BOSTON – Eight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's ice hockey student-athletes were named Joe Connannon Award semifinalists on Thursday by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
There were 25 players in all named as semifinalists for the award that is presented annually to the best American-born NCAA Division II/III college hockey player in New England. The CCC's eight honorees was the most of any conference.
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.
Repeat finalists from the CCC include Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.) and Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) from the University of New England, Zach White (Milford, Conn.) from Curry, and Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.) from Western New England. Fleurent was the award winner in 2017.
Joining those four returners are the Endicott trio of Tommy Besinger (Milton, Mass.), Carter Horowitz (Tustin, Calif.), and Daniel Kucerovy (Bethel Park, Pa.), plus Salve Regina's Danny Eruzione (Winthrop, Mass.).
"This is definitely among the greatest number of semifinalists we have ever had for the Concannon Award," said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello. "The exceptional level of play in each of the five conferences has showcased many outstanding hockey players worthy of consideration for nomination. It has been very challenging for the committee to reduce the list among so many outstanding performances this season. With extremely tight conference races, every player will be playing meaningful hockey in the upcoming weeks and showcasing their abilities in support of their team to separate themselves from this great field of nominees."
The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 19th Joe Concannon Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of the NCAA DIII Frozen four. The award will be presented at the New England College Hockey Writers' Dinner in April.
ABOUT 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, Conn., 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.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.