Keller, Deraney, Dove, Vanisova grab top Women’s Hockey East awards

Megan Keller (BC - 4) - The Boston College Eagles defeated the visiting Syracuse University Orange 10-2 on Saturday, October 4, 2014, at Kelley Rink in Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
Boston College’s Megan Keller led the Eagles from the blue line this season and was rewarded with the Women’s Hockey East Player of the Year honor (photo: Melissa Wade).

Hockey East announced Friday night that Boston College junior defenseman Megan Keller has been awarded the 2017 Cammi Granato Award as the Women’s Hockey East Player of the Year.

The award was presented as part of the 15th Annual Women’s Hockey East championship awards banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass.

Alongside Keller, Providence’s Bob Deraney was named the Hockey East Coach of the Year for a season in which he led the Friars to the playoffs for the 15th time in the program’s history, the only team to reach the postseason in each of the seasons Women’s Hockey East has existed, and became the league’s all-time winningest coach with 155 victories in league play.

Additionally, Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year accolades were awarded to two first-year skaters in Providence defenseman Whitney Dove and Maine forward Tereza Vanisova.

Keller skated in 20 of 24 Women’s Hockey East games for the Eagles this season and backboned the Eagles’ defensive corps to a record of 17-4-3, amassing six goals and a league-leading 21 assists, including six game-winning helpers. Keller was the only Hockey East skater to average more than one assist per game, finishing with an average of 1.05. The junior blueliner and top-10 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist also led the league in power-play assists (10) and plus-minus (plus-25).

As a defenseman, Keller averaged 1.45 blocked shots per game with a total of 29 blocks on the season. She was named the Hockey East Player of the Week on Feb. 13 and the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 13. Against the rest of the NCAA, Keller ranked in the top-25 players nationwide in scoring (nine goals, 26 assists) and top 15 in assists (26). In just her junior season, Keller became the all-time leading scorer among Women’s Hockey East defenseman, improving her career stat line to 15-59-74.

Dove appeared in 23 Hockey East games for the Friars across her rookie campaign, racking up four goals and 12 assists, leading all PC freshmen and all WHEA rookie defensemen and ranking fifth among all WHEA first-year skaters. Among first-year defensemen, she ranked tops in goals (4), assists (12), points (16), power-play goals (2), power-play points (6), and was second in power-play assists (4). Dove’s 0.52 assists per game also ranked third among all WHEA rookies and tops among first-year defensemen. She also sat fifth in points per game with 0.70, and second among all rookies in power-play points with six on the season. In Hockey East contests, Dove netted two game-winning goals and dished out the game-winning assist once. On January 23, Dove was honored for her performance after a five-assist weekend against as the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week.

Vanisova played 20 games during her rookie season, netting an even 10 goals and 10 assists to rank third in scoring among all league freshmen and good for second on her team. Vanisova led all league rookies with 0.50 goals per game and ranked fourth in assists per game with 0.50. Her points per game average of 1.00 was good for second among all WHEA first-year players. The Czech Republic native also finished as a top-five freshmen in shots on goals per game (2.80) and goals per shots on goal (.179). Vanisova was named Pro Ambitions Rookie on Sept. 26 after the first week of the season and was named the Hockey East Player of the Week on Nov. 14, one of just two first-year skaters to earn the player of the week award this season. She is the first skater from Maine to win an individual award.

Deraney led the Friars to an 11-10-3 Hockey East record, the team’s first winning season in league play since 2011-12, and the fourth seed in the WHEA Tournament. Deraney guided his team to the third-most potent offense on Women’s Hockey East, averaging 3.17 goals per game. The veteran coach was at the helm of a Friars squad that scored the second-most third-period goals in league play in 2016-17, potting 34 goals in the final frame of contests. His team also limited opponents to the second-fewest third-period goals on the year, allowing just 19 shots to find the back of the net in the final 20 minutes of play. It is the third time Deraney has been honored with Coach of the Year accolades.