For the last 10 years, the Boston Bruins have teamed up with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association to single out good sportsmanship in high school hockey.
Tonight, the 2012 honorees will be recognized in a ceremony between the second and third periods of the Bruins' home match against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
Locally, Danvers' Nick Strangie, Marblehead's Mike Harper and Bishop Fenwick's Bobby Liberge were chosen as the best examples of sportsmanship in their respective leagues.
The MIAA and the Bruins invite every boys and girls league in the commonwealth to select a player who demonstrates a record of complying with rules and respecting officials and opponents. The honor also recognizes with conduct that brings honor to self, team, school and community, as well as a commitment to teamwork.
The Northeastern Conference chose Strangie and Harper as their top representatives.
For the NEC North, Danvers captain Strangie was a logical choice after leading the Falcons to their first division title in 10 years. The NEC all-star had two goals, 14 assists, 16 points and a plus-22 rating, and he is involved heavily in youth hockey and the Special Olympics.
"On the ice, Nick's effort was always at the highest level both at practice and during the game. His respect for the game and playing within the rules were always a priority. In school, Nick is an honor roll student who leads by example in our team study hall. His conduct away from the school and rink is what you would ask for in any student athlete," Danvers head coach Kevin Brown said in an MIAA news release.
Goaltender Harper, in his first season as a full-time starter, earned NEC all-star distinction and represented the NEC South for the sportsmanship award. He backstopped the Headers to the NEC South title and had a 2.67 goals against average.
"Michael is the epitome of academic, athletic and community leadership at Marblehead High School. For Michael Harper, leadership and sportsmanship are constants. I cannot think of one single instance over the past four years when either of these traits was brought into question," said Mark Tarmey, Marblehead's athletic director and an assistant hockey coach.
The Catholic Central League Large division chose Fenwick captain Bobby Liberge, who demonstrated stupendous class as the Crusaders made the transition from Division 2 to Division 1. As a junior, Liberge, a native of Lynn, was a key part of Fenwick's first state tournament win in 20 years.
"Bob Liberge is a proven leader who will always be remembered as a player who gave his all to the game of hockey and the future development of the Bishop Fenwick hockey program. We at Bishop Fenwick wish to recognize Bob for his commitment to the school and the game of hockey," said Crusaders head coach Dan Lynch.
Rockport's Kyle Edmonds was chosen to represent the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, while the Cape Ann League was represented by Jonathan Gravallese of North Reading.