Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Announces Semifinalists for 61st Walter Brown Award

BOSTON – February 4, 2013 – Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president John Ingoldsby announced today that 16 NCAA Division One players are semi-finalists for the 61st Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

The nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that year; the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.

Twelve teams are represented in the slate of candidates that includes eight players from Hockey East,  seven from  ECAC Hockey, and one from Atlantic Hockey.  The slate comprises nine forwards, three goalies, and four defensemen. Boston College, New Hampshire, Yale, and Quinnipiac each have two nominees..

Atlantic Hockey’s lone semifinalist, Bentley University junior forward Brett Gensler (St. Charles, MO), was the Walter Brown Award winner last year. He currently leads Atlantic Hockey in scoring and has 12-19-31 overall through 24 games.

In Hockey East, Boston College has set the pace for most of the season thus far, thanks in large part to the scoring leadership of sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (Carney’s Point, NJ) and senior Steve Whitney (Reading, MA). Gaudreau’s 13-20-33 in 21 games leads the nation in points per game. He also leads all Hockey East scorers. Whitney, a right wing who also plays defense occasionally for the Eagles, has 16-12-28 to date.

New Hampshire junior Kevin Goumas  (Long Beach, NY) and Merrimack  junior Mike Collins (Boston, MA) and both a single point astern of Goudreau in the overall scoring chase. Goumas has 10-22-32 in 24 games while Collins stands at 14-18-32 in 27 contests.  New Hampshire’s other semifinalist is Trevor Van Riemsdyk, (Middletown, NJ), a sophomore defenseman with 6-13-19 to date to lead all Hockey East defensemen in scoring.

UMass-Lowell junior Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, CA) is another defenseman whose play has figured prominently in his team’s impressive performance to date. Ruhwedel has 6-8-14 for the River Hawks.

Rounding out the Hockey East representatives are a pair of freshmen, Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, MA) and Providence goalie Jon Gillies (South Portland, ME). Grzelcyk’s 2-14-16 place him second in scoring among the league’s defensemen. Gillies has a 2.18 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage for the fast-improving Friars.

In the ECAC, Quinnipiac’s surge to first place, both in the league standings and in the national pair-wise rankings, has been due in large part to senior goalie Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, MN), who has a 1.46 goals-against average in 25 games. Another senior, forward Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, AZ) leads the Bobcats’ offense with 11-14-25 in 25 games.

Yale, currently in second place behind Quinnipiac in the ECAC standings, is represented by senior forward Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, MI) and junior forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ). Agostino leads the Elis in scoring with 12-15-27, while Miller is third at 10-13-23.

Dartmouth senior defenseman Mike Keenan (Weymouth, MA) has been a bulwark for the Big Green and has 2-9-11 to date.  Brown’s senior goaltender Anthony Borelli (Grand Island, NY), playing his first full season as a regular, has posted a sparkling 1.54 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage for the Bruins. Harvard freshman forward Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, MA) is the Crimson’s leading scorer to date, bagging ten goals and adding four assists in 17 games. 

“We feel that we’ve got a superb roster of semifinalists for the Walter Brown Award this year. That said, there were many others in all three leagues whose play merited strong consideration. It’s never a simple task to evaluate all nominees and make a cut to a manageable number,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello.

The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 61stth Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner in April.

                Walter Brown Award Winners
1953    Ray Picard    Northeastern
1954    Bob Babine    Boston College
1955    Bill Cleary    Harvard
1956    R.J. Cavanaugh    Northeastern
1957    Bob Cleary    Harvard
1958    Bob Cleary    Harvard
1959    Mike Karin    Middlebury
1960    Art Chisholm    Northeastern
1961    Tom Martin    Boston College
1962    Dave Grannis    Harvard
1963    Bill Hogan    Boston College
1964    Richie Green    Boston University
1965    Bob Gaudreau    Brown
1966    John Cunniff    Boston College
1967    Jerry York    Boston College
1968    Tim Sheehy    Boston College
1969    Paul Hurley    Boston College
1970    Tim Sheehy     Boston College
1971    Joe Cavanagh    Harvard
1972    Bob McManama    Harvard
1973    Tom Mellor    Boston College
1974    Ed Walsh    Boston University
1975    Ron Wilson    Providence
1976    Richie Smith    Boston College
1977    Bob Miller    New Hampshire
1978    Joe Mullen    Boston College
1979    Ralph Cox    New Hampshire
1980    Bill Army    Boston College
1981    Mark Switaj    Boston College
1982    Chuck Marshall    Northeastern
1983    Mark Fusco    Harvard
1984    Cleon Daskalakis    Boston University
1985    Tim Army    Providence
1986    Scott Fusco    Harvard
           Scott Harlow    Boston College
1987    Brian Leetch    Boston College
1988    Mike McHugh    Maine
1989    Lane MacDonald    Harvard
1990    Greg Brown    Boston College
1991    Dave Emma    Boston College
1992    Rob Gaudreau    Providence
1993    Dave Sacco    Boston University
1994    Jacques Joubert    Boston University
1995    Mike Grier    Boston University
1996    Jay Pandolfo    Boston University
1997    Chris Drury    Boston University
1998    Chris Drury    Boston University
1999    Mike Mottau    Boston College
           Mike Omicioli    Providence
2000    Mike Mottau    Boston College
2001    Ty Conklin    New Hampshire
           Brian Gionta    Boston College
2002    Jim Fahey    Northeastern
2003    Mike Ayers    New Hampshire
2004    Steve Saviano    New Hampshire
2005    Dov Grumet-Morris  Harvard
2006    Chris Collins    Boston College
2007    John Curry    Boston University
2008    Kevin Regan    New Hampshire
2009    Matt Gilroy    Boston University
2010    Bobby Butler     New Hampshire
2011    John Muse    Boston College
2012    Brett Gensler    Bentley University    
      
The Walter Brown Award
Commemorating the life and works of America's greatest sportsman, the Walter Brown Award is given annually to the outstanding American-born college hockey player in New England. The Walter Brown Award is the oldest nationally recognized honor accorded to individual players in the sport of American college hockey.  Brown coached the United States to its first world hockey championship in 1933.  The U.S. team, the Massachusetts Rangers, comprised players from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, and Boston Commerce High School. The Americans defeated the Toronto National Sea Fleas, coached by Harold Ballard, 2-1 in overtime in the final game of the 1933 World Tournament at Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was also America’s first win over a team from Canada and the first loss ever suffered by the Canadians in international play. The U.S. team members established the Walter Brown award at their 20th reunion in 1953.  Criteria for the selection committee include leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ability as well as on-ice achievement. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has been the steward of the Walter Brown Award since 1977.

2012-2013 Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Officers: John Ingoldsby, President; Bob Norton, First Vice President; Jim Kearney, Second Vice President; Larry Abare, Third Vice President; Dick Lawrence, Secretary/Treasurer.

2012-2013 Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Selection Committee and Advisory Board: Tim Costello, Chairman; Joe Bertagna, Tom Burke, Jim Connelly, Ned Cully, Bob DeGregorio, Kevin Fleming, Steve Hagwell, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Hon. Gordon A. Martin, Jr., Paul McNamara, and William J. Stewart III.