CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Hockey East Association announced tonight that Massachusetts sophomore defenseman Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta.) has been awarded the honor of 2019 Hockey East Player of the Year. The award was presented as part of the 35th Annual Hockey East championship awards banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.
Alongside Makar, Boston University first-year forward Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.), was named the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year for a season in which he led the Terriers in scoring with 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points. Additionally, Makar's head coach, Greg Carvel, collected his first Bob Kullen Award as the Bauer Coach of the Year after guiding Massachusetts to the Hockey East regular season crown and the top seed in the Hockey East Tournament for the first time in program history.
Makar caps off a historic 2018-19 season by becoming the first Massachusetts player to be named the Hockey East Player of the Year and the first defenseman to win the award outright since Chris Imes (Maine) collected the title in 1994-95. Mike Mottau (Boston College) shared the award with Ty Conklin (New Hampshire) in 1999-00. Makar currently leads the league in overall scoring, putting up 15 goals and 31 assists for 46 points, on his way to becoming the first defenseman since at least 1998-99 to pace Hockey East in that category. Among all national defensemen, his 46 overall points rank tied for second in the NCAA. The sophomore also finished second in conference scoring, netting eight goals and a league-best 22 helpers for 30 points and had the best on-ice rating with a plus-21 in 24 league contests. Makar leads all league defenders in overall goals (15), assists (31), points (46), points per game (1.28), a plus-30 rating, and 119 shots on goal. Makar was named Hockey East Player of the Week three times, once on back-to-back occasions (Oct. 15, Oct. 22) as well as on March 18, Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on January 14 and March 4, and Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Named the only unanimous Hockey East First Team All-Star, Makar was also unanimously selected as Player of the Year and named a Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalist on March 20.
Farabee lead all Hockey East rookies in conference scoring, amassing 24 points on seven goals and 17 assists. He paced all firstyear players with 0.71 assists per game, 1.00 points per game, 10 power-play assists, 13 power-play points, and one shorthanded goal. Two of his seven tallies proved to be game-winning strikes. His 24 points in league play tied for eighth among all Hockey East players. The Cicero, New York native leads the Terriers in point scoring overall (35) and was second among his teammates in league play (24). Each of the last three times a freshman has lead Boston University in overall scoring, he has taken home Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year honors as Farabee follows in the footsteps of Clayton Keller (2016-17) and Jack Eichel (2014-15.) Farabee, named to the 2018-19 Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, was honored as a Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week three times on January 14 and 28 and March 18.
Carvel returns his Minutemen to the Hockey East semifinals for the first time since 2007 after leading Massachusetts to a banner year in which his squad captured its first-ever Hockey East regular season crown. Carvel guided UMass to an 18-6-0 record in Hockey East in his third season at the helm and a 28-8-0 overall mark. The 28 overall wins and 18 conference victories were both the most ever in the history of the program. It also marks just the third time since 2011-12 that a Hockey East program reached 18 wins in conference contests. He coached the highest-scoring league offense (3.83 GPG) and the second-best defense in the conference (2.12 GPG). Under his direction, the Minutemen operated the most efficient power-play unit, converting on 29 of 93 attempts for a 31.2% success rate, and the fourth-best penalty killing unit in the league, allowing just 14 power-play goals in 93 kill attempts, good for an 84.9% success rate. Carvel's squad allowed just 15 third-period goals in league play, the fewest among all league programs. The Minutemen had the most goals (92) of any team to go along with a league-best plus-41 goal differential in 24 conference contests. Carvel becomes just the second-ever coach to win both the ECAC Hockey and Hockey East Coach of the Year awards after being so honored after the 2014-15 season at St. Lawrence. Nate Leaman, who was named ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year while with Union after the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, claimed the Bob Kullen Award with Providence in 2015-16.
The 35th Hockey East Tournament championship will take place this weekend, Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at the TD Garden in Boston. No. 3 Northeastern will square off with No. 5 Boston University Friday at 4 p.m., while No. 1 Massachusetts and No. 7 Boston College take the ice at 7:30 p.m. The winners advance to Saturday's championship tilt at 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.