College Hockey Slap Schotts: The Daily Gazette's 2013-14 ECAC Hockey Awards
It’s award season in college hockey. The six men’s conferences will be announcing their major awards this week.
As I like to do at this time of year, I announced my choices for The Daily Gazette ECAC Hockey Awards. I don’t have trophies for the winners, but the knowledge of being honored by me will be in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.
OK, I’m piling it on.
Seriously, though, there were many tough decisions to make. In the end, my picks were based on the impact they had on their team and their place in the standings.
Here are the 2013-14 Daily Gazette ECACH Award winners. The awards are based on league statistics.
Tim Taylor Award (Coach of the Year) — Don Vaughan, Colgate
This is one example of how difficult a choice this was to make. The league finalists are Vaughan, Union’s Rick Bennett and Clarkson’s Casey Jones.
All three are worthy candidates. Bennett guided the Dutchmen to their third Cleary Cup in four years, and the second in his three years as head coach. Although the Dutchmen weren’t picked to finish first in the coaches and media preseason polls, they were predicted to finish in the top four. So, Bennett will be an honorable mention.
Vaughan’s Raiders were picked to finish ninth, while Jones’ Golden Knights were a last-place pick. The Knights finished fifth, and the Raiders placed second and earned an ECACH tournament first-round bye. Colgate had a better finish, going 8-3-1 after starting 5-3-1, while Clarkson which started 8-2, went 3-6-2 the rest of the way.
Therefore, Vaughan is my winner.
Rookie of the Year — Charlie Finn, Colgate goalie
Quinnipiac forward Sam Anas garnered the attention early with his scoring prowess. But when it came down to it, Finn’s play was a big reason the Raiders unexpectedly finished second in the conference. He took over the starting goalie duties in the second half of the season. Finn was 11-3-3 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
Best Defensive Defenseman — Shayne Gostisbehere, Union
Gostisbehere’s outstanding play on offense has overshadowed his improved defensive play this season. He had the best plus/minus rating among defenseman with a plus-18.
Best Defensive Forward — Daniel Carr, Union
Another Dutchmen whose offensive skill gets the publicity. Carr led the league in plus/minus with a plus-19. He averaged .68 blocks per game.
Player of the Year and Ken Dryden Award (Goalie of the Year) — Colin Stevens, Union
Stevens winning the Dryden was an easy decision. Picking him as Player of the Year was a little tougher.
There were some good skaters out there. St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey had the most points with 35. RPI junior forward Ryan Haggerty had the most goals with 14. Arguments could also be made for Yale’s Jesse Root (11-16-27) and Carr (13-13-26).
But I believe Stevens deserves it. In his first year as the Dutchmen’s No. 1 goalie, the Niskayuna native led the league in wins with 17, was second in GAA at 1.91, third in save percentage at .929 and tied for the lead in shutouts with five. Stevens was a major reason Union went 8-0-1 in its final nine league games to win the Cleary Cup.
First team — Goalie: Stevens. Defensemen: Gostisbehere and Gavin Bayreuther (St. Lawrence). Forwards: Carr, Haggerty and Carey.
Second team — Goalie: Michael Garteig (Quinnipiac). Defensemen: Mat Bodie (Union) and Spiro Goulakos (Colgate). Forwards: Anas, Matthew Peca (Quinnipiac) and Jesse Root (Yale).
Third team — Goalie: Finn. Defensemen: Justin Baker (St. Lawrence) and Danny Federico (Quinnipiac). Forwards: Kenny Agostino (Yale), Daniel Ciampini (Union) and Kellen Jones (Quinnipiac).
Goalie: Finn. Defensemen: Bayreuther and Jeff Taylor (Union). Forwards: Anas, Matt Carey (St. Lawrence) and Mike Vecchione (Union).
Chance to win Lake Placid trip
The final “Union College Hockey Coaches Corner Live” from the Van Dyck Restaurant in Schenectady takes place Tuesday at 6 p.m. Fans who attend have a chance to win a trip to Lake Placid for the ECACH final four. One ticket and transportation package includes admission to all three games.
Other raffle prizes include Union ice hockey apparel.
The show is on WPTR-AM (1240).
Union now second
Union will head to this weekend’s ECAC Hockey tournament championship round in Lake Placid a stride away from the top spot in the country.
The Dutchmen (26-6-4) moved up from third to second in the USCHO.com/NCAA hockey top-20 poll Monday. The ECACH regular-season champions received 14 of 50 first-place votes and earned 945 points. It’s the highest ranking ever for the Dutchmen. They had been No. 3 in the poll since Feb. 10. The last two weeks, the Dutchmen received one first-place vote.
