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Union Men’s Hockey Rack Up ECAC Postseason Awards

ECAC Hockey Awards Banquet
Courtesy Union College Athletics

Head coach Rick Bennett, sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick and senior forward Kelly Zajac each earned individual awards at the ECAC Hockey Awards Banquet at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Bennett earned the Tim Taylor Coach of the Year Award, while Grosenick earned the Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year of the Award, and Zajac earned Best Defensive Forward honors. Sophomore defenseman Mat Bodie and Grosenick earned ECAC Hockey First Team honors, junior forward Jeremy Welsh earned second team honors, and Zajac earned third team honors. Union also earned the SKOR Sports Trophy for team sportsmanship.

Tim Taylor Coach of the Year Award: Head Coach Rick Bennett

Under Bennett, Union earned its second consecutive Cleary Cup, capturing the ECAC Hockey regular-season title. No. 6/6 Union (22-7-7, 14-4-4 ECAC Hockey) posted a 12-2-4 record in its last 18 ECAC Hockey contests, while earning the top seed and first-round bye in the league’s tournament. Bennett has recorded the most wins by a Union head coach in his first season, and is the only Union coach to record 20 wins in his debut year. Bennett also became the first Union coach to beat a non-conference top-five team in the USCHO.com poll when the Dutchmen earned a 3-1 at No. 5 Merrimack on Dec. 17. On Nov. 27, Bennett also led Union to a 6-3 win over No. 11 Michigan in the team’s first ever trip to Yost Arena.

Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year Award and First Team Goaltender: Sophomore Goaltender Troy Grosenick

Grosenick, who entered the season with just one career start, is in the midst of a stellar campaign for the Dutchmen. In his first year as a starter. Grosenick ranked first in conference action in goals-against average (1.60); save percentage (.940); and win percentage (.767). At 18-5-3, Grosenick, who has started 28 of 36 games, is third in the nation in goals-against average (1.66); save percentage (.963); and goals against average with a 1.66 mark and is third in the country in save percentage (.937). His five shutouts on the season matches Kris Mayotte ’06 for the single-season school record. Grosenick is on pace to shatter school single-season goals-against average and save percentage records established by Keith Kinkaid (2010-11) and Trevor Koenig (1996-1997), respectively. Kinkaid won the Ken Dryden Award last season, and Koenig took home Goaltender of the Year honors in 1997.

Best Defensive Forward Award and Third Team Forward: Senior forward Kelly Zajac

Zajac, a top faceoff man and a leader on Union’s penalty killing unit, was a finalist for the award in 2011. He leads the team in faceoffs won at 505-384 (.568) on the season and has taken 38% of the team’s faceoffs this season. Zajac has helped the Dutchmen move into the top-15 in penalty killing at 84.1% on the season, the best penalty killing mark that Union has achieved in in Zajac’s four seasons at Union. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native not only has amassed 127 points on offense (37g-90a) in his career. The first-line forward led the Dutchmen in scoring in conference games year for the second consecutive year with 25 points on five goals and 20 assists, and leads the team in scoring with 41 points (eight goals, 33 assists) in 36 games. Zajac helped the Dutchmen earn top honors with both the league’s best scoring offense, (3.45 goals per game) and defense surrendering only 1.73 goals per contest.

First Team Defenseman: Sophomore defenseman Mat Bodie

Bodie is the third Union defenseman to earn ECAC Hockey first team honors in the past four seasons, joining Lane Caffaro (2009) and Mike Schreiber (2010). Bodie has eight goals and 19 assists on the season, just six points shy of the school single-season record for points by a defenseman that Bodie established last season. Bodie leads all ECAC Hockey defenseman with a plus-17 rating and is second with 27 points.

Second Team Forward: Junior forward Jeremy Welsh

Welsh, who earned ECAC Hockey Third Team honors in 2011, is in the midst of a career year for the Dutchmen. With 23 goals on the season, Welsh has tied the school-single season record established by Mario Valery-Trabucco in 2009-10. Welsh is second on the team with 36 points (23 goals, 13 assists), and second in ECAC Hockey in goals and power play goals (nine).

All-Rookie Team: Freshman defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere

Gostisbehere, who has five goals and 15 assists on the season, is one of three Union defenseman to see action in all 36 games this season. Gostisbehere tied a school single-game record for assists with four in a 4-4 tie against Cornell on Feb, 4. Gostisbehere finished the season on a roll with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in the last 11 games.

The preceding information was provided by Jeffrey Weinstein, Assistant Sports Information Director for Union College Athletics.

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