Holy Cross Shines as MAAC Presents Postseason Awards

One night before the MAAC final four gets underway, the league presented its annual awards at the championship banquet held on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross.

Fittingly, it was the home school that cleaned up in the awards, as senior captain Patrick Rissmiller, the MAAC’s regular-season leading scorer was named Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Paul Pearl was named Coach of the Year. Mercyhurst’s Peter Aubry was named the ITECH MAAC Goaltender of the Year for the second straight season, and Bentley’s Steve Tobio was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Rissmiller had a breakthrough season in 2001-02, scoring 16 goals and 30 assists in 33 games for the Crusaders. His effort was part of a charge that lifted Holy Cross from a ninth-place finish a year ago to third place this season.

Mercyhurst’s Aubry was simply spectacular for the second straight year. His goaltending statistics led the league in every category, including a .927 save percentage, 2.24 goals against average and a phenomenal 18-7-2 record overall. Aubry was the backstop for a Laker defense that allowed a league-low 2.37 goals per game. Aubry and the Lakers will compete Thursday in the MAAC semifinals versus Connecticut.

Tobio had another solid offensive season on the blueline. The senior Bentley captain netted 14 goals and 19 assists in 32 games for the Falcons to capture the award for the second time in three years (co-defensive player of the year in 2000).

These players joined Iona’s Ryan Carter, Mercyhurst’s Louis Goulet, and UConn’s Mike Boylan to round on the ITECH All-MAAC First Team.

The Offensive Rookie of the Year Award went to Army’s Chris Casey. He tallied 25 points in 23 games for the Black Knights this season.

The Defensive Rookie of the Year was Quinnipiac goaltender Jamie Holden. Holden stole the top goaltending job away from last year’s rookie phenom Justin Eddy, compiling 13-6-3 record, a .918 save percentage and a 2.40 goals against average. All three of those statistics rank Holden second in the league behind only Aubry.

Holy Cross’ Paul Pearl led his team above all expectations this year, finishing third after being picked ninth in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Crusaders finished 14-7-5 in MAAC play and 17-12-5 overall. They were ousted in the MAAC quarterfinals, 6-5, by UConn despite a brilliant effort that saw them rally from a four-goal deficit in the third period.

Below is a complete list of the league awards:

Offensive Player of the Year
Patrick Rissmiller, Holy Cross

Defensive Player of the Year
Steve Tobio, Bentley

ITECH Goalie of the Year
Peter Aubry, Mercyhurst

Coach of the Year
Paul Pearl, Holy Cross

Offensive Rookie of the Year
Chris Casey, Army

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Jamie Holden, Quinnipiac

ITECH All-MAAC First Team

Ryan Carter, Iona
Louis Goulet, Mercyhurst
Patrick Rissmiller, Holy Cross
Mike Boylan, Connecticut
Steve Tobio, Bentley
Peter Aubry, Mercyhurst

ITECH All-MAAC Second Team

Brandon Doria, Holy Cross
Brian Herbert, Quinnipiac
Martin Paquet, Sacred Heart
Adam Tackaberry, Mercyhurst
Nathan Lutz, Iona
R.J. Irving, Holy Cross
Eddy Ferhi, Sacred Heart

ITECH MAAC All-Rookie Team

Chris Casey, Army
Bryan Goodwin, Bentley
Rich Hanson, Mercyhurst
Brent Williams, Iona
T.J. Kemp, Mercyhurst
Adam Rhein, Connecticut
Jamie Holden, Quinnipiac