Union moved past Boston College. Over the weekend, the Dutchmen swept their best-of-three quarterfinal series against 10th-seeded Dartmouth by scores of 3-0 and 4-2, while the Eagles, the Hockey East regular-season champions, were eliminated by eight-seeded Notre Dame in Game 3 of the quarterfinals Sunday, 4-2. BC fell to third.
Minnesota of the Big Ten remained first in the poll. The Gophers (25-5-6), who split a weekend series with Michigan, got 36 first-place votes and 986 points.
Union also moved up to second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15 poll. It received seven of 34 first-place votes and 451 points. Minnesota is first with 27 first-place votes and 503 points.
The Dutchmen, who are seeking a third straight ECACH tournament title, will face fourth-seeded Cornell in the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. at 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena. Second-seeded Colgate takes on third-seeded Quinnipiac at 7:30 p.m. The championship game is Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Minnesota (29) 24- 4-6 978 1
2 Boston College (19) 25- 5-4 965 2
3 Union (1) 24- 6-4 899 3
4 St. Cloud State (1) 21- 8-5 841 4
5 Wisconsin 21- 9-2 788 5
6 Ferris State 25- 9-3 719 7
6 Quinnipiac 22- 8-6 719 6
8 Massachusetts-Lowell 21- 9-4 669 8
9 Providence 19- 9-6 569 10
10 North Dakota 20-11-3 554 9
11 Notre Dame 21-12-2 481 11
12 Cornell 15- 8-5 428 13
13 Michigan 17-11-4 365 12
14 Northeastern 18-12-4 348 14
15 Vermont 19-12-3 318 15
16 Yale 17- 9-5 254 16
17 Colgate 17-12-5 213 18
18 Minnesota State 22-13-1 205 17
19 Maine 16-13-4 68 20
20 Minnesota-Duluth 16-14-4 62 19
Others receiving votes: New Hampshire 18, Clarkson 8, Western Michigan 8, Ohio State 7, Denver 6, Nebraska-Omaha 5, Air Force 4, Alaska 1.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Last Week’s Ranking
1. Minnesota, 503 (27) 1
2. Union, 451 (7) 3
3. Boston College, 439 2
4. Ferris State, 404 6
5. Quinnipiac, 369 7
6. Wisconsin, 331 5
7. UMass Lowell, 288 8
8. Notre Dame, 260 11
9. Providence, 246 10
10. St. Cloud State, 221 4
11. North Dakota, 165 9
12. Michigan, 140 13
13. Cornell, 117 12
14. Colgate, 59 RV
15. Minnesota State, 56 RV
Others receiving votes: Northeastern, 12; Vermont, 9; Yale, 6; New Hampshire, 3; Western Michigan, 1.
I have a vote in the USCHO.com poll. Here is how I voted.
3) Ferris State
5) Boston College
9) St. Cloud State
10) Notre Dame
11) North Dakota
15) Minn. State
16) Western Michigan
19) New Hampshire
Union is tied with Ferris State for third in the PairWise Rankings. The Dutchmen are on target to be the top seed in the NCAA tournament East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
Quinnipiac is sixth. Colgate is 15th. Cornell is 16th, but that final spot will go to the Atlantic Hockey tournament champion. There are no AH teams in the top 16.
The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament.
To see the rankings, click here.
Daily Gazette/ECACH Four Stars
Time for my four stars of the week.
Player and Rookie of the Week — Mike Vecchione, Union
The freshman center had two assists in Friday’s win over Dartmouth on Friday. Vecchione had a goal and two assists in Saturday’s series-clinching victory.
Goalie of the Week — Colin Stevens, Union
The junior netminder stopped 32 shots in Friday’s win to post his team-record sixth shutout of the season. Stevens made 33 saves in Saturday’s win.
Rookie of the Week — Steve Perry, Clarkson
The freshman goalie rallied the Knights past the Tigers in their first-round series. He stopped all 24 shots he faced in Saturday’s 4-0 win that evened the series at a game apiece. Perry made 21 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 triumph.
Teams of the Week — Union, Colgate, Quinnipiac and Cornell
All four teams will be in Lake Placid this weekend.
If you have any comments, post them below, or e-mail them to me at email@example.com. You can follow me on Twitter @slapschotts. Also, please become a fan of two Facebook pages — The Daily Gazette On Ice, and my "Slap Schotts" college hockey segment page.
Good Monday! Good Hockey!
Follow @dgazettesports on Twitter.