McDonald, Gustafson Take Home ECAC Hardware

The annual ECAC awards were handed out this morning at the Lake Placid Hilton, and leading the charge were Colgate and St. Lawrence, each taking home two of the major individual awards, voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Colgate's Andy McDonald (center) accepts his award as ECAC Player of the Year.

Colgate’s Andy McDonald (center) accepts his award as ECAC Player of the Year.

Leading the way was the newly-crowned ECAC Player of the Year, Andy McDonald of Colgate.

McDonald led the ECAC in scoring with 16 goals and 20 assists, steering his Red Raider team to a second-place finish in the ECAC standings. McDonald is also one of ten Hobey Baker Finalists this season.

“I have to thank my coaching staff,” said McDonald. “Over the course of four years, head coach Don Vaughan has taught me and inspired me to take my game to different levels.”

The other Red Raider to take home an individual award was head coach Vaughan, who guided his Red Raider team to a personal-best 21 victories and in turn earned the ECAC Coach of the Year honor.

The Red Raiders finished the regular season with a 21-7-2 overall mark, and a 14-4-2 standing in the ECAC this season. At the moment, Colgate is the tenth-ranked team in the USCHO Poll.

For the second year in a row a St. Lawrence Saint earned the Rookie of the Year honor. Goaltender Derek Gustafson posted an 11-1-1 ECAC record after taking over the starting position in January.

After starting the year as part of a three-goaltender rotation, Gustafson quickly rose to the top of the depth charts and helped backstop the Saints to their first-ever ECAC regular-season title.

Gustafson was also chosen as the goaltender on the All-Rookie Team. In front of Gustafson on defense are Trevor Byrne of Dartmouth and Mark McRae from Cornell. McRae’s twin brother, Matt, was selected to a forward position, as were Harvard’s Dominic Moore and Rensselaer’s Marc Cavosie.

(Interestingly enough, every member of the rookie team except Gustafson has a brother playing in the ECAC.)

All-Rookie Team

F Dominic Moore     Harvard
F Marc Cavosie Rensselaer
F Matt McRae Cornell
D Mark McRae Cornell
D Trevor Byrne Dartmouth
G Derek Gustafson St. Lawrence

Gustafson’s teammate Justin Harney earned Best Defensive Defenseman honors. Harney, the Saint captain, led the best penalty-killing unit in the ECAC this season at 87.3 percent, and was the backbone of a defense that allowed 86 goals this season, second-best in the ECAC.

Harney also contributed 22 points from the blue line, gathering four goals and 18 assists in those 33 games.

Harney and Gustafson lead the second-team All-ECAC selections, which include three Saints. Along with Harney and Gustafson, forward Erik Anderson made the second team, along with Kirk Lamb of Princeton and Erik Cole of Clarkson at the forward position. On defense, Rensselaer captain Brian Pothier joined Harney.

ECAC Second-Team All-Stars

F  Kirk Lamb          Princeton
F Erik Cole Clarkson
F Erik Anderson St. Lawrence
D Brian Pothier Rensselaer
D Justin Harney St. Lawrence
G Derek Gustafson St. Lawrence
ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco (left) presents the Defensive Forward of the Year Award to Cornell's Doug Stienstra.

ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco (left) presents the Defensive Forward of the Year Award to Cornell’s Doug Stienstra.

The Best Defensive Forward honor went to Cornell captain Doug Stienstra. The captain anchored a Cornell defensive front line that held the opposition to 77 goals on the season, an average of 2.66 goals per game.

Stienstra is a +16 on the season and has seven multiple-point games on the season.

Rensselaer goaltender Joel Laing was feted with the Dryden Award for best goaltender in the league. Laing leads the nation in save percentage with a .947 average, is third in the nation in GAA with a 1.85 mark and has a winning percentage of .708.

“To have my name so close to that of Ken Dryden is just amazing,” said Laing. “But this is not just an individual award. As a goaltender you just try to go out there and do your job, and it’s everyone else on the ice that lets you do that.”

Laing is also one of the ten Hobey Baker Finalists, joining McDonald as a representative from the ECAC.

Laing was the goaltender on the ECAC First-Team All-Stars, one of two Engineers selected. Brad Tapper earned a forward position on the first team.

Joining Tapper on the first-team forward list are Brandon Dietrich of St. Lawrence and McDonald. On defense, Kent Huskins of Clarkson and Cory Murphy of Colgate earned the honors.

ECAC First Team All-Stars

F Andy McDonald      Colgate
F Brad Tapper Rensselaer
F Brandon Dietrich St. Lawrence
D Kent Huskins Clarkson
D Cory Murphy Colgate
G Joel Laing Rensselaer