Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Karl Alzner in the News

Karl Alzner, who will be turning pro as soon as the Calgary Hitmen's playoff run is over, was recognized yesterday for another outstanding season with the WHL club. Here's the article from the Calgary Sun:

Alzner a Hit at awards


Karl Alzner takes great pride in his attire.

As the teams' self-professed fashion aficionado, Alzner showed up to last night's Petro-Canada Calgary Hitmen Play Awards Dinner in a sharp-looking black and grey tux.

The only problem was fellow defenceman Ryan Gillen did him one better, strutting onto the stage in a 1950s-style zoot suit, complete with a gangster-style hat and pocket chain.

"Yeah, I wasn't sure what was up with that," Alzner said. "I don't know why he's trying to step up.

"No, I'm happy he did that -- wearing the hat and adding a little fun to his get-up. It's nice to see guys having fun and relaxing."

Alzner himself had little time to relax at the event. He ran a mini-marathon between his chair and the stage, collecting a trio of awards.

The Washington Capitals prospect picked up the Petro-Canada player of the year and, for the second straight season, both the Husky Energy top defenceman trophy and the Molson coach's award.

"I'm so happy the coaches think so highly of me ... and that my teammates think the same way," Alzner said. "I'm happy to be playing with them, and a lot of my success goes to them."

The soon-to-be outgoing Hitmen captain, who also guided Team Canada to a world junior gold medal in January, is rarely at a loss for words.

But after hitting the stage for a third time, even Alzner started to reach for material.

"You run out of things to say," he said. "You want to thank everybody every time.

"It seems it all comes out the first time and then you add people."

Alzner, without question the top blueliner in the WHL, is looking forward to hosting some more hardware later this spring as the Hitmen chase the Memorial Cup.

"It's a lot bigger, and I'm sure it's going to be heavier," he said.

"Everything we've worked for so far is just leading towards that."

Last year's player of the year, gritty forward Ryan White, took home the fan favourite award and the Remax three-star selection trophy.

White thanked the training staff and also the Kamloops Blazers "for lending us (linemate) Brock Nixon for the rest of the year."

The club's three graduating players -- Nixon, Ryan Gillen and starting netminder Dan Mercer -- were also recognized for their success in the junior ranks.

Other award winners honoured at the annual ceremony included:

- Kyle Bortis: East Side Mario's most sportsmanlike player

- Dan Spence: Enmax humanitarian award

- Bostjan Golicic: Daimler Chrysler scholastic player

- T.J. Galiardi: Wendy's rookie of the year


The top-seeded Hitmen open the first round of the WHL playoffs at home Friday against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors (7 p.m. at the 'Dome, The Fan 960).

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