ST. PAUL- St. Cloud State freshman forward Mikey Eyssimont did not know there was an MVP award this weekend. He now has a tree ring to remember the occasion.
Eyssimont was named the 2016 North Star College Cup Most Valuable Player for his performance this weekend.
"(It feels) pretty special. I didn't know it was an award here, but I got called up and I was really excited. It was a pretty proud moment," he said.
The Littleton, CO native had five points (3G-2A) points in two games. Eyssimont, who has 19 points on the season, scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-4 victory over Minnesota State on Saturday. He assisted on Patrick Russell's goal in the second period Sunday against Bemidji State and clinched the tournament for the Huskies with an empty net goal.
Eyssimont is the second straight freshman to be named MVP of the annual North Star College Cup, which features four of the five Minnesota division 1 teams.
St. Cloud State (22-5-1, 12-3-1 NCHC), which sat out of last year's tournament, is the third team in the three year history of the event to win the North Star College Cup. All three conferences represented have won as well. Minnesota (Big Ten) took home the inaugural 2014 tournament and Bemidji State (WCHA) did so in 2015.
This was a fact that didn't escape Huskies head coach Bob Motzko after Sunday's 5-2 victory.
"I hope the tournament stays around. It has the chance to be something special. Three winners in three years. That's something to celebrate and how good college hockey is in our state," he said.
North Star College Cup Most Valuable Players
2016 - Mikey Eyssimont, St. Cloud State forward
2015 - Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State goaltender
2014 - Adam Wilcox, Minnesota goaltender
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate