Hobey Finalist Danis is ECAC POTY

Brown and Colgate representatives were featured prominently among the individual honorees at the annual ECAC Awards Banquet Thursday night and, for the second year in a row, a goaltender was named Player of the Year. Cornell’s David LeNeveu was co-POTY in 2003.

Yann Danis is the ECAC Player of the Year. (photo: Chris Gerlt)

Yann Danis is the ECAC Player of the Year. (photo: Chris Gerlt)

The Bears’ Yann Danis became only the second player in ECAC history to be honored as Player of the Year and receive the Ken Dryden Award as the league’s best netminder in the same season. St. Lawrence’s Eric Heffler turned the trick in 1999.

Danis won 15 games in leading Brown to a third-place finish in the ECAC after spending most of the season atop the standings. The Quebec native, recently named a finalist for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, posted the second-best save percentage in the nation (.942) and third-best goals against average (1.81). He finished his career at Brown with school records for lifetime GAA (2.20) and save percentage (.930).

Danis’ teammates Scott Ford and Brian Ihnacak, were also honored. Ford was named Best Defensive Defenseman, breaking a two-year hold on the award by Cornell. It’s the first time a Brown player has earned the accolade since Mike Traggio won it in back-to-back seasons (1994, 1995). Ford was also fourth on the Bears this season in scoring with six goals and 15 points.

Ihnacak and Cornell goaltender David McKee were named co-Rookies of the Year, marking only the second time in ECAC history that the award has been shared. Clarkson’s Erik Cole and Willie Mitchell split the prize in 1998. Ihnacak, who is the first Brown player to win ROTY since netminder Geoff Finch in 1991, was second on the Bears in scoring (10-20-30) and led all league freshmen in goals, points and power-play points. McKee follows in a long line of marquee goaltenders to call Lynah Rink their home. The Texan posted 16 wins with a 1.84 GAA and .920 save percentage in leading his Big Red to a second-place finish in the ECAC. In league play, he was even stingier, posting a 1.37 GAA and .939 save percentage. He is the sixth Cornell player to earn the award, but the first since Kyle Knopp in 1996.

Colgate’s Stan Moore was named Coach of the Year for the second time in just three seasons as a bench boss. A winner while at Union in 1997, he spent the entire season as the Raiders’ interim coach after Don Vaughan’s sudden move into the administrative ranks. Moore took over the reins just weeks before the regular season and turned what could have been a messy situation into a Cleary Cup-winning campaign. Colgate (21-11-5), which was picked to finish eighth in preseason polls, plays in the ECAC semifinals this weekend and is looking to capture its first title since 1990 and its first NCAA appearance since 2000. Vaughan is expected to return behind the bench next season, leaving Moore’s future up in the air.

Raiders’ sophomore Jon Smyth, the ECAC’s leading scorer with 17 goals and 28 points in conference action, was presented with the Best Defensive Forward award. Playing well at both ends of the ice, Smyth enters the semifinals as the Raiders’ top scorer after posting just three points in his rookie season. He is the first Colgate player to earn the honor, which had been won by a Cornell skater three of the last four seasons.

Individual Awards

Coach of the Year: Stan Moore, Colgate
Player of the Year: Yann Danis, Brown
Co-Rookies of the Year: Brian Ihnacak, Brown and David McKee, Cornell
Ken Dryden Award (Goaltender of the Year): Yann Danis, Brown
Best Defensive Forward: Jon Smyth, Colgate
Best Defensive Defenseman: Scott Ford, Brown

All ECAC First Team

F Jon Smyth, Colgate
F Lee Stempniak, Dartmouth
F Brady Leisenring, Vermont
D Ryan Glenn, St. Lawrence
D Grant Lewis, Dartmouth
G Yann Danis, Brown

All-ECAC Second Team

F Kevin Croxton, Rensselaer
F Hugh Jessiman, Dartmouth
F Joe Zappala, Yale
D Rob Brown, Colgate
D Scott Basiuk, Rensselaer
G Nathan Marsters, Rensselaer

ECAC All-Rookie Team

F Brian Ihnacak, Brown
F Kyle Rank, St. Lawrence
F Oren Eizenman, Rensselaer
D Grant Lewis, Dartmouth
D Mike Campaner, Colgate
G David McKee, Cornell

All-ECAC Honorable Mention

F Rich Peverley, St. Lawrence
F Ryan Vesce, Cornell
F T.J. Trevelyan, St. Lawrence
F Matt Moulson, Cornell
D Scott Ford, Brown
D Noah Welch, Harvard
D Jaime Sifers, Vermont
D Joe Callahan, Yale
G Steve Silverthorn, Colgate
G David McKee, Cornell