While the carnage in the post two below this one is going on, hopefully some stragglers will offer their opinions on the Hockey East awards. Hockey East is the only conference this year with two teams in the Frozen Four, and top to bottom it has been the deepest and best conference all season. Last year’s national champion lost one contributor, a key one to be sure, but went from national champs to out of the NCAA Tournament.
Northeastern led Hockey East for much of the season, before being overtaken by Boston University, who also added a Hockey East tournament title and a Beanpot title, on the last weekend of the season.
So as you can imagine, coming up with a coach of the year was mildly difficult in the least. Was it Greg Cronin, who led the Huskies to 2nd place and 2nd place in the Beanpot? Was it Blaise MacDonald, who took UMass-Lowell from afterthought to the conference title game? Or was it Jack Parker, whose BU team dominated college hockey all season long.
Our Hockey East coach of the year is none of those, but rather Vermont’s Kevin Sneddon. Sneddon led Vermont to a 3rd place tie in Hockey East, and his Catamounts will be competing in the Frozen Four next weekend in Washington, DC. Vermont has gone 22-11-5 so far this season, a 5 win increase from last season’s 17-15-7 mark.
The player of the year award was similarly difficult to nail down, as we were back and forth between Northeastern’s Brad Thiessen and BU’s Matt Gilroy. But we decided to go a completely different direction, tabbing Boston University’s Colin Wilson. The future Nashville Predator has 52 points so far this season for the best team in hockey, and also played a huge role on the United States team at the World Juniors. Wilson led Hockey East in points per game with 1.27, and was tied for 9th with 15 goals. The most impossible to put together first team is after the jump, along with the second team. Read more…