Da Costa Among Those Honored Nationally
CHN Staff Report
DETROIT Merrimack forward Stephane Da Costa, who was previously named College Hockey News Rookie of the Year, was named the Hockey Commissioners’ National Division I Rookie of the Year on Friday.
As a 20-year old freshman, Da Costa helped guide Merrimack (16-19-2) to a sixth-place finish in Hockey East and a program-best 16 D-I victories. The Paris native, who had a team-high 45 points, led the Warriors to their first playoff appearance since 2004 and their first postseason victory in 13 years.
Da Costa ended the year with 16 goals and 29 assists for the Warriors. But it was his 1.32 points per game (seventh in the country) that helped him become the first five-time Hockey East Rookie of the Month in the 26-year history of the league.
Da Costa was also named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and was part of Hockey East second team. In his first season in the league, Da Costa joined Hobey Baker finalists Bobby Butler of New Hampshire and Gustav Nyquist of Maine as a finalist for the Hockey East Player of the Year.
The 46-point season for Da Costa is the most for any Merrimack player since Rejean Stringer in 1998-99. He is the second straight Hockey East Player to win the award after BU’s Kieran Millan won in 2009. Honorable mentions were: Forward Jerry D’Amigo of Rensselaer, forward Jordan George of Bemidji State, forward Danny Kristo of North Dakota, forward Andy Taranto of Alaska and defenseman Chris Tanev of RIT
Jordan Pietrus of Brown was also awarded the HCA Unsung Hero Award. The senior forward led the Bears in scoring for the first 21 games of the season with seven goals and 10 assists before suffering a potentially season-ending abdominal muscle tear. But Pietrus defied predictions and returned three weeks ahead of schedule to help Brown capture a third-place game victory in the ECAC tournament. The surprise finish for the Bears came after they ended the regular season in 11th place. Pietrus had a goal and an assist in the 3-0 win over St. Lawrence in his final game.
"I am extremely grateful to have had Jordan in place as the captain of the 2009-2010 team, he represents all that is right about collegiate athletics," Brown coach Brendan Whittet said. "At his core, Jordan embodies integrity, strength in the community, responsibility, competitive spirit and pride."
The 24-year old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has a 3.5 GPA and is expected to be named to the ECAC Hockey All Academic Team for the fourth consecutive year.
Honorable mentions for the award were: Forward Matt Fairchild of Air Force, foward Luke Glendening of Michigan, forward Darcy Zajac of North Dakota, forward Brett Watson of Massachusetts and defenseman Davide Nicoletti of Albama-Huntsville.
Da Costa and Pietrus joined Cornell’s Colin Greening in the award department.
Greening, a forward, won the Lowe’s Senior Class Award after being named ECAC Hockey Student Athlete of the Year.
Greening has a 3.95 GPA in applied economics and management and is a member of Cornell’s Red Key Honor Society.
“It’s special to me because it encompasses all the many facets of a person’s character, including the community service and the classroom, things that I take very serious,” Greening said. “This award highlights all of the attributes of the type of person that I want to be. To be the winner among so many great people — when you look at all the different attributes of everyone in the top 10 and 20 for this award — to be the winner is absolutely incredible.”
Greening was the 45th player in program history to record 100 points, and finished the season with 35 points.
“There couldn’t be a more complete definition of a student-athlete,” Cornell head coach Mike Schafer. “Colin’s been a role model for kids in the community, his teammates and fellow student athletes and others on the Cornell campus. He’s highly respected by the faculty and the others who have been touched by his great enthusiasm and personality on campus.”
Greening works with local elementary schools in Ithaca and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Also, RIT sophomore forward Mark Cornacchia (Unionville, Ontario) won the NCAA Elite 88 Award on Wednesday for reaching the Frozen Four while achieving the highest academic standard among his peers. Cornacchia, a finance major, has a 3.85 GPA.