HADLEY, Mass. – Wesleyan junior goaltender Tim Sestak was selected as the NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. He also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team. Sestak is the third consecutive goaltender to garner the league’s top award and the second Wesleyan player to earn the accolade, joining Keith Buehler (2013).
Sestak owns the top save percentage in the conference (.946) to go along with a 1.65 goals against average and seven shutouts. He has 14 wins in net for the No. 2-seed Cardinals. Wesleyan, which earned its highest seed in program history, will face No. 3 Amherst in the NESCAC Semifinals.
First-year forward Lucas Michaud of Trinity was named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. He is the second Bantam to earn the honor, joining Ryan Cole (2014). Michaud, who also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Team, is the top scoring rookie in the NESCAC with 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists. His 14 helpers rank second in the conference and he has eight power-play points (3-5-8) for the Bantams. Trinity, the top seed in the NESCAC Championship, will host the remaining rounds of the tournament, including a semifinal matchup against No. 4 Hamilton.
Wesleyan head coach Chris Potter was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his 16-year career at the helm of the Cardinals. He was also honored in 2004 and 2007. Potter guided Wesleyan to the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Championship, the highest in program history. The Cardinals have recorded their best season in program history, as the team broke the NESCAC record for the longest unbeaten streak (13-0-2) and has tallied a program-best 16 wins.
Wesleyan forward Walker Harris, the 2017 Rookie of the Year, adds All-NESCAC First Team honors to his list of accolades. The junior leads the conference in points (31), goals (19), game-winning goals (5), and has added 12 assists.
The Amherst duo of junior Joey Lupo and senior Phil Johansson represent the Mammoths on the All-NESCAC First Team. Lupo, a forward, ranks fourth in the NESCAC in scoring with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists. He is also tied for the conference lead in power-play points with nine (3-6-9). Johansson is on the First Team for the second year in a row as a defenseman. He has tallied eight points on the power-play (3-5-8) and leads all defensemen in scoring with 20 points (6-14-20). Johansson also contributes to the top penalty kill unit in the conference. The No. 3 Mammoths meet No. 2 Wesleyan in the NESCAC Semifinals.
Senior forward Nick O’Connor represents Colby on the All-NESCAC First Team and earns his first all-conference award. O’Connor recorded 27 points for the Mules on 14 goals, including four game-winning tallies, and 13 assists. He also totaled nine power-play points (5-4-9) to tie for the league lead in the category. Colby earned the No. 6 seed in the NESCAC Championship.
Trinity sophomore Michael Grande rounds out the All-NESCAC First Team and is another newcomer to the squad. A defender, he ranks third among the Bantam scoring leaders with 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists. He recorded 15 of the 18 points in NESCAC contests for the top-seeded Bantams.
Men's Ice Hockey All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Tim Sestak, Wesleyan
Rookie of the Year: Lucas Michaud, Trinity
Coach of the Year: Chris Potter, Wesleyan