BOSTON, MA -- As we turn the page towards the upcoming 2023-24 season in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP), we wanted to take one final look back at everything our alumni combined to accomplish this past year. In total, alumni of the #EShow combined to claim over 100 different awards given out at the next level.
To start things off we take a look at the players that were honored as 2022-23 CCM/AHCA Men’s Division II-III All-Americans.
The EHL helped account for three players on the East First Team. Drennan Atherton (Norwich University) and Luke Aquaro (Hobart College) both had tremendous seasons in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC), which we will touch on further down below, as both players climbed the ladder through the #EShow and into the two of the top programs in all of NCAA Division III hockey.
As for the other two players that were named All-Americans, both left the EHL as Champions, and each one helped Wesleyan University to one of its best season's in school history.
Starting things off with Jake LaChance, his New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) honors will also be mentioned below, as he was selected to the East First Team alongside Atherton and Aquaro.
Then, wrapping things up with Wiggle Kerbrat, the New Hampshire Avalanche alum won two titles while in the EHL, and helped the Cardinals to a Championship of their own in 2020. Kerbrat was named to the East Third Team by the AHCA.
Similar to the AHCA, United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) also recognized Atherton, Aquaro, LaChance, and Kerbrat in their set of annual honors.
We begin the conference-by-conference breakdown with the NESCAC, which has built a reputation based off of both great competition on the ice along with incredible academic institutions acting as the foundation for every program.
As referenced above, the accolades continue for both LaChance and Kerbrat who helped Wesleyan win this year's NESCAC Regular Season Championship after recently winning the NESCAC Playoff Championship back in 2020.
LaChance was a senior this past year for the Cardinals, and you couldn't script a better final campaign, as he was named the Player of the Year in the NESCAC.
LaChance helped the Cardinals earn the top seed in the NESCAC Championship and post 15 wins, the most since the 2019-20 season. LaChance, who also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team, played in 23 games and ranked second in the NESCAC with 26 points. LaChance scored seven goals, including three on the power-play, and dished out 19 assists, the second most in the NESCAC.
Alongside LaChance on the All-NESCAC First Team was Kerbrat, the fellow senior and captain of the team. The native of Laguna Niguel, CA posted 29 total points this past year for Wesleyan.
The NESCAC honors just single Player of the Week throughout the season, which LaChance won once. Also claiming their own respective Player of the Week honor was Peyton Durand (Tufts University / Seahawks Hockey Club) and Brett Moccia (Connecticut College / Connecticut RoughRiders).
A total of 86 EHL players have committed to programs within the NESCAC since the league was formed back in 2013.
Aquaro's time in the #EShow feels like it was years ago, and in reality that is true, as the 2000-born native of Yardley, PA hit the ice in the EHLP for the Philadelphia Revolution back in the 2016-17 season. While Philadelphia ultimately fell short in that year's EHLP Championship, that wasn't the case for Aquaro's current team at Hobart College that won both the NEHC Title and the NCAA Division III National Championship.
Aquaro played a huge role in his team's postseason title runs as the sophomore racked up 39 points over the course of 27 total games. Deservedly so, Aquaro was named the NEHC Player of the Year, and earned First Team honors to his credit as well.
Moving along to Atherton between the pipes, his time in the EHL dates back past when Aquaro was in the league, as the '97 native of Winter Haven, FL put together a pair of solid seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) for the Northern Cyclones. Fast forward to the present day, and Atherton's final season at Norwich was a special one, as he we won 16 games while posting a remarkable 1.49 GAA and a .944 save percentage.
Atherton was named the Goalie of the Year in the NEHC, and also earned a spot on the First Team.
Wrapping up the EHL's representation on that First Team was Chance Gorman, the former member of the East Coast Wizards and EHL All-Star enjoyed a special season at Elmira College, scoring 20 goals in 26 total games. Included in his totals was a four-goal effort against Hobart, which lead to Gorman being named the NEHC Player of the Week.
Gorman was one of two former Wizards to claim that honor, as the other was Andrew Stefura, who advanced on to Castleton University following his time in the EHL.
In total the EHL claimed 18 total awards in the NEHC this season, including the Player of the Week and Goalie of the Week honors five times apiece and the Rookie of the Week award once.
A total of 166 EHL players have committed to programs within the NEHC since the league was formed back in 2013.
We keep things rolling in the CCC where the EHL accounted for two players that received All-Conference honors.
Jake Fuss, an alum of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton/Knights team that reached the 2019 EHL Frozen Finals, was named to the All-CCC First Team.
As for Billy Girard, the Boston Jr. Rangers alum and 2019-20 Co-Goalie of the Year put together a remarkable career when he was in the EHL, and was named to the All-CCC Second Team.
Both alumni played huge roles for the University of New England this past season, as they helped lead the Nor'Easters to their second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Division III Frozen Four.
In total, the EHL alumni in the CCC combined to claim seven total awards including the Rookie of the Week honor four times. Ryan Webb (Suffolk University / East Coast Wizards) won the award twice, while Tyler Drummond (Curry College / Railers Jr. Hockey Club) and Everest Schneider (Western New England / New Jersey 87's) each earned it once.
A total of 192 EHL players have committed to programs within the CCC since the league was formed back in 2013.
When highlighting the MASCAC, there is no easier place to start then with Brendahn Brawley, the Goalie of the Year. Along with the annual honor, of which Brawley won the same award in the EHL back in 2019, the '98 native of Morton, PA was named the Goalie of the Week in the MASCAC a total of six times for Plymouth State.
To no surprise, Brawley was named to the All-MASCAC First Team, where he was joined by Jake Maynard (UMass Darmouth / Boston Jr. Rangers) on blue line.
Working back up the Panthers quickly, Niks Krollis helped Plymouth State win their 6th straight MASCAC Championship, all while being named to the Second Team.
In total, the EHL won 15 awards in the MASCAC this season, as it's also worth mentioning that Cooper Board (Westfield State / Seacoast Spartans) was named the Rookie of the Week on three separate occasions, and each award came after the calendar turned over to 2023.
A total of 230 EHL players have committed to programs within the MASCAC since the league was formed back in 2013.
Getting back to our Player of the Year honors, the EHL saw another alum claim the award in the NE-10. Conor Foley, a former member of the Vermont Lumberjacks and a graduating senior at Franklin Pierce University, became the second player in school history to claim the NE-10 Player of the Year honor.
Foley led all NE-10 players this season in points with 34, ranked second in goals with 16 and tied for fifth in assists with 18. He had 11 games this season with multiple points and three games with multiple goals, all while tallying a +5 rating on the ice. Foley was also selected to First Team All-Conference for the second-straight year – a feat shared with only George Thurston (Southern New Hampshire University / Valley Jr. Warriors).
The high honors didn't stop there however, as Nick Weber (Post University / New York Apple Core) also took home some hardware after being named the Rookie of the Year.
Weber had a strong first-year campaign for Post, as he tallied 26 points to tie for ninth among all NE-10 players on his way to earning Rookie of the Year status. He scored 14 goals, which was tied for fourth-most in the league, and accounted for 12 assists. Weber had six multi-point games for the Eagles, including a five-point effort (three goals, two assists) in a 6-5 win over SNHU on January 20th. He is the first Post player to earn a major award since the program became an associate member of the NE-10.
In total, the EHL alumni in the NE-10 combined to win 35 awards including five All-Conference honors and four All-Rookie team awards.
A total of 223 EHL players have committed to programs within the NE-10 since the league was formed back in 2013.
While the SUNYAC has yet to release their annual awards, they have recognized players throughout the conference with All-SUNYAC honors, of which the EHL saw its alumni combine to claim four awards.
A total of 168 EHL players have committed to programs within the SUNYAC since the league was formed back in 2013.
A total of 87 EHL players have committed to programs within the NCHA since the league was formed back in 2013, including Colin Bella, who was named the 2021-22 Most Valuable Player in the EHL.
After a tremendous three-year run with the Connecticut RoughRiders that say Bella post 179 total points in 130 total games, the '01 native of Norwalk, CT carried that scoring touch with him to the next level.
Bella didn't skip a beat while notching 26 points in 27 games this past season for Lake Forest College, and was promptly named to the All-Freshmen Team in the NCHA.
As for the UCHC, a total of 188 EHL players have committed to programs within the conference since the league was formed back in 2013.
Toward the top of the alumni that have advanced to UCHC is Austin Master, who played a big role in leading the Philadelphia Little Flyers to the 2019 EHL Frozen Finals.
An 80-point age-out season of junior hockey translated into an 87-point collegiate hockey career with the Mustangs, capped off by serving as the team's captain this past year.
The production, as well as the leadership qualities that Master displayed, garnered attention throughout country and led to the playmaking forward's selection to represent his country at the World University Games this past January. While skating for Team USA, Master won a silver medal up in Lake Placid, NY.