Backman, Little Named Walter Brown Semi-Finalists
BULLDOGS VYING FOR NEW ENGLAND MVP
BOSTON, Mass. - Sean Backman (in photo) and Broc Little, two members of the No. 8 ranked Yale men's hockey team, have been named among the 16 semi-finalists for the 58th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
The candidates include 11 from Hockey East, three from ECAC Hockey and two from Atlantic Hockey. There are 11 forwards, four defensemen and one goalie. Five teams - Yale, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Boston University and Boston College - each have two nominees.
Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.), a senior who has 13 goals and 22 points this winter, has earned some type of all-conference honors each season at Yale. He has 69 career goals and 113 career points in 114 games. Little (Rindge, N.H.) has a team-high 15 goals and ranks fifth in Division I with .71 goals per game. He led the nation with five shorthanded goals last season as a sophomore and has 41 career goals and 80 points in 82 games.
Backman, Massachusetts junior James Marcou,(Kings Park, N.Y.) and UMass-Lowell senior Kory Falite (Billerica, Mass.), all forwards, were semifinalists for last year's award won by Boston University's Matt Gilroy. Marcou, who currently leads the nation in scoring with 40 points in 28 games, was also in the running two years ago as a freshman.
The defensemen are Boston College senior Carl Sneep (Nisswa, Minn.), Boston University sophomore David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.), New Hampshire sophomore Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) and Providence senior Mark Fayne (Sagamore Beach, Mass.).
The only goaltender among the 2010 semifinalists is Vermont sophomore Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
The remaining forwards from Hockey East schools are Boston College junior Brian Gibbons (Braintree, Mass.), Boston University junior Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.), Massachusetts sophomore Casey Wellman (Brentwood, Calif.); and New Hampshire senior Bobby Butler (Marlborough, Mass.).
Quinnipiac senior Eric Lampe (Madison, Wis.) rounds out the ECAC group, while Atlantic Hockey also has Sacred Heart senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, Conn.) and Bentley University senior Marc Menzione (Darien, Ill.).
"The balance and competitiveness we've seen throughout college hockey in the East this year has been superb, and that balance was especially evident during the process of nomination and evaluation for the Walter Brown Award," remarked Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello.
The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 58th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
Walter Brown Award Winners
1953 Ray Picard Northeastern
1954 Bob Babine Boston College
1955 Bill Cleary Harvard
1956 R.J. Cavanaugh Northeastern
1957 Bob Cleary Harvard
1958 Bob Cleary Harvard
1959 Mike Karin Middlebury
1960 Art Chisholm Northeastern
1961 Tom Martin Boston College
1962 Dave Grannis Harvard
1963 Bill Hogan Boston College
1964 Richie Green Boston University
1965 Bob Gaudreau Brown
1966 John Cunniff Boston College
1967 Jerry York Boston College
1968 Tim Sheehy Boston College
1969 Paul Hurley Boston College
1970 Tim Sheehy Boston College
1971 Joe Cavanagh Harvard
1972 Bob McManama Harvard
1973 Tom Mellor Boston College
1974 Ed Walsh Boston University
1975 Ron Wilson Providence
1976 Richie Smith Boston College
1977 Bob Miller New Hampshire
1978 Joe Mullen Boston College
1979 Ralph Cox New Hampshire
1980 Bill Army Boston College
1981 Mark Switaj Boston College
1982 Chuck Marshall Northeastern
1983 Mark Fusco Harvard
1984 Cleon Daskalakis Boston University
1985 Tim Army Providence
1986 Scott Fusco Harvard
Scott Harlow Boston College
1987 Brian Leetch Boston College
1988 Mike McHugh Maine
1989 Lane MacDonald Harvard
1990 Greg Brown Boston College
1991 Dave Emma Boston College
1992 Rob Gaudreau Providence
1993 Dave Sacco Boston University
1994 Jacques Joubert Boston University
1995 Mike Grier Boston University
1996 Jay Pandolfo Boston University
1997 Chris Drury Boston University
1998 Chris Drury Boston University
1999 Mike Mottau Boston College
Mike Omicioli Providence
2000 Mike Mottau Boston College
2001 Ty Conklin New Hampshire
Brian Gionta Boston College
2002 Jim Fahey Northeastern
2003 Mike Ayers New Hampshire
2004 Steve Saviano New Hampshire
2005 Dov Grumet-Morris Harvard
2006 Chris Collins Boston College
2007 John Curry Boston University
2008 Kevin Regan New Hampshire
2009 Matt Gilroy Boston University
The Walter Brown Award
Commemorating the life and works of America's greatest sportsman, the Walter Brown Award is given annually to the outstanding American-born college hockey player in New England. The Walter Brown Award is the oldest nationally recognized honor accorded to individual players in the sport of American college hockey. Brown coached the United States to its first world hockey championship in 1933. The U.S. team, the Massachusetts Rangers, comprised players from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, and Boston Commerce High School. The Americans defeated the Toronto National Sea Fleas, coached by Harold Ballard, 2-1 in overtime in the final game of the 1933 World Tournament at Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was also America's first win over a team from Canada and the first loss ever suffered by the Canadians in international play. The U.S. team members established the Walter Brown award at their 20th reunion in 1953. Criteria for the selection committee include leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ability as well as on-ice achievement. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has been the steward of the Walter Brown Award since 1977.