Hawks honor 3 scholarship winners

The Blackhawks honored the recipients of three scholarships during the 28th annual Keith Magnuson Scholarship Award Luncheon at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook on Monday. This year's winners from a group of about 65 applicants were Joseph Orecchio from St. Viator, William Spell from Brother Rice and Margot Werner from Latin School. These were four-year scholarships valued at $7,500 per year. The Hawks have now given away 91 scholarships since the program began in 1988.

"We had a great group of kids this year, like we do every year," said Cliff Koroll, the president of the Blackhawks Alumni Association who also played for the Hawks from 1969-80. "A lot of girls are applying; girls are playing more and more hockey now."

Koroll then got a laugh when he added: "And they (the girls) seem to do a much better job than filling out their application than the boys do. ...

"Unfortunately we couldn't give more scholarships because there were probably five or six others that were very (good). But we can only take three people."

Patrick Sharp took a moment to talk to the media before walking into the luncheon.

"It's pretty special," he said. "It's cool to walk in here and meet the kids. You see the looks on their faces when they see Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, you name it. But we should be the ones that are in awe of them. Some of their resumes are unbelieveable. Blackhawks Alumni does a great job of putting this event together and rewarding these kids."

Thinking of Stan:

During the Blackhawks' luncheon in Oak Brook on Monday, Cliff Koroll, president of the Blackhawks Alumni Association, took a moment to speak about former teammate and friend Stan Mikita, who was recently diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.

"It's been tough," Koroll said. "I saw Stan about a month ago down in Florida before he came back home. It was very sad to see the condition he was in. He was OK - he knew who I was. We had a good conversation. ...

"It's a pretty sad situation. We're all kind of taken aback by it."

Koroll played for the Hawks from 1969-80, scoring 208 goals over his career.

"He was crucial to my career," Koroll said of Mikita. "(As a) right-winger for 10 years and a roommate on the road for 10 years, he taught me an awful lot about hockey both on the ice and off the ice. He was a great mentor. Hopefully he gets through this thing reasonably well."

Follow John on Twitter @johndietzdh

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