Thursday, April 12, 2018
Melanson Named Hockey East Player of the Month for March
UMass's Leonard Claims Top Rookie; MVP Oettinger Wins Best Goaltender
Senior Forward; Paramus, New Jersey
Perhaps no player was more clutch in March than Boston University's Drew Melanson. After scoring a goal and adding an assist in a 5-4 overtime win over UConn to start the Hockey East Tournament, Melanson scored an overtime-forcing goal just 45 seconds after Boston College took a 3-2 lead in the semifinals. The Terriers advanced to the title game and, needing a win to move onto the NCAA Tournament, Melanson scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory to capture the ninth Lamoriello Trophy for the Terriers. The senior continued his hot-streak, setting up the decisive tally in a 3-1 win over Cornell in the NCAA Tournament and found the back of the net 3:30 into the third period in the regional finals to tie the game.
Runner-up: Dylan Sikura, Northeastern (Aurora, Ont.)
Forward; Amherst, Massachusetts
Leonard, an Amherst, Massachusetts native, helped to guide his hometown Minutemen to the first Hockey East Tournament series win since 2007 with four points on two goals and two assists against the Vermont Catamounts. His two strikes were highlight-reel markers, while he assisted on the overtime winner in Game 1. He went on to add a score in Game 2 at Northeastern in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Overall, his five points tied for second among rookies in March, while his three goals and 3.80 shots on goal per game were the best among all first-year players in the month.
Runner-up: Brady Keeper, Maine (Cross Lake, Man.)
Goaltender; Lakeville, Minnesota
Oettinger lead Hockey East in minutes (380:42), saves (184), shots seen (198), wins (5), and shutouts (1) in the month of March. Backstopping his Terriers to the 2018 Hockey East Tournament, the sophomore netminder was named MVP of the league postseason. He kicked out at least 30 pucks in each of his team's five wins and guided Boston University into the NCAA Tournament by way of winning five must-win contests. In capturing the ninth Lamoriello Trophy in school history, Oettinger secured the national postseason berth and allowed just one goal to rival Cornell in the NCAA East Regional.
Runner-up: Craig Pantano, Merrimack (Bridgewater, Mass.)