Andrew Gallant of Manhattanville College, who shattered all of his school’s goaltending records, has been chosen the winner of the 2007 Sid Watson Award, presented to the Division III Player of the Year by the nation’s Division III head coaches. The 6-3, 185- pound native of Summerside, PEI, has recorded a goals against average of 1.86 through 25 games this season and a save percentage of .929. A First Team All-American, he takes those numbers into the NCAA Division III Men’s Semifinals against defending champion Middlebury on Saturday afternoon in Superior, Wis.
Said Manhattanville coach Keith Levinthal, “In my 10 years of coaching college hockey, I have never seen a goalie handle the puck better than Andrew. He is the equivalent of having very good third defensemen on the ice. His ability to play the puck changes how our opponents approach the game. Much of our success as a team can be attributed to the fact that you cannot dump the puck in against our team with success. As a result, many teams stop forechecking by the third period.
“As impressive as his athletic ability may be, they only tell a small part of his story,” Levinthal continued. “In addition to excelling as a goalie, Andrew has focused his energy in supporting our community as well as his studies. He has volunteered numerous hours of community service including work at the Coachman Family Center, which provides temporary housing to homeless families. Throughout the year, Andrew and our players help the Coachman children with homework and art projects, and play games and participate in sports with the children, making a positive impact on their lives. On another interesting note, he achieved a 3.15 GPA, and is fluent in French.”
The top goaltender ever to don the Valiant sweater, Gallant is Manhattanville’s all-time leader in every statistical category. Long considered on of the top netminders in Division III, Gallant has carried the Valiant program to unprecedented heights in his senior year, leading the nation for much of the season in goals against average and save percentage, and ranking among the top two in winning percentage.
The runner-up for this year’s Sid Watson Award was T.J. Dahl, a junior forward at UW-River Falls. The other Watson Award finalists were: Neil Trimm, JR F, Neumann; Aaron Johnson, SR F, Augsburg; Mitch Stephens, SR F, Geneseo; Greg Osborne, SR F, Colby; Rick Cleaver, JR F, Norwich; Brian Soik, SR F, MSOE.
The Sid Watson Award, previously known as the College Division Player of the Year Award, is chosen by the American Hockey Coaches Association. It is named in honor of the legendary Bowdoin College coach and three-time national Coach of the Year.