Junior co-captain Anders Bjork has been an offensive force for the Fighting Irish as the team’s top scorer and one of the nation’s most prolific point producers. Both on and off the ice, Bjork has a unique ability to connect with fans of all ages, especially children. Through that connection, Bjork has made a difference in the Notre Dame community and beyond. He has spent countless hours over the last two seasons just a few blocks south of the Compton Family Ice Arena at the Perley Fine Arts Academy in South Bend, Ind., where he has worked closely with a third-grade classroom, mentoring, teaching and befriending over 30 students. Always a willing listener who has become a permanent fixture in the classroom, Bjork has helped teach important lessons about hard work, overcoming adversity and bullying.
Collin Delia has been an inspiration to his coaches, teammates and the Merrimack College community over the last three years. His sense of passion and humility is based in the knowledge that nothing in life, especially on the ice, is guaranteed. That mindset has generated enviable results: a civil engineering major, Delia is a two-time Hockey East All-Academic Team selection. Over the last few years, Delia has become an important presence in the life of Lucas St. Onge, a child who is challenged by several major medical issues. Lucas, 5, has beaten the medical odds throughout his life and Delia has become an extension of Lucas’ family. Delia is also part of Merrimack’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and works with CRU and Athletes in Action. He recently oversaw a project that involved the delivery of care packages to homeless shelters in Boston. Delia has also led his teammates in a number of community service initiatives, including the Lazarus House in Lawrence, Mass., as well as the Challenger Program via the Woburn Youth Hockey Organization.
As juniors, Danny Divis and Justin McKenzie co-founded Hope Happens Here, promoting mental health wellness and awareness among college students, particularly student-athletes. HHH promotes its mission during various sporting events and provides posters with mental health tips and resources for each team’s locker room. Divis and McKenzie aim to spread this important message by presenting it to local high school students. Their organization also speaks at local mental health workshops and conventions. It’s not unusual to see a Saint Michael’s student wearing one of HHH’s “You Are Loved” T-shirts around campus; special jerseys created for mental health awareness games are sold as fundraisers. They also fundraise for To Write Love on Her Arms and the Movember Foundation. A captain, Divis has been All-Conference numerous times and earned the Northeast-10 Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award and Capital One Academic All-District as a junior. An assistant captain, McKenzie is a blue-collar center for the Purple Knights and is a peer advocate for the campus’ Student Support Network.