Fifteen NCAA Division I players have been named as semifinalists for the 55th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England, Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Dave O’Brien announced Thursday.
The candidates include nine players from Hockey East, four from the ECAC Hockey League, and two from Atlantic Hockey. The slate comprises six forwards, five goalies, and four defensemen.
Boston College, Boston University, and New Hampshire each have two players each among the candidates. Four of the nominees were also semifinalists for last year’s award, which was won by Boston College forward Chris Collins.
Goaltenders from Hockey East’s four leading teams as of press time all made the semi-finalists’ roster. They are Boston University senior John Curry, a three-time nominee; repeat candidates Cory Schneider, a Boston College junior, and Joe Fallon, a Vermont junior; and Kevin Regan, also a junior, as a first-time semifinalist. Fallon is tops among all Hockey East goalies with a 1.59 goals-against average to date while Curry has posted a 1.96 mark.
The fifth netminder selected was Brown freshman Dan Rosen, who leads the ECAC Hockey league in save percentage. The three other nominees from that league are all senior defensemen: Quinnipiac’s Reid Cashman, who was a semifinalist for the 2006 Walter Brown Award; Dartmouth rearguard Ben Lovejoy; and Harvard blueliner Dylan Reese.
The lone Hockey East defenseman among the candidates is New Hampshire senior Chris Murray. Forwards from that league are Boston College sophomore Benn Ferriero; Boston University junior Peter MacArthur; Massachusetts-Lowell senior Jason Tejchma; and Northeastern senior Mike Morris.
Rounding out this year’s semifinalist field are two forwards from Atlantic Hockey. Holy Cross senior James Sixsmith recently became that program’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level. Connecticut senior Matt Scherer is the Huskies’ first-ever semifinalist. This is also the first year that players from Brown and Massachusetts-Lowell have been Walter Brown Award watch list picks.
“This year has proven to be another competitive and well balanced one throughout Eastern hockey. Tight team defensive play and topnotch goaltending have been holding the scores down and making almost every game a close contest right up to the end,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello.
“Once again, there was a large pool of worthy candidates for the Walter Brown Award, and not all of them could make the watch list. There’s a lot of action yet to come in the stretch runs leading up to the league playoffs, and our committee members have a lot more work to do in observing and evaluating our semifinalists the rest of the way.”
The Gridiron Club plans to announce the finalists and winner of the 55th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA tournament play.
Past Walter Brown Award Winners
1953 Ray Picard, Northeastern
1954 Bob Babine, Boston College
1955 Bill Cleary, Harvard
1956 R.J. Cavanaugh, Northeastern
1957 Bob Cleary, Harvard
1958 Bob Cleary, Harvard
1959 Mike Karin, Middlebury
1960 Art Chisholm, Northeastern
1961 Tom Martin, Boston College
1962 Dave Grannis, Harvard
1963 Bill Hogan, Boston College
1964 Richie Green, Boston University
1965 Bob Gaudreau, Brown
1966 John Cunniff, Boston College
1967 Jerry York, Boston College
1968 Tim Sheehy, Boston College
1969 Paul Hurley, Boston College
1970 Tim Sheehy, Boston College
1971 Joe Cavanagh, Harvard
1972 Bob McManama, Harvard
1973 Tom Mellor, Boston College
1974 Ed Walsh, Boston University
1975 Ron Wilson, Providence
1976 Richie Smith, Boston College
1977 Bob Miller, New Hampshire
1978 Joe Mullen, Boston College
1979 Ralph Cox, New Hampshire
1980 Bill Army, Boston College
1981 Mark Switaj, Boston College
1982 Chuck Marshall, Northeastern
1983 Mark Fusco, Harvard
1984 Cleon Daskalakis, Boston University
1985 Tim Army, Providence
1986 Scott Fusco, Harvard; Scott Harlow, Boston College
1987 Brian Leetch, Boston College
1988 Mike McHugh, Maine
1989 Lane MacDonald, Harvard
1990 Greg Brown, Boston College
1991 Dave Emma, Boston College
1992 Rob Gaudreau, Providence
1993 Dave Sacco, Boston University
1994 Jacques Joubert, Boston University
1995 Mike Grier, Boston University
1996 Jay Pandolfo, Boston University
1997 Chris Drury, Boston University
1998 Chris Drury, Boston University
1999 Mike Mottau, Boston College; Mike Omicioli, Providence
2000 Mike Mottau, Boston College
2001 Ty Conklin, New Hampshire; Brian Gionta, Boston College
2002 Jim Fahey, Northeastern
2003 Mike Ayers, New Hampshire
2004 Steve Saviano, New Hampshire
2005 Dov Grumet-Morris, Harvard
2006 Chris Collins, Boston College
The Walter Brown Award
Commemorating the life and works of America’s greatest sportsman, the Walter Brown Award is given annually to the outstanding American-born college hockey player in New England. The Walter Brown Award is the oldest nationally recognized honor accorded to individual players in the sport of American college hockey.
Brown coached the United States to its first world hockey championship in 1933. The U.S. team, the Massachusetts Rangers, comprised players from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, and Boston Commerce High School. The Americans defeated the Toronto Nationals 2-1 in overtime in the final game of the 1933 World Tournament at Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was also America’s first win over a team from Canada.
The U.S. team members established the Walter Brown Award at their 20th reunion in 1953. Criteria for the selection committee include leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ability as well as on-ice achievement. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has been the steward of the Walter Brown Award since 1977.
2006-2007 Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Officers: Dave O’Brien, President; Al Robichaud, First Vice President; Tim Whelan, Second Vice President; Fran Allen, Third Vice President; Richard (Dick) Lawrence, Secretary; Paul Costello, Treasurer; Edmund (Ned) Cully, Historian.
2006-2007 Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Selection Committee and Advisory Board: Tim Costello, Chairman; Joe Bertagna, Tom Burke, Paul Costello, Ned Cully, Bob DeGregorio, Kevin Fleming, Steve Hagwell, Dick Lawrence, Hon. Gordon A. Martin, Jr., Bob Norton, Paul Stewart, William J. Stewart III, and Brian Sullivan.