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View From Section U ▲ FTT Hockey East Postseason Awards

Last week I posted my UMass team awards for the season.  As I write this the Hockey East banquet is taking place in Boston where the league will announce the major awards for the conference.  More on those in a bit.  The Hockey East media will announce their winners tomorrow afternoon.  Here is the ballot I submitted for the media awards.

1st Team All-Hockey East
F – Ryan Fitzgerald, Boston College
F – Colin White, Boston College
F – Andrew Poturalski, New Hampshire
D – Matt Grzelcyk, Boston University
D – John Gilmour, Providence
G – Kevin Boyle, Lowell

2nd Team All-Hockey East
F – Nolan Stevens, Northeastern
F – Austin Cangelosi, Boston College
F – Danny O’Regan, Boston University
D – Steve Santini, Boston College
D – Jordan Gross, Notre Dame
G – Thatcher Demko, Boston College

Hockey East All-Rookie Team
F – Colin White, Boston College
F – Tage Thompson, UConn
F – Max Letunov, UConn
D – Casey Fitzgerald, Boston College
D – Bobby Nardella, Notre Dame
G – Ryan Ruck, Northeastern

Rookie of the Year: Colin White, Boston College
Coach of the Year: Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame
Player of the Year:  Ryan Fitzgerald, Boston College

So those are my choices for awards.  I desperately wanted to pick either Callum Fryer or William Lagesson for the All-Rookie Team.  Both played extremely well.  But both were held back by missing games and playing for a poor defensive team, though as we know the defensive problems stemmed from the system they were forced to play rather than their individual play itself.

As mentioned, Hockey East just announced their league winners.  To close out the painful chapter of UMass hockey that was the last four years, Kevin Boyle, whom John Micheletto cut from the UMass roster three years ago, was named the Co-Player of the Year with BC’s Thatcher Demko. Colin White was an easy choice for Rookie of the Year while Providence’s Nate Leaman won Coach of the Year for his strong season despite losing key pieces from last year’s championship squad.

Here are the All-Hockey East teams which in true Hockey East fashion have seven players on each.  They can’t get basic calls like offsides or too many men right in during the season, so who thinks they can when it’s time to hand out hardware?

The All-Rookie team and other awards were named earlier in the week.  The only UMass player listed in any of these honors was senior Shane Walsh grabbing the runner-up spot on the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award.

Congrats to all the award winners!

College Hockey News’ Mike McMahon wrote a piece today about the UMass coaching search, listing candidates whom he believe UMass will pursue.  A lot of the names are ones I listed in my post on potential replacements last month and ones Matt Vautour included in his article on the subject a couple weeks ago.  Still there are a number of new names, like Ron Rolston who is currently coaching the Springfield Falcons.

While the initial buzz seemed to center around Union’s Rick Bennett, the hot name in the last couple days has been UConn’s Mike Cavanaugh.  Cavanaugh pursued the UMass job four years ago but grew frustrated with former AD John McCutcheon’s process and pulled his name out of the running.  He seems to have a good thing going at UConn with the only apparent issue being a lack of an on-campus arena, so it would seem odd for him to go after the UMass job again.  One thing to keep in mind with some of these candidates is that they could be using the open job in Amherst to get themselves a pay raise and contract extension at their current jobs.  Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold and Holy Cross’ Paul Pearl both were able to pull that off four years ago.  Dick Umile has actually turned openings at UMass into a contract extension twice, first in 1993 and then again in 2000.

So is Cavanaugh or some of the other high profile names on McMahon’s list truly interested in the UMass job?  We’ll have to see.  It does seem like in the last few days there has been a lot more information about the search starting to come out, which hopefully means the search is kicking into another phase.

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