The top four teams in the Hockey East Association dominated the honors at the league’s annual awards banquet, held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel here.
Boston College, Boston University, Maine, and New Hampshire, all ranked in the nation’s top seven in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll, will battle for the 16th Hockey East Championship, and they also walked home with the majority of the league honors.
The three major awards were split among the schools, as first-place BU’s Jack Parker was named the Bob Kullen Coach of the Year and Terrier goaltender Ricky DiPietro received the Rookie of the Year Award. Junior goaltender Ty Conklin of UNH and senior defenseman Mike Mottau of BC were named as the KOHO Co-Players of the Year, the first time ever that the award has been shared.
UNH head coach Dick Umile was second behind Parker in Coach of the Year balloting, as Parker received the honor for the third time in his career. Runners-up for Rookie of the Year were Anthony Aquino (F, Merrimack) and Peter Fregoe (F, Providence).
The Len Ceglarski Individual Sportsmanship Award went to senior forward Cory Larose of Maine (runner-up: Tommi Degerman, Sr. F, BU). UNH senior forward John Sadowski was tabbed as the Best Defensive Forward (runner-up: Jim Leger, Sr. F, Maine), while Mottau was chosen as the Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman (runners-up: Arik Engbrecht, So., Northeastern, and Doug Janik, So., Maine).
In an emotional presentation, Umile accepted the Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award for UNH. Holt, the legendary former UNH head coach, has recently taken ill and was unable to be on hand for the presentation, which was made by his daughter. The award goes to the team penalized the least in league play and has been won two straight years by UNH, which tied with Merrimack in 1999.
Larose was also honored as the league’s scoring leader, while Scott Clemmensen (Jr., BC) received the Heaton Goaltending Leader Award for recording the lowest goals-against average in league play. BU was presented with a trophy for finishing as the Hockey East regular-season champions.
The league also named its all-star teams, dominated by BC with five selections, and BU and UNH with three each. First-team honorees were goaltender Conklin, defensemen Chris Dyment (So., BU) and Mottau, and forwards Jeff Farkas (Sr., BC), Brian Gionta (Jr., BC), and Larose.
Named to the second team were goaltender DiPietro, defensemen Bobby Allen (Jr., BC) and Pat Aufiero (So., BU), and forwards Blake Bellefeuille (Sr., BC), Darren Haydar (So., UNH), and Mike Souza (Sr., UNH).
The Hockey East all-rookie team was composed of goaltender DiPietro, defensemen Ron Hainsey (UMass Lowell) and Freddy Meyer (BU), and forwards Aquino, Brian Collins (BU), Fregoe, and Krys Kolanos (BC).
Honorable-mention all-stars were Scott Clemmensen (Jr. G, BC), Jim Fahey (So. D, Northeastern), Janik, Greg Classen (So. F, Merrimack), Carl Corazzini (Jr. F, BU), Degerman, Barrett Heisten (So. F, Maine), and Chris Heron (Sr. F, BU).
The awards were chosen by coaches’ balloting at the conclusion of the regular season, except for the Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award, which was selected by the league’s sports information directors.