Sixteen semifinalists selected for 2018 Walter Brown Award

Joe Gambardella (UML - 5) - The University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks defeated the Providence College Friars 2-1 at 12:27 of the third overtime in their Hockey East semi-final meeting on Friday, March 18, 2016, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
UMass Lowell’s Joe Gambardella was the 2017 recipient of the Walter Brown Award (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has announced that 16 NCAA Division I players are semifinalists for the 66th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

The nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that year. The team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.

Ten teams are represented in the slate of candidates that includes six forwards, one defenseman, and one goalie from Hockey East, three forwards and one defenseman from ECAC Hockey, and one forward, one defenseman, and one goalie from Atlantic Hockey.

Two of the 2018 nominees were semifinalists a year ago: Northeastern forward Adam Gaudette and Harvard defenseman Adam Fox.

The following is the complete list of semifinalists, by team, with statistics through Feb. 3:

Northeastern: Junior forward Adam Gaudette (19-20-39), senior forward Nolan Stevens (17-10-27), freshman goalie Cayden Primeau (2.01 GAA, 9.21 save pct.).

Boston University: Junior forward Bobo Carpenter (16-22-27), junior forward Jordan Greenway (9-15-24).

Harvard: Junior forward Ryan Donato (21-9-30), sophomore defenseman Adam Fox (0-12-12).

Holy Cross: Senior forward Scott Pooley (18-15-33), senior goalie Paul Berrafato (2.47 GAA, .922 save pct.).

Providence: Junior forward Erik Foley (13-18-31), senior forward Brian Pinho (11-15-26).

American International: Freshman defenseman Brennan Kapcheck (6-15-21).

Maine: Freshman goalie Jeremy Swayman (2.52. GAA,.926 save pct.)

New Hampshire: Freshman defenseman Max Gildon (8-14-22).

Quinnipiac: Freshman forward Odeen Tufto (7-24-31).

Yale: Junior forward Joe Snively (12-10-22).

“This number of semifinalists is not quite as large as last year’s when there were 23 candidates in the running for the Walter Brown Award,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Chairman Tim Costello in a statement. “This year, we have a superb field that’s very selective and closely matched top to bottom.

“As of press time, the field includes the leading point-getter in the country in Adam Gaudette and the leading goal scorer in Ryan Donato. Ryan and Jordan Greenway are the Eastern collegians selected to play on this year’s U.S. Olympic team. Several other candidates are not far from Adam and Ryan in the national scoring race, and there’s a month yet to play in the season. We also have the first-ever nominee from American International College in Brennan Kapcheck.”

UMass Lowell’s Joe Gambardella was the 2017 award winner.

The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 2018 award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA tournament play. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner in April.