two lower-bowl tickets to both CCHA Championship semifinal games at Joe Louis Arena on March 23.

• Two lower-bowl tickets to the final CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena on March 24.

Fans can call the Joe Louis Arena Box Office at 313-396-7575 and ask for the 'CCHA Fan Package.'

"In addition to the league's great players and coaches, a big part of what has made the CCHA so special over the past 42 seasons has been the passion and enthusiasm of our fans," said CCHA Commissioner Fred Pletsch. "Although only one fan from each school has been honored as a CCHA 'Super Fan', we hope that all CCHA fans will join us as we celebrate the final CCHA Championship at the Joe."

CCHA SUPER FAN CONTEST WINNERS

Alaska - John and Fran Zarling have been proud supporters of the University of Alaska hockey program for over 30 years. As season ticket holders, the Zarlings have been involved in almost every aspect of the program from selling raffle tickets, to hosting progressive dinners, and even working the concession stand. Both John and Fran were also part of a small donor group which raised the money necessary for UAF to join the CCHA in 1994. Most recently, they established the Zarling Family Hockey Scholarship, which is awarded to an engineering student in the hockey program.

Bowling Green - Terry Burton has been a season ticket holder for Bowling Green hockey since his graduation in 1992. He has attended nearly every Falcons' home game over the last 25 years and has also traveled to many away contests, including fourteen non-conference campuses. Burton has also served on various fundraising and service committees, including the Falcon Club Advisory Board. Burton was also honored by the team in 2004 with the Dr. Thomas Wojciechowski Award for Distinguished Service to the Hockey Program.

Ferris State - Gary Wigent has been a season ticket holder and beloved supporter of Ferris State hockey for 10 years. His interaction with the players goes well beyond game day and Wigent can be frequently seen at the Bulldogs' practice facility or on the road watching the team play. Wigent even has a friendly rivalry with the "Lawson Lunatics" of Western Michigan, who refer to him as "Santa Claus" due to his white beard. Wigent truly is a super fan, who lives and breathes Bulldog hockey.

Lake Superior - Brittany Litchard has been a season ticket holder to Lake Superior hockey since she first stepped foot on campus three years ago. She can be seen and heard at every Lakers' home game, proudly wearing her LSSU jersey signed by every player on the team throughout the last three seasons. Litchard has supported the team off the ice as a member of the Soo Blue Liners Club, where she tutors players and has even baked the team cookies.

Miami - Alex Cuccaiarre, a current Miami student, has been a staple in the Redhawks' student section since he stepped foot on campus five years ago. Cuccaiarre has attended every home game since 2008 and has traveled to watch Miami play in Maine, New Hampshire and Minnesota. Cuccaiarre's loyalty to the Miami Redhawks extends beyond game day as he volunteers for the Junior Redhawk program and is the student manager for Miami's Club Hockey team.

Michigan - Mike Nicholls has been a Michigan hockey fan for over 40 years, but he is most well known for his streak of attending 400 consecutive home and away games that began in 2005. Nicholls has logged over 130,000 travel miles watching the Wolverines play and his travels now include six trips to Alaska, four trips to Omaha, Neb., two trips to Manchester, N.H., along with numerous other destinations. Mike has been honored by the hockey program for his dedication and received awards following his 100th game and 250th game, which included an on-ice presentation and plaque from the team.

Michigan State - Janeen Geisenhaver has missed just five Michigan State games since the 1984-85 season. Her attendance streak includes not only regular-season games, CCHA playoff and championship games, but also preseason and non-conference games. Geisenhaver has also made 14 of the 15 trips to watch the Spartans play in Alaska and this year's Frozen Four in Pittsburgh will mark her 30th consecutive Frozen Four, a streak which began in 1984 at Lake Placid. Geisenhaver has been named President of the MSU Blue Line Club for the 2013-14 season, has served on the Board of Directors and has assisted with countless fundraisers and receptions.

Northern Michigan - Joshua Toune has been a devoted fan of the Northern Michigan hockey program since 2005 and has missed only a handful of games. As Captain of the Puckheads fan group, Toune has assisted the hockey program by organizing fan group functions, assisting with ticket sales and participating in community events. Troune has recently moved to Green Bay due to work commitments, but still remains loyal to his team by listening to Wildcats' games on the radio.

Notre Dame - John DiPiro began following Notre Dame hockey over 40 years ago and over the past eight seasons has rekindled his love affair as a season ticket holder.  DiPiro even credits a Notre Dame bus trip to Bowling Green for how he met his wife! Through DiPiro's travels, he has developed numerous friendships with other CCHA fans from around the conference and loves the camaraderie among the fan bases.

Ohio State - Marie Mertz has made attending Ohio State hockey games a family event and loves the family first atmosphere inside the Schottenstein Center. As a proud and passionate Buckeye fan, Mertz loves to watch games with her family and truly appreciates the student-athletes for their hard work.

Western Michigan - Mark Shoup has been a loyal Western Michigan hockey fan for decades, and has passed that same love down to his three children. He has developed personal relationships with many players over the years and his daughters have made cookies for the players numerous times. Shoup prides himself on supporting and following former Broncos hockey players in their professional careers. He has remained a loyal fan through thick and thin, and has always enjoyed spending time with his family watching the Broncos compete.

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