Stevens and Morelli recognized as two of the best in New England
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston (GCGB) has released its semifinalists for the 18th Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born NCAA Division II/III men's ice hockey player in New England, and two members of the Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team were among the 22 players chosen.
Juniors Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) and Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) were named semifinalists for the prestigious award in an announcement from GCGB president Chris Clemente. Stevens was also named a semifinalist last season, while this is the first time Morelli has achieved the honor.
The award was established in 2001 shortly after the passing of the longtime writer for the Boston Globe, who had a great passion for the game of college hockey while always advocating strongly for amateur athletics.
There were two other Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) athletes to earn semifinalist status; junior forward Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) of Fitchburg State University and junior forward Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
GCGB will announce the finalists and winner of the 2018 Concannon Award in March following conference playoffs and prior to the start of the NCAA Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers' Dinner in April at the Prince Restaurant in Saugus, Mass.
Stevens has been the top point-scorer for the Panthers all season long. He leads PSU with 26 assists and 36 points, while adding 10 goals on the year. His 1.08 assists per game are the sixth most in the country and he is tied for 14th in the nation with 1.50 points per game.
Morelli has cemented himself among the nation's best between the pipes. He is 11th in the country with a 1.87 goals against average and his .931 save percentage is 13th best among NCAA DII/DIII goalies. He stands second nationwide in winning percentage with a 16-2-1 mark (.868) and his three shutouts are tied for the eighth most in the country.
Plymouth State (19-4-2, 15-2-1 MASCAC) was the MASCAC regular season champion for the sixth time in seven years and will be the top seed for the upcoming MASCAC Tournament. The Panthers receive a bye in the first round and will host the winner of #4 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and #5 Westfield State University in a semifinal contest at Hanaway Rink on Tuesday (Feb. 27). Puck-drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
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