Union Hockey Announces Award Winners at Team Banquet

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Six members of the Union College men’s hockey program were honored at the team’s season-ending awards banquet, Thursday night at The Edison.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER & COACHES’ AWARD – MIKE VECCHIONE
Two-time captain Mike Vecchione was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and the recipient of the Coaches’ Award for the second consecutive season. A CCM/AHCA First-Team East All-American, the 2016-17 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and Union’s first ever Hobey Baker Hat Trick Finalist, Vecchione had the best statistical season in Union’s history, producing a program-best 29 goals and 63 points and becoming the first Dutchman with two career 50-point seasons. He finished tied for first in Division I in points, points per game (1.66) and game-winning goals (7) and led the nation in multi-point games (21). He also ranked tied for second in shorthanded goals (4) and fourth in faceoff percentage (61.8). The Saugus, Mass. native tied for the ECAC Hockey scoring title with teammate Spencer Foo (40 points), including a league-best 17 goals.

Vecchione, who made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers on April 4, completed his career as the Union’s all-time leading scorer (176 points), ranking second in program history in assists (105) and third in goals (71).

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – COLE MAIER
Sophomore forward Cole Maier was tabbed as the Most Improved Player. Maier ranked third on the team in goals (15), also producing career bests in assists (10) and points (25). His four game-winning goals tied him for second on the team and placed him tied for eighth among Division I underclassmen. A true 200-foot player, Maier tied for 21st among the nation’s forwards in blocked shots (36) and sat tied for third among Union skaters in plus-minus (+15). The Pequannock, N.J. native also tallied the overtime winner against Rensselaer in the 2017 Capital District Mayor’s Cup.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – LUKE BROWN
First-year forward Luke Brown accepted the Rookie of the Year Award. The team’s leading rookie scorer, Brown tallied six goals and added nine assists for 15 points. Brown tied a career high with two points (1G-1A) in the Mayor’s Cup, assisting on the game-winning goal. He also had game-winning points at Clarkson and against Princeton in game one of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals. The Napanee, Ontario native ranked tied for seventh among ECAC Hockey rookies in games played (37).

SCOTT RICHARDSON UNSUNG HERO AWARD – RYAN WALKER
Sophomore forward Ryan Walker received the Scott Richardson Unsung Hero Award. Walker appeared in 35 games this season, registering a career-best five goals, 11 assists and 16 points. The Spotswood, N.J. native was a key contributor in all situations for the Dutchmen and played both at left wing and at center. He compiled three power-play points and blocking 24 shots. He also tied a career high with two points in ECAC Hockey wins at Quinnipiac and Dartmouth and amassed a career-best four-game point streak.

CHARLES N. MORRISON AWARD – ELI LICHTENWALD
Senior forward Eli Lichtenwald received the Charles N. Morrison Award, presented annually to a player who participates in extracurricular activities while demonstrating academic interest and achievement. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native was a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative and was instrumental in organizing Union hockey’s community service initiatives, including serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Schenectady Chapter YMCA and running practices for Schenectady and Saratoga Youth Hockey. Lichtenwald, who compiled 24 goals and 20 assists in 129 career games, also excels in the classroom, holding a 3.21 grade-point average in Biology.

THOMAS VAS ARDEN DUKEHART AWARD – BEN NEWHOUSE
First-year defenseman Ben Newhouse was honored with the Thomas Van Arden Dukehart Award, presented to the player with the highest grade-point average. An Economics major, Newhouse carries a 3.68 grade-point average and earned a 3.80 GPA in the Winter term. A native of Edina, Minn., Newhouse made 22 appearances for the Dutchmen.

Union finished the 2016-17 campaign with a record of 25-10-3 overall and 16-4-2 in ECAC Hockey. The Dutchmen claimed a share of the Cleary Cup as the league’s regular season champion for the fourth time in the last seven seasons, earning a berth into the NCAA Division I Tournament for the fifth time in the last eight years.

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