Backman, Little Named Walter Brown Semi-Finalists

Sean Backman.
Sean Backman.




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.