Endicott leads pack with four nominees for 2017 Joe Concannon Award

Brady Fleurent of the University of New England (David Bates/Fotografix Studio/University of New England Athletics)
Brady Fleurent of the University of New England is one of 26 semifinalists for the 2017 Joe Concannon Award (photo: David Bates/Fotografix Studio/University of New England Athletics).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Thursday that 26 student-athletes are semifinalists for the seventeenth Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England at the NCAA Division II/III level.

The award was established in 2001 shortly after the passing of the longtime writer for the Boston Globe, who had a great passion for the game of college hockey while always advocating strongly for amateur athletics.

A total of 15 teams are represented in the slate of candidates that includes nine players from the CCC, eight from the NEHC, four from the MASCAC, four from the NESCAC and one from the NE-10.

The list of nominees includes 14 forwards, eight defensemen and four goalies.

Second-year program Endicott, which moved its hockey up to varsity status last season after 12 years as a club team, leads the way with four nominees. Norwich, Massachusetts-Boston and the University of New England have three each.

Just four of the 2017 nominees were semifinalists a year ago – UNE forward Trevor Fleurent, Norwich forward Tyler Piacentini, UMB defenseman Tyler Bishop and Tufts defenseman Sean Kavanagh.

The following is the complete list of semifinalists by team:

Conor Girard, junior goaltender

Geoff Sullivan, senior defenseman

Kevin Aldridge, sophomore goaltender
Tommy Besinger, sophomore forward
Logan Day, sophomore defenseman
Ross Olsson, sophomore forward

UMass Boston
Tyler Bishop, senior defenseman
Ryan Cusin, freshman forward
Colin Larkin, junior forward

UMass Dartmouth
Casey Shea, junior forward

Colin Brennan, junior goaltender
J.B. Baker, freshman forward

Tyler Piacentini, senior forward
Cody Smith, senior defenseman
Kevin Salvucci, junior forward

Plymouth State
Tommy Dowell, senior defenseman
Ryan Stevens, sophomore forward

Southern New Hampshire
Joe Collins, senior forward

St. Anselm
Shane Joyce, junior goaltender

St. Michael’s
Danny Divis, senior defenseman

Sean Kavanagh, senior defenseman

Westfield State
Jackson Leef, senior forward

Frankie Mork, senior defenseman

University of New England
Ryan Bloom, freshman forward
Brady Fleurent, sophomore forward
Trevor Fleurent, senior forward

“This is the greatest number of semifinalists we have ever had for the Concannon Award,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello in a statement. “The incredibly high level of play across each of the five conferences as well as the number of teams that have appeared in national rankings and players receiving weekly conference recognition are true indicators of the field’s worthiness for consideration. With the final weeks of the regular season and conference tournaments ahead at the end of February, there is a short window of time for players to truly separate themselves from a talented and deep field contending for this year’s award.”

The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 17th Joe Concannon Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Frozen Four in Utica, N.Y. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner on Tuesday, April 11, at the Prince Restaurant in Saugus, Mass.