Monday, March 17, 2014

2013-2014 Hockey LEast Awards: Get Your Popcorn Ready

Welcome to the 3rd Annual edition of the Hockey LEast Awards. While we leave the real postseason awards to the writers and coaches, we feel it's wrong if the worst players in the league fail to be recognized as well.  When putting this list together, we take into account the following: goals, assists, plus/minus, games played, and our personal hatred level towards each player. We released our Pre-season favorites back in September and some were spot on...others not so much. Enjoy.

Dennehy explaining away another Merrimack loss. Courtesy of Merrimack Athletics
(Worst) Coach of the Year- Mark Dennehy (Merrimack)
This 1991 BC grad had a year for the ages behind the bench at Merrimack posting only 3 wins in league play leading to a last place finish. Only one Merrimack player recorded more than 14 points this season. Think about that for a minute. There were 87 players who scored more than 14 points this season in Hockey East. When you only have one of the top 87 scorers in the league, that generally doesn't lead to success. Some will claim it is because of the talent level being recruited which is certainly part of it but who recruits the players? Bingo! It's Dennehy and his staff. The moral of the story is if you don't want to get this award, don't be a BC alum and come in last in the league. Maybe just the first one.

Gaudreault about to be pick-pocketed/Courtesy of UNH Athletics
(Worst) Player of the Year- Maxim Gaudreault (UNH)
Gaudreault not only has a terrible last name, but also a terrible stat line. His measly 3 points in 34 games along with a -10 rating are straight up bad. This comes on a team that is above .500 and possibly bound for the NCAA tournament.  You combine his stat line with how eerily close his last name is to the worst person on the face of the earth and this award became unanimous very quickly. He literally contributes nothing to UNH. Gaudreault sucks and so do both Gaudreaus. We personally want to congratulate him on being the first player not named Vinny Saponari to win this award. It took Vinny leaving Hockey East for it to happen, but Maxim has filled his shoes quite nicely.

Nice window buddy, you from Minnesota?/Courtesy of the Daily Collegian
(Worst) Rookie of the Year- Frank Vatrano (UMass)
Vatrano only played in one game this year due to suspension but that makes this award even easier to hand out. Vatrano recorded no points in his one game this season. His lack of eligibility with the NCAA clearinghouse did not stop him from taking his shots on twitter, though. From the "Powerplay with CJ" to former Frozen Four MVP Colby Cohen, Vatrano took his shots and was then promptly embarrassed because he has no foot (or intelligence) to stand on. What else would you expect from a UMass student?  Congrats Frankie!

Ferriero practicing spearing, probably/Courtesy of the Mack Report
Biggest Goon of the Year-Cody Ferriero (Northeastern)
This was a tough award to decide as there were no true goons this season, and no one player racked up an inordinate amount of penalty minutes. The award has to go to somebody, though, so here we go. Ferriero had 51 penalty minutes in only 19 games this season. His 2.68 penalty minutes per game led the league. To put this in perspective, even notorious BU bad boy and semi-pro hunter Eric Gryba averaged less than 2.68 PIM/Game throughout his career.  What's even more impressive is that 37 of those penalty minutes came in two games. He was benched after both games and later left the team after the Beanpot. Ferriero certainly wanted to win the Biggest Goon Award this year and wasn't going to let being benched get in the way of that. He made the most of his time of the ice and we applaud him for it.

Hockey Least First Team

Forwards: Brendan Silk (3-3-6, 35 GP BC) - Thomas Di Pauli(2-2-4, -1, ND) - Maxim Gaudreault (2-1-3, -10, UNH)
Defensemen: Marc Hetnik (1-1-2, -12 ,UMass), Oleg "Commie" Yevenko (0-1-1, -11 UMass)
Goalie: Sammy Marrotta (1-8-0, .870 save %, 3.16 GAA, Merrimack)

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