Abbate from Plymouth State Wins the 22nd Joe Concannon Award for Best American-Born Division II/III College Hockey Player in New England

Skilled forward wins the award over five outstanding finalists representing teams from

  Curry, Endicott, Franklin Pierce, Norwich, and Wesleyan

BOSTON – March  24, 2023 – Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Cheryl Duddy-Schoenfield announced today that Myles Abbate, a senior from Plymouth State University is the winner of the22ndtJoe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England at the Division-II/III level.

The Joe Concannon 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.

Abbate, a forward from Norwell, Massachusetts, finished his season with the Panthers by recording 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points with a plus/minus rating of +25 in 25 games played. He earned Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season while leading the Panthers to an undefeated regular season in conference play, a fourth consecutive MASCAC championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament where they bowed out to the University of New England in the first round. Abbate took only one minor penalty during the entire season and surpassed the 100-point mark in just over three seasons of play due to the pandemic.

“This is a great award for Myles, who really deserves it,” noted Plymouth State head coach Craig Russell. ”Having coached him for four years, he is the only player that I have ever seen that empties the tank each and every practice – no days off. He is just so committed and focused on the team results and goals that I am sure that the individual recognition won’t be much for him now, but I do know that down the road he will recognize the importance of winning this prestigious award. He has been a special human being and a pleasure and privilege to coach. I know he is looking at playing opportunities for next year and wherever that is, that team is getting something very special in Myles.”

Abbate outdistanced the remaining finalists in the final balloting. Each of the finalists had stellar seasons, and all were worthy candidates for the award. The remaining finalists include:

Drennen Atherton (Winter Park, FL)– The senior goaltender for Norwich played a big part in the Cadets’ receiving an at-large bid to the national tournament where they lost to Endicott in the quarterfinals. He finished the season with a 1.54 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and three shutouts in 23 games played. He finished the season with a 16-6-0 record, earning a second consecutive Goaltender of the Year and first-team All-NEHC honors.

Conor Foley (Nahant, MA) – The senior forward from Franklin Pierce finished the season with 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points while leading the Ravens into the NE-10 tournament. Foley was a first team All-NE-10 selection along with being voted the conference’s Player of the Year.

Timmy Kent (Parkland, FL) – The junior forward from Curry College finished the season with 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points while leading the Colonels to the CCC championship game and an at-large NCAA tournament berth. The Colonels won their first-ever game in the national tournament, a 1-0 overtime vistory over Bowdoin where Kent set up the winning goal. Kent was a first team All-CCC selection.

Andrew Kurapov (Corvallis, OR) – The junior forward was a key piece in Endicott’s championship run and first CCC title since 2019. He finished the season with 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points and a plus/minus rating of +21. Kurapov has helped the Gulls reach their first ever Frozen Four, which they will host on March 24 and 26. Named Co-Player of the Year and a first team All-CCC player, he has led the Gulls offense all season.

Jake Lachance (Andover, MA)– The senior defenseman was a first team NESCAC all-conference player and Player of the Year while recording 7 goals and 19 assists for 26 points in leading Wesleyan to a first-place finish in the regular season. He was among the top three in conference scoring during the regular season while playing in all situations for Wesleyan.

“This season, more than any other in recent memory, has truly shown great balance and talent across the conferences and the region at the D-II/III level,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello. “The committee had a difficult time in winnowing the semifinal field but these special players, and Myles in particular, separated themselves from the pack with tremendous individual play and strong impact on team results to garner the special attention of the members. Myles is the first recipient from Plymouth State and only the second from MASCAC, with Nick Stauder from Salem State winning in 2003.”

The Joe Concannon Award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner on April 19 in Saugus, MA.

                                                Joe Concannon Award Winners

2001        Keith Aucoin                           Norwich University

2002        Michael Carosi                        Bowdoin College

2003        Nick Stauder                           Salem State College

2004        Michael O’Sullivan  Curry College                                                                                                                                                                 

Jim Pancyzkowski                         Wesleyan University

2005        Brian Doherty                         Curry College

                Joseph Ori                               Trinity College

2006        Adam Dann                             Bowdoin College

2007        Greg Osborne                         Colby College

2008        Tom Maldonado                      Middlebury College

2009        Jeff Landers                            Amherst College

2010        Coleman Noonan                    St. Anselm College

2011        Josh Harris                              Castleton College

2012        Jeremiah Ketts                         Johnson & Wales University

2013        Colin Mulvey                          Norwich University

2014        Jackson Brewer                       Trinity College

2015        Jamie Murray                          Babson College

2016        Jamie Murray                          Babson College

2017        Brady Fleurent                        University of New England

2018        Colin Larkin                            Massachusetts-Boston

2019        Brady Fleurent                        University of New England

2020        Walker Harris                          Wesleyan University

2021        Not Awarded                          Canceled due to COVID.

2022        Ryan Black                              Babson College

                Conor O’Brien                        Endicott College

2023        Myles Abbate                          Plymouth State University

The Joe Concannon Award

The Gridiron Club established the Joe Concannon Award in 2001 to honor Joe, a lifelong devotee of college hockey, former member of the Walter Brown Award Selection Committee and, as a journalist, a staunch advocate for the amateur athletes he knew and covered.  A native of Litchfield, Connecticut, Joe graduated from Boston University in 1961. He served as sports information director (SID) at Holy Cross before joining the Boston Globe in the late 1960’s to cover college sports.  Joe declined frequent invitations by his editors to write about Boston’s major professional sports teams, preferring to concentrate on the colleges, distance running and golf.  He wrote the book Marathoning with Bill Rodgers and established the highly successful Litchfield Road Race in his hometown.  Joe was a world traveler and was especially proud of his Irish heritage, frequently sojourning to the Emerald Isle.  He passed away in 2000.

2022-2023 Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Selection Committee and Advisory Board: Tim Costello, Chairman; Joe Bertagna, Tom Burke, Jim Connelly, Dick DeCaprio, Bob DeGregorio, John Gravallese, Steve Hagwell, Tyler Murray, John Powers, Paul McNamara, Mike McShane, Richard Umile, and William J. Stewart III.

Press Contacts:        Tim Costello, Committee Chairman

          Phone: 732-425-5922 

                                Tom Burke, Communications Director 

   Phone: 617-323-5694   

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