March 15, 2012

League Announces Regular-Season Awards

ALBANY, N.Y. -- ECAC Hockey this evening announced the recipients of the men’s regular-season awards as selected by the league’s coaches at its annual postseason banquet in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Colgate’s Austin Smith was tabbed as the league’s most valuable player honors. Smith is enjoying a stellar senior campaign ranking first in points (34), goals (25), and shorthanded goals (5) in league action this season. The Dallas, TX native has had an incredible year with 56 points overall (second in the nation) and leads the nation in goals with 36. The senior forward is the first 30-goal scorer in ECAC Hockey since 2001. He has registered 16 multi-point games and nine of those have been multi-goal games. Smith has recored a +25 ranking overall. His six shorthanded goals overall also leads the nation. He has posted seven power-play goals, five game-winners and two game-tying goals on the season. Smith became only the 10th player in school history to reach 75 goals and 75 assists in a career. He is two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Month and two-time Player of the Week.

The League’s Rookie of the Year went to Cornell’s Brian Ferlin who has been a dominant presence in his first season on East Hill. He led the league in rookie scoring for most of the regular-season until an injury kept him sidelined and allowed someone to pass him on the final weekend. Ferlin had seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 19 ECAC Hockey games, which is tied for second in rookie scoring with fellow Cornell forward Joel Lowry and St. Lawrence’s Chris Martin. Additionally, Ferlin is tied for second on the team in overall assists (13) and points (21), while also ranking second with a plus-15 rating. The Big Red last won the award in 2008, when it was given to forward Riley Nash. Other Cornell winners of the award, which was first bestowed in 1962, include David McKee (2004), Kyle Knopp (1996), Kent Maderville (1990), Trent Andison (1988), Joe Nieuwendyk (1985) and Doug Ferguson (1965).

The Ken Dryden Award, honoring the League’s top goaltender went to Union sophomore, Troy Grosenick. The Brookfield, Wis. native (11-3-1) enjoyed a stellar campaign in his first year as a starter ranking first in conference action in goals-against average (1.60); save percentage (.940); and win percentage (.767). At 18-5-3, Grosenick, who has started 28 of 36 games, is third in the nation in goals-against average (1.66); saver percentage .963); and goals-against average with a 1.66 mark and is third in the country in save percentage (.937). His five shutouts on the season matched a single-season school record.

Kelly Zajac from Union was named the League’s Best Defensive Forward. A leader on the ice, the senior is a pure two-way player. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native not only has amassed 125 points on offense (37g-88a) in his career, but has been one of the team’s directors on the penalty kill unit for the Dutchmen. The first-line forward led the Dutchmen in scoring in conference games year for the second consecutive year with 25 points on five goals and 20 assists. Zajac helped the Dutchmen earn top honors with both the league’s best scoring offense, (3.45 goals per game) and defense surrendering only 1.73 goals per contest.

Havard junior Danny Biega was voted by the League’s coaches as the Best Defensive Defenseman. Despite leading Harvard in ice time, Biega was on the ice for just nine even-strength goals against in 22 league games. The three-year letterwinner leads ECAC Hockey defensemen with 23 points and eight goals in league play, five more points than the second-ranked defenseman, all while playing very strong defense. The Montreal native is a plus-9 overall and plus-10 in league play despite the fact that 14 of his league points came on the power-play. Beiga recorded a plus or even rating in 17 of 22 ECAC Hockey games. He blocked shots 25 in league games (blocked shots not recorded at all road games) for the league’s fourth best defense.

For the third year in a row a the Tim Taylor Award went t0 the head coach at Union, as first-year head coach Rick Bennett was selected for the honor by his peers. Under Bennett, Union earned its second consecutive Cleary Cup, capturing the ECAC Hockey regular-season title. No. 6/6 Union (22-7-7, 14-4-4 ECAC Hockey) posted a 12-2-4 record in its last 18 ECAC Hockey contests, while earning the top seed and first-round bye in the league's tournament. Bennett has recorded the most wins by a Union head coach in his first season, and is the only Union coach to record 20 wins in his debut year. Bennett also became the first Union coach to beat a non-conference top-five team in the USCHO.com poll when the Dutchmen earned a 3-1 at No. 5 Merrimack on Dec. 17. On Nov. 27, Bennett also led Union to a 6-3 win over No. 11 Michigan in the team's first ever trip to Yost Arena.

FIRST TEAM ALL-LEAGUE
Forward        Alex Killorn, Harvard
Forward        Brian O’Neill, Yale
Forward        Austin Smith, Colgate
Defense        Danny Biega, Harvard
Defense        Mat Bodie, Union
Goaltender    Troy Grosenick, Union

SECOND TEAM ALL-LEAGUE
Forward        Jack Maclellan, Brown
Forward        Chris Wagner, Colgate
Forward        Jeremy Welsh, Union
Defense        Nick D’Agostino, Cornell
Defense        Michael Sdao, Princeton
Goaltender    Andy Iles, Cornell

THIRD TEAM ALL-LEAGUE
Forward        Connor Jones, Quinnipiac
Forward        Kyle Flanagan, St. Lawrence
Forward        Kelly Zajac, Union
Defense        Thomas Larkin, Colgate
Defense        Patrick McNally, Harvard
Goaltender    Paul Karpowich, Clarkson

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Forward        Matthew Peca, Quinnipiac
Forward        Brian Ferlin, Cornell
Forward        Chris Martin, St. Lawrence
Defense        Patrick McNally, Harvard    
Defense        Shayne Gostisbehere, Union
Goaltender    Steve Michalek, Harvard