Slate of American-born Division One hockey players in New England includes 14 forwards, seven defensemen and four goaltenders
BOSTON – February 7, 2022 – Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Cheryl Duddy Schoenfeld announced today that 25 NCAA Division One players are semifinalists for the70th 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, where the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.
Twelve teams are represented in the slate of candidates that includes 14 forwards, seven defensemen, and four goaltenders. Fourteen nominees are from teams in Hockey East; seven nominees are from ECAC Hockey; and four are from Atlantic Hockey. Harvard University has four nominees; Providence and Quinnipiac have three each; American International, Boston College, Boston University, UMass, Merrimack, and Northeastern each have two; and Bentley, New Hampshire, and Sacred Heart each have one.
Six of the 2022 nominees were semifinalists a year ago: Boston College forward Marc McLaughlin; Boston University forward Jay O’Brien, Northeastern defenseman Jordan Harris, Providence goalie Jaxson Stauber, New Hampshire forward Jackson Pierson, and UMass forward Bobby Trivigno, who was the 2019 Walter Brown Award winner. The following is the complete list of semifinalists, by team, with statistics through March 6:
American International College: Sophomore goaltender Jake Kucharski, Erie, PA (2.62 g.a.a, .902 save pct.);and grad student forward Brian Rigali, Green Oaks, IL (10-9-19).
Bentley University: Sophomore defenseman Drew Bavaro, Bradenton, FL (9-14-23).
Boston College: Senior forward Marc McLaughlin, North Billerica, MA (18-6-24); and senior defenseman Jack St. Ivany, Manhattan Beach, CA (4-16-20).
Boston University: Sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso, Norwell, MA (2.48 g.a.a, .915 save pct.); and junior forward Jay O’Brien, Hingham, MA (6-9-15).
Harvard: Junior forward Nick Abruzzese, Slate Hill, NY (5-16-21); sophomore forward Sean Farrell, Hopkinton, MA (8-11-19); sophomore forward Alex Laferriere, Chatham, NJ (11-9-20); and junior defenseman Henry Thrun, Southboro, MA (4-17-21).
UMass–Amherst: Freshman defenseman Scott Morrow, Darien, CT (10-16-26) and senior forward Bobby Trivigno, Setauket, NY (14-16-30).
Merrimack: Junior defenseman Declan Carlile, Hartland, MI (6-14-20); and junior forward Liam Walsh, Bridgeville, PA (6-14-20).
New Hampshire: Senior forward Jackson Pierson, Zionsville, IN (11-7-18).
Northeastern: Senior defenseman Jordan Harris, Haverhill, MA (5-11-16); and junior forward Aidan McDonough, Milton, MA (17-7-24).
Providence: Sophomore forward Brett Berard, East Greenwich, RI (14-18-32)); junior forward Parker Ford, Wakefield, RI (12-12-24); and junior goaltender Jaxson Stauber, Plymouth, MN (2.02 g.a.a, .927 save pct.)
Quinnipiac: Senior forward Wyatt Bongiovanni, Birmingham MI(13-11-24); senior defenseman Zach Metsa, Delafield, WI (7-21-28);and grad student goaltender Dylan St. Cyr, Northville, MI (1.33 g.a.a, .929 save pct.).
Sacred Heart: Senior forward Austin Magera, Suwanee, GA (7-13-20).
“With all of the teams back in action this season after an abbreviated campaign last year due to Covid, we have six more semifinalists than we had a year ago. This field of candidates shows strong representation from all three conferences and a balanced blend of forwards, defensemen, and goalies,” remarked selection committee chairman Tim Costello.
The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 70th Walter Brown Award in late March, before the start of NCAA Tournament play.