Mercyhurst headlined the annual awards at this year’s MAAC tournament banquet, with junior goaltender Peter Aubry taking home Goaltender of the Year honors and head coach Rick Gotkin becoming the first coach of a regular-season championship team to claim the Coach of the Year award.
The Lakers, who clinched the title with one week remaining in the season, finished the regular year with a 19-6-1 record and advanced to the MAAC final four with a 10-5 win over 10th-seeded Fairfield.
“As the MAAC has grown as a conference, it’s had some great coaches,” said Gotkin, who is the first conference champion coach to win the award. “To be recognized by your peers is a great honor, and it’s something I didn’t expect.
“This, though, is a team award. It’s what our guys go out and do every day, and without that I wouldn’t have this honor.”
Aubry, the goaltender who led the Lakers to the championship, was equally humble.
“It’s nice to be recognized by the coaches in the league,” said Aubry, who finished the season with a 2.09 goals against average in conference play with a .925 save percentage. “There’s a number of great goalies in this league and that’s what makes this a little more special.”
Aubry was also honored on Wednesday night with three goaltender of the week awards, a MAAC player of the week award, a position on the ITECH All-MAAC first team and as a MAAC scholar-athlete.
The Chase Manhattan Bank Offensive Player of the Year award went to Iona’s Ryan Manitowich. A sophomore on Iona’s high-powered offensive squad, Manitowich scored 37 points (22 goals, 15 assists) on the season, leading the Gaels to a third-place finish in the MAAC and a 3-2 overtime playoff victory over the number-six seed, Sacred Heart.
Iona defenseman Nathan Lutz was named the Chase Manhattan Bank Defensive Player of the Year. A sophomore defenseman, Lutz totaled 35 points (six goals and 29 assists) and helped make Iona the top-scoring offense (4.69 goals per game) in the MAAC.
Rookie awards were won by Mercyhurst’s Adam Tackaberry (Offensive Rookie of the Year), and UConn’s Eric Nelson (Defensive Rookie of the Year).
The league also named first and second-team All-Stars, as well as the All-Rookie team, as follows:
ITECH All-MAAC First Team
Ryan Manitowich, Iona F
Chris Cerrella, Quinnipiac F
Eric Ellis, Mercyhurst F
Nathan Lutz, Iona D
Aaron Arnett, American Int’l D
Peter Aubry, Mercyhurst G
ITECH All-MAAC Second Team
Louis Goulet, Mercyhurst F
Michael Goldkind, UConn F
Tom McMonagle, Mercyhurst F
Jody Robinson, Mercyhurst D
Steve Tobio, Bentley D
Eddy Ferhi, Sacred Heart G
ITECH MAAC All-Rookie Team
Adam Tackaberry, Mercyhurst F
Guillaume Caron, American Int’l F
Trent Ulmer, American Int’l F
Greg Kealey, Holy Cross F
Eric Nelson, Connecticut D
R.J. Irving, Holy Cross D
Justin Eddy, Quinnipiac G