The ECAC West announced Tuesday the major award winners and All-Conference selections for the 2016-17 season.
Nazareth senior Dominik Gabaj took home the award for Player of the Year, while Hobart College’s Carl Belizario was voted the Defensive Player of the Year, Cole Hepler of Lebanon Valley earned Rookie of the Year and Manhattanville’s Arlen Marshall garnered Coach of the Year.
Gabaj earns the award for Player of the Year after a leading the league in scoring in conference play. The Slovakian forward collected 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points against league foes, and also recorded three game-winning goals in ECAC West action, most in the league. Overall, Gabaj finished the regular season with 27 points (18 goals, nine assists), setting new career-highs in goals and points in the process.
Belizario served as a lynchpin on defense for the Statesmen in 2016-17. The senior helped his side post the league’s stingiest defense during the regular season, as the Statesmen allowed just 60 goals in 25 regular-season outings. The blueliner chipped in offensively as well, compiling 13 points (four goals, nine assists) with three goals and seven assists coming in league action.
Hepler’s Rookie of the Year honor comes after the freshman led his team in goals (16) and points (32) during the regular season. The forward saved some of his best work for league action, tallying 11 and setting up nine more for 20 points in 14 conference contests, just one behind the league’s leading scorer in conference play. Hepler also led all ECAC West skaters with five power-play goals in league play.
Marshall led the Valiants to a 14-10-1 overall mark and a 10-4-1 ledger against conference opponents in 2016-17. In his fifth year at the helm, Manhattanville rattled of wins in six of its final eight league games to earn the second seed and a first-round bye in the ECAC West tournament. Additionally, the Valiants’ 10 wins against league foes represent the most they have accrued in a season during Marshall’s tenure.
First Team All-ECAC West
Second Team All-ECAC West
|Brad Nolan||D||So.||Lebanon Valley|
All-Conference Honorable Mention
|Cole Hepler||F||Fr.||Lebanon Valley|
ECAC West All-Rookie Team
|Cole Hepler||F||Lebanon Valley|
|Mike Straub||D||Lebanon Valley|