The United State Hockey League announced today that Cedar Rapids RoughRiders forward Liam Walsh has been named the recipient of the 2019 USHL Curt Hammer Award.
The Curt Hammer Award has been presented annually since the 1988-89 season and recognizes the USHL player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding performance skills, leadership, pride, and determination. The award is given in the memory of the late Curt Hammer who served as President of the Des Moines Buccaneers for three seasons (1984-87) and held the role of secretary for the USHL.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach some very special young men over my 20 years as the Head Coach & General Manager of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders,” said Mark Carlson. “Liam’s impact on our hockey team and our community are unmatched. Liam wanted to lead, strived to make an impact and he did so with tremendous passion on a daily basis, 7 days a week, all season long. He will be missed dearly in Cedar Rapids, but not forgotten as his impact will last forever. I couldn’t be prouder of him and I’m very confident Mr. Curt Hammer would be extremely proud as well!”
Walsh is the third straight RoughRiders player to receive the Curt Hammer Award, joining Riese Zmolek, who shared the 2017 Curt Hammer award with former Bloomington Thunder goaltender Logan Halladay and Marc McLaughlin, the RoughRiders forward who won the award last season.
Walsh is in his fourth year with Cedar Rapids and was named team captain earlier this season. In his four seasons with the RoughRiders, Walsh has become a prominent and well-liked figure in the Cedar Rapids community.
RoughRiders Community Outreach Director Tammy Carlson said Liam not only met but exceeded her expectations through his willingness and desire to help coordinate every player’s weekly community appearances. Walsh was instrumental in wanting the team to create an Anti-Bullying program with his fellow 2017/18 captains. After eight months of hard work from all parties, he and his current teammates implemented and executed their “Every Goal Matters” Anti-Bullying program in conjunction with the Cedar Rapids Police Department this past October. He also volunteered many hours during the season with other organizations.
“Liam’s truly been a pleasure to work with side by side coordinating and giving back,” said Tammy. “Having Liam here for the past four years has been so special to watch how he’s matured and grown not only on the ice but off the ice as well.” I could not be prouder of how Liam and his fellow captains have led this great group of young men. Liam has made differences in many lives here in Cedar Rapids, mine included. He will be greatly missed but has a great future ahead playing for Coach Borek at Merrimack College.”
Walsh is a native of Bridgeville, PA. He recorded 44 points this season (25 g, 19 a) and played in all 62 games. Walsh is committed to Merrimack College.
“It will be very difficult to not have him with me next season as he has essentially developed into a second coach at the Arena as well as away from it,” Coach Carlson. “As the RoughRiders captain, this season Liam has impressively led our team on the ice, in the dressing room, and in the Cedar Rapids community. To watch Liam grow into the leader he is today has been a very special experience for me.”