MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) announced the recipients of the league's major award winners, All-Conference and All-Rookie Teams as selected by the league's eight head coaches.
University of Massachusetts Boston's Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) earned his second consecutive Player of the Year nod after leading the NEHC with 26 points on 12 goals and 14 assists, averaging a whopping 1.44 points per game. His 43 overall points tie him for second-most in all of Division III while his 22 total goals are tied for most in the country.
Fellow Beacons teammate Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) and Hobart College's Mike Faulkner (Bronx, N.Y.) were honored as the league's Rookies of the Year. Bross led the way amongst all freshmen in scoring with 24 points on five goals and 19 assists. His 19 assists led the NEHC in assist scoring. Bross' 38 total points come in at sixth most nationally, while his 30 total assists rank second.
Faulkner helped anchor a Statesmen blue line that surrendered league lows in goals surrendered per game (1.89) and goals allowed (34). Faulkner was also a major contributor offensively, posting 14 points on three goals and 11 assists, which ranked second most in the NEHC in defenseman scoring.
Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alta.) of Norwich University earned Goaltender of the Year honors after leading the NEHC with a .923 save percentage. His 2.05 goals against average ranked third in the NEHC while his 9-2-2-conference record ranked second. Ostepchuk also posted three total shutouts during the regular season.
After leading Norwich University to its 19th regular season title in the past 20 seasons Mike McShane was recognized as NEHC Coach of the Year by his peers. Once again the road to the NCAA tournament goes through Kreitzberg and McShane and the Cadets have locked up the one-seed in the NEHC postseason tournament as they look to defend last year's title.
Joining Ostepchuk on first team all-conference were Cadet teammates Alec Brandrup (Rochester, Minn.) and Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.). Brandrup was a defensive force for Norwich all season and helped to anchor a "d" that allowed a mere 2.00 goals per game. He also contributed offensively, ranking fourth amongst fellow defensemen with nine points on two goals and seven assists. Salvucci once again was a major contributor to a potent Norwich offense. In a limited 15 NEHC-game showing the senior forward notched 15 points on nine goals and six assists.
Larkin's teammate Nick Albano (Beverly, Mass.) was also honored as a first team all-conference selection after leading NEHC defenseman in scoring with 16 points on four goals and 12 assists. His 12 assists also ranked sixth most in the NEHC.
First year NEHC members, Hobart College, placed two players on the first team in forward Jonas Toupal (Vcelna, Czech Republic) and defender Tanner Shaw (Toronto, Ont.). Toupal finished the NEHC regular season with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists, good for a tie of second most in the league. His 11 goals in NEHC play ranked third most. Shaw was a major contributor for the stingiest defense in the NEHC. On offense he posted 13 points (four goals, nine assists) to rank third in league amongst his fellow defenders.
Babson College led the league with six total selections to the All-Conference and All-Rookie teams.
Below is a complete list of the 2017-2018 All-Conference and All-Rookie Teams.
FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Forward Colin Larkin, UMass Boston
Forward Jonas Toupal, Hobart College
Forward Kevin Salvucci, Norwich University
Defense* Alec Brandrup, Norwich University
Defense* Tanner Shaw, Hobart College
Defense* Nick Albano, UMass Boston
Goaltender Braeden Ostepchuk, Norwich University
SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Forward Matt McMorrow, Babson College
Forward Ryan Gouveia, Babson College
Forward Nolan Redler, UMass Boston
Defense Joey DePietto, Babson College
Defense Connor Pelkey, Skidmore College
Goaltender Matt Pompa, Babson College
THIRD TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Forward Bobby Hall, Babson College
Forward Bryce Nielsen, New England College
Forward Coby Downs, Norwich University
Defense Jack Macnee, Hobart College
Defense Gabe Chuckran, UMass Boston
Goaltender Frank Oplinger, Hobart College
Forward Nick Rosa, Babson College
Forward Zack Bross, UMass Boston
Forward Coby Downs, Norwich University
Defense Mike Faulkner, Hobart College
Defense Nick Albano, UMass Boston
Goaltender Anthony D'Aloisio, University of Southern Maine
* Represents additional players recognized due to a tie in voting.