Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

It's award season around the men's hockey program.

March 11, 2019

Running List of Men’s Hockey Awards

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This post will be updated.

It’s not just playoffs but awards season for the Cornell men’s hockey program. After an accolade-heavy 2017-18 season, Cornell will look to earn some more hardware along with the Ivy championship and Cleary Cup, with individual awards set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Follow along with this post for a running list of each Cornell finalist and award winner.

ECAC Best Defensive Defenseman Winner: Senior Matt Nuttle

After entering Cornell an offensive-minded defenseman and playing just two games his freshman