Sr. Defenseman Zander Masucci Named Joe Concannon Award Semifinalist

Zander Masucci '16
Zander Masucci '16

Slate of American-born Division II/III hockey players in New England
includes representatives from five conferences;
last year's winner Jamie Murray heads list

BOSTON -- The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced today that 22 student-athletes are semifinalists for the sixteenth Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England at the NCAA Division II/III level.

This year's list comprises twelve forwards, six versatile defensemen and four outstanding goaltenders including last year's winner, Jamie Murray (Scituate, MA) from nationally-ranked Babson College. The candidates include seven players from the NEHC conference, six from the ECAC Northeast conference; five from the MASCAC conference; three from the NESCAC conference and one from the NE-10 Conference.

In addition to Murray, the NEHC (formerly ECAC East) is represented by senior Mike Vollmin (Wilmington, NC) from Babson College. Number 8 ranked Massachusetts-Boston has three nominees: senior forwards Matt Lemire (Townsend, MA), Frankie DeAugustine (Ramsey, NJ) and junior defenseman Tyler Bishop (Pittsburgh, PA). Senior forward Trevor Fleurent (Biddeford, ME) from the University of New England and junior forward Tyler Piacentini (Weymouth, MA) from Norwich University, round out the conference nominations.

The ECAC Northeast has six nominees including senior forward Tyler Beasley(Indianapolis, IN) and a returning nominee in senior goaltender Alex Larson(Madison, AL) from Nichols College. Three other talented forwards making their mark this season include senior Justin Selep (Pittsburgh, PA) from Suffolk University; freshman Parker Wood (Rochester Hills, MI) from first-year NCAA program Endicott College; and junior Connor Bates (Laconia, NH) from Johnson & Wales University. Senior defenseman and repeat semifinalist, Alex Pompeo (Hingham, MA) from Salve Regina rounds out the list for the conference.

The MASCAC Conference is represented by five dynamic players from two schools that have battled near the top all season. Salem State places a trio on this year's list of semifinalists. Senior forward Cam Moniz (Seekonk, MA) is joined by junior defenseman Brad Jones (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and junior goaltender Marcus Zelzer(Green Bay, WI). The defending conference champions from Plymouth State University add senior forward Josh Woody (Sunderland, MD) and senior goaltenderGordon Caesar (Oak Park, CA)

The semifinalists from NESCAC teams include senior forward Ryan Cole (Anchorage, AK) from defending national champion from Trinity College. Defense shines from the other two nominees including senior Zander Masucci (Far Hills, NJ) from nationally ranked Williams College and senior Sean Kavanaugh (Wilbraham, MA) from Tufts University.

From NCAA Division II ranks and the Northeast-10 Conference is senior forwardBrandon Bete (Greenfield, MA) of Assumption College. His 32 points to date lead the Greyhounds and his 21 goals lead the nation at the Division II/III level.

"The continued expansion and growth at the D-II and III levels have made it necessary to broaden our scope of recognition," said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello.

Zander Masucci '16

"This list reflects the high level of competition found across the region. Our committee believes that the level of play and increased number of teams merited expanding our list of candidates over those of prior years. All semifinalists are worthy. That definitely creates a challenge for the committee to pick the winner from the players nominated."

Zander Masucci has played in all 20 games to date for the 15-4-1 Ephs who are currently in first place in NESCAC and hosting Middlebury tonight at 7:00 p.m. With 15 points Masucci is third on the Eph squad in points having tallied six goals and registered nine assists. Two of Massuci's goals this winter have come on the power play and two have been game-winners.

Zander Masucci ranks 18th nationally in points per game for defensemen with 0.75 per game.

In his 92 games in the Purple Valley Masucci has scored 11 goals and assisted on 24 for 35 career points.

The Gridiron Club expects to announce the finalists and winner of the 16th Joe Concannon Award in March, prior to the start of NCAA Division III Frozen Four Tournament play. The award will be presented at the New England Hockey Writers dinner in April.

Joe Concannon Award Winners

2001 - Keith Aucoin Norwich University

2002 - Michael Carosi Bowdoin College

2003 - Nick Stauder Salem State College

2004 - Jim Pancyzkowski Wesleyan University

Michael O'Sullivan - Curry College

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

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.