Wesleyan's Potter Named NEHWA Coach of the Year; Seven Players Honored

Wesleyan's Potter Named NEHWA Coach of the Year; Seven Players Honored

HADLEY, Mass. - Seven players from the NESCAC were selected to the New England Hockey Writers Association (NEHWA) Division II/III All-Star team. Additionally, Wesleyan head coach Chris Potter was tabbed the 2019 NEHWA Coach of the Year.

NEW ENGLAND HOCKEY WRITERS ASSOCIATION RELEASE

The Amherst duo of senior Phil Johansson and junior Joey Lupo represented the Mammoths on the NEHWA All-Star Team. Johansson earned his first CCM/AHCA All-America honor in 2019 after landing on the NESCAC First Team in back-to-back seasons. A defenseman, he ranked second on Amherst in scoring with 20 points on six goals and 14 helpers. He led all NESCAC defensemen in scoring and tallied eight points (3-5-8) on the power play. He anchored Amherst's ninth-ranked scoring defense (2.00) and was also a critical component of the Mammoths' penalty kill unit that ranked second in Division III (90.8%). Johansson finished out his collegiate career with 56 points (20 goals and 36 assists) in 93 career games. 

Lupo, an All-NESCAC First Team selection ranked fifth in the NESCAC in scoring and led the Mammoths with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists. The junior tied among the conference leaders in power-play points with nine (3-6-9), Lupo also ranks tied for fourth in Division III in short-handed goals with three.

Colby senior Nick O'Connor, a co-captain for the Mules, led the team in scoring with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points in 25 games. An All-NESCAC First Team selection, he also netted four power-play goals and four game-winning tallies this season. O'Connor finished his career with 38 goals and 37 assists for 75 points in 103 games.

Trinity's Michael Grande played in all 18 games and totaled seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points, including three power-play goals, two short-handed tallies, and a game-winner. The second-leading scorer in the NESCAC among defensemen, Grande recorded 15 of the 18 points in NESCAC contests and helped anchor a Trinity blue line that was the league's top scoring defense (5th in nation) at 1.17 goals allowed per game. Grande, a sophomore, was also named to the CCM/AHCA Division II/III All-American Third Team and was an All-NESCAC First Team selection.

In addition to being named a NEHWA Division II/III All-Star, junior Walker Harris also earned All-American Third Team laurels and All-NESCAC First Team honors. He guided the Cardinal offense and posted a conference-leading 31 points, on 19 goals, five of which were game-winning tallies, and 12 assists. Harris scored at least one point in 21 contests.

Senior defender Chad Malinowski rounded out the NEHWA Division II/III All-Stars from the NESCAC. He was an All-NESCAC Second Team selection for the third-straight year. Malinowski anchored the defense for the Cardinals and recorded three goals and 11 assists.

Junior goaltender Tim Sestak adds NEHWA Division II/III All-Star laurels to his accolades this year. He was previously named to the All-American Second Team and was tabbed NESCAC Player of the Year. Sestak led the conference in save percentage (.946) while ranking second in goals against average (1.65) and finished the season ranked third in Division II/III in save percentage and shutouts (7). During the NESCAC Championships, Sestak recorded the most saves in a single game in tournament history with 65 after tallying his 1,000th career-save on January 26.

O'Connor, Harris, Malinowski, and Sestak were also among 25 semifinalists for the 19th Joe Concannon Award, which is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England at the Division II/III level. 

Potter adds the NEHWA Coach of the Year accolade to his resume after earning NESCAC Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career. He guided the Cardinals to a 13-3-2 regular season conference mark while establishing a new NESCAC record for the longest unbeaten streak (13-0-2). En route to earning the team's highest seed in tournament history (No. 2), Potter led Wesleyan to a program-high 16 wins during the 2018-19 campaign.