U.S. College Hockey Online is pleased to announce the finalists for the first annual USCHO Division II/III Player of the Year.
Nominations were solicited from coaches and media, and ten finalists selected. A panel of coaches and media will select this year’s winner and a runner-up, to be announced at the conclusion of the NCAA D-III season.
Here are the 1998-99 nominees:
Steve Aronson, St. Thomas – The junior forward from Minnetonka, MN was recently named MIAC player of the year. Aronson, a 1997-98 first-team All- American, had 53 points overall and led the MIAC in scoring with 35 points.
Keith Aucoin, Norwich – The Sophomore from Chelmsford, MA, has scored a whopping 66 points this season, and won the ECAC East scoring title with 39 points in 17 league games.
Tracey Belanger, Plattsburgh – The SUNYAC Player of the Year led the league in scoring (33 points) and assists (22). The senior from Merrimack, NH had a total of 65 points (21 goals, 44 assists) on the season.
Marc Bellemare, Norwich – The 1998-99 ECAC East Player of the Year has amassed 66 points on the season, and is third in the nation in goals and total points per game. The junior from Cornwall, Ont. Was named to the All-ECAC East team last year as well.
Matt Garver, RIT – The transfer from RPI leads the Tigers in goal scoring with 27 to date. The senior from Rochester, NY, has seven goals in the post-season to date and was named MVP of the ECAC West Tournament.
Ben Gorewich, Wis.-Stevens Point – The NCHA Player of the Year led the league in goals (16) and assists (22). The senior from Thornhill, Ont. had 63 points overall (24 goals, 39 assists).
Rob Smillie, St. Norbert – The senior from Richmond, BC was named to the All-NCHA team for the second straight season. Smillie, was a first-team All-American last season, had a total of 51 points (22 goals, 29 assists).
Pat Staerker, RIT – The ECAC West Player of the Year has 51 points to date (20 goals, 31 assists) and is a +50 for the season. The junior from Tonawonda, NY was a second-team All-American last season.
Mike Szkodzinski, St. Norbert – A transfer from Ferris State, the Brighton, MI native led his league in GAA (1.88) and save percentage (.933) and was named to the All-NCHA team.
Niklas Sundberg, Plattsburgh – The freshman from Stockholm, Sweden led the nation in GAA (1.28) and save percentage (.950). Sundberg was 10-2-1 in 16 appearances in his rookie campaign.