MARSHFIELD, Mass. – Norwich University men's hockey head coach Mike McShane headlined the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) postseason award winners on Thursday as he was named the NEHC Coach of the Year for the 10th time in his illustrious career.
Six Cadets earned NEHC All-Conference honors as seniors William Pelletier (St. Jean Chrysostome, Quebec) and Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.) were named to the First Team, while classmate Ty Piacentini (South Weymouth, Mass.) and junior Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) earned Second Team honors. Juniors Alec Brandrup (Rochester, Minn.) and Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) were selected to the Third Team.
McShane was named the NEHC Coach of the Year for the 10th time in his 22 years at NU and second time in the last three years. He guided Norwich to a 21-1-3 overall record and a 16-1-1 mark in NEHC play as the Cadets won their 18th regular season title in the last 19 years.
On Nov. 19, 2016, McShane became just the seventh coach in NCAA hockey history to reach the 700-career-wins milestone in a 4-0 victory over Castleton University. He has compiled a 716-341-73 career record in 36 seasons spanning Norwich, St. Lawrence and Providence. At Norwich, he is 472-123-36 for a .773 winning percentage.
Pelletier earned NEHC First Team All-Conference honors for the second time in his career after leading the Cadets with 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points in just 17 games played. His 2.06 points per game average ranks second in Division III.
Pelletier earned two NEHC Player of the Week selections this season, while scoring two game-winning goals and six power play goals. Pelletier became the 48th player in NU men's hockey history to record 100 career points on Jan. 13 in a 9-1 win over Daniel Webster.
Smith earned NEHC postseason recognition for the first time in his career after a breakout offensive season in his final year in the Maroon & Gold. Smith leads all Division III defenseman with two goals and 28 assists for 30 points. His 28 helpers rank second in all of Division III. His total is the most by a NU defenseman since 2010-11 and is just five away from the program record of 33 in a single season held by Bill Nash '86.
Smith was named the NEHC Player of the Week on Jan. 23 and he leads Norwich with a +27 plus/minus rating on the season.
Piacentini was named to the NEHC Second Team for the second straight season after scoring 14 goals and tallying 13 assists for 27 points. He was most effective in NEHC games, ranking second in league with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 17 league games.
Piacentini led the team with five game-winning goals and also potted three power play goals as well.
Ostepchuk earned NEHC All-Conference recognition for the first time in his career, going a perfect 9-0-0 in conference play and 13-0-0 overall on the season to date. He has a 1.74 goals against average and a .927 save percentage on the year with two shutouts.
Brandrup earned NEHC All-Conference honors for the second straight season being named to the Third Team after a Second Team selection last year. Brandrup tallied four goals and 13 assists for a new career-high of 17 points. He ranks fourth on the team with a +23 plus/minus rating.
This marks the third year in a row Brandrup has earned postseason honors from the NEHC as he was also named to the All-Rookie team as a freshman.
Salvucci rounded out NU's selections on the Third Team after ranking second on the team with 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points. He led the team with seven power play goals and also had two game-winning goals. He is third on the team with a +24 plus/minus rating. Salvucci earned Honorable Mention team recognition last season.
Norwich had the most all-conference selections out of the nine NEHC institutions. UMass Boston's Colin Larkin won the Player of the Year award, while the Beacons' Ryan Cusin won the Rookie of the Year. NEC goaltender Brett Kilar rounded out the major award winners as the Goalie of the Year.
The Cadets have a first-round bye in the NEHC Tournament and will host the lowest remaining seed on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in Kreitzberg Arena in a NEHC semifinal matchup.