View From Section U ▲ 2015-16 FTT Awards

It was a frustrating season but that doesn’t mean the players don’t deserve some recognition for their effort and accomplishments.  I did that somewhat in my season recap posted last night, where I had a few remarks for each and every player.  But now it’s time to honor those players who really stood out with their play this season.  All awards are chosen entirely by me and me alone except the FTT Player of the Year which goes the the player who has accumulated the most Player of the Game awards throughout the year.  So without further adieu, the envelopes please.

Fear The Triangle

Newcomer of the Year – William Lagesson
(14-15 winner: Dennis Kravchenko)

Austin Plevy had a solid first year for the Minutemen with his 10 goals on the season 6th best among Hockey East freshmen.  But I have to go with William Lagesson for best newcomer for the Minutemen.  He probably won’t get the recognition he deserves because of the team he’s on, but Lagesson is not only one of the top freshmen defensemen in Hockey East.  He’s flat out one of the best defensemen in the league.  There was not much of a learning curve when he got to Amherst.  He immediately looked ready for the increased speed and skill of the college game and it’s no wonder his native Sweden has called on him twice to play on their national junior team.  Between how smartly he played and his physical presence it was easy to forget that he was only a college freshman.  To have a –6 rating on a team that allowed 4.06 goals per game while only scoring 2.33 with the amount of minutes he played is quite an accomplishment.

Under the Radar Player – Dominic Trento
(14-15 winner: Steven Iacobellis)

I mentioned this in my recap last night, but UMass did well when Trento was part of the scoring.  The team was 3-3-1 when the team scored a goal and 7-1-1 when he had an assist.  In fact the team won or tied every game where he had a point until the second Yale game.  He was fourth on the team in goals per game and ended up with eight total on the season.  He had the third highest shot percentage with 14.5%, behind only Kravchenko and Pigozzi.  Trento brings a high energy game to the ice and he took a solid step forward as a sophomore in terms of production.  With a similar step next year he can go from under the radar to key contributor.

Breakthrough Player of the Year – Ray Pigozzi
(14-15 winner: Shane Walsh)

Last year Pigozzi finished 7th on the team in total points with 18 and was 10th in goals with four.  This season Pigozzi finished the season tied with Shane Walsh for the team lead in points and doubled his goals scored from the previous year with 8, tied with Trento for 4th best.  His 22 assists on the year led the team by a wide margin with Iacobellis’ 17 the next greatest.  Last season he scored on just 8.3% of his shots.  This year his shooting percentage improved to 14.8%, 2nd best on the team.  His 30 points on the season was 19th best among all Hockey East players.  With Walsh graduating Pigozzi will be expected to take on even more of the offensive production responsibility.  I think the step forward he took this season shows he’s capable of being a go to player on the team.

Beer The Triangle Beer of the Year – Clown Shoes Crasher In The Rye
(14-15 winner: Boulder Shake)

I’ve discontinued my weekly BTT recommendations mostly because I’m no longer able to travel to watch the team as much as I used to so my recommendations were getting dated.  But beer is still a big part of my UMass hockey experience.  That’s especially true given the kind of season we all just had to endure.  When you only get to see two Hockey East wins during the long hockey season you need a strong beer to drown your sorrows in postgame.  Luckily the Hangar had Clown Shoes Crasher In The Rye on draft periodically throughout the season.  11.5% was just what the doctor ordered after those soul-crushing losses.  It’s an imperial oatmeal milk stout aged in rye barrels and it is glorious.

FTT Player of the Year – Shane Walsh
(14-15 winner: Frank Vatrano)

As mentioned, this award goes to the player who accumulates the most FTT Player of the Game awards that I name after each and every game.  Here are the final totals for the past season:

Walsh 9
Kravchenko 4
Renyard 4
Pigozzi 3
Wakaluk 3
Plevy 2
Trento 2
Iacobellis 2
Widmar 1
Hetnik 1
Dill 1
Jerry York 1
Chukarov 1
Gallacher 1
Petrella 1


Walsh winning FTT Player of the Year shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone who followed the team.  He was consistently the best and most productive player for the Minutemen all year long.  After his breakout junior season that saw him score 14 goals to go with 8 assists he followed it up with an 18 goal, 12 assist effort in 36 games this year.  For that he was named a Hobey Baker candidate.  His 18 goals were the third most among all Hockey East players this season.  That’s pretty impressive considering all the top-end, NHL drafted talent in this league.  He ended up being named FTT POTG in 1/4th of all games this season, a rate even greater than last year’s winner, Frank Vatrano.  There weren’t a lot of compelling reasons watch UMass this season, but Walsh was definitely one of them.

There wasn’t any coaching search news today.

For those interested, tickets to the Friendship Four tournament in Belfast are on sale.

This has to be a trying time for the team right now.  Not only are they disappointed at the season ended, but they’re having to deal with the removal of the coach who recruited him and the unknown of what lies ahead while the search gets going.  So it’s good to see them keeping busy as a team:



  1. Rex

     /  March 15, 2016

    Walsh sign anywhere yet?


  2. Rex

     /  March 15, 2016

    Thought for sure he would sign quick.


  1. View From Section U ▲ FTT Hockey East Postseason Awards | Fear The Triangle - UMass Hockey Blog
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