University of Maine senior captain Tanner House centered one of the most prolific lines in college hockey between Brian Flynn and Gustav Nyquist.
But he also excelled in the defensive aspect of the game and was named the Gladiator Best Defensive Forward in Hockey East on Wednesday night.
He was one of four Black Bears to earn an award.
Other awards will be announced at the Hockey East banquet on Thursday night.
Junior left wing Flynn won the Len Ceglarski (sportsmanship) Award; senior defenseman and assistant captain Jeff Dimmen won the Turfer Athletic Award given to an individual, coach or team who best represents the core values of Turfer Athletics: Tenacity, commitment and innovation; and Dan Sullivan was named the All-Rookie team goalie.
House scored 10 goals and handed out 25 assists in 35 games and was plus-eight. Players are awarded a plus-one if they are on the ice when their team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal and a minus-one if the other team scores one. He is the first Black Bear to win the award since Todd Jackson (2003-2004).
“He does everything well,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “He’s extremely aware from the defensive perspective. He’s great on faceoffs, he plays physical, he can shut down the top player on the other team and he’s a great penalty-killer.”
Whitehead also said it was House’s conscientious two-way play that enabled Nyquist (18 & 33) and Flynn (20 & 16) to rack up big numbers.
“He’s essential to their success,” said Whitehead. “That’s why it has been such a fabulous combination the past two years. A big part of it comes from Tanner’s evolution as a two-way center. He covers for them and they help him score goals and get assists.”
House ended his season with a seven-game points streak (1 & 10).
Flynn picked up just four penalties for eight minutes in 36 games and led the team in goals (20) and game-winning goals (4).
“Brian had a great season,” said Whitehead. “He’s a great competitor who wins a lot of loose pucks. He’s an excellent penalty-killer. To log the minutes he does and complete as fiercely as he does while only picking up eight penalty minutes is remarkable.”
Flynn finished the season with a nine-game points streak (7 & 4).
Dimmen suffered an ankle injury during the summer and re-injured it several times during the season but still racked up 7 & 9 in 29 games and was a plus-9.
Whitehead said, “Jeff rose up to play tremendous hockey in spite of his nagging injury. You would see him wince during practice and in games but he played with so much courage and tenacity. He was determined to help the team even if he wasn’t 100 percent (healthy). He stepped in front of shots, he won loose pucks in traffic and contributed offensively. It was remarkable what he was able to bring in spite of that injury.”
Dimmen wound up plus-9 and Whitehead pointed out he had a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester. He had 4 & 3 in his last eight games.
Sullivan set the school record for consecutive shutout minutes at 202:49 and finished the season with a 10-7-2 record, a 2.73 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.
“I’m very proud of Dan,” said Whitehead. “It isn’t easy being a goalie, particularly a freshman goalie, and the results around the league bore that out. He gave us some tremendous games. It was a little clouded by the fact he didn’t have his best weekend (in the playoff series) at Merrimack. But, for a freshman, he had a very impressive season and certainly made a statement that he’s going to be a heck of a goalie.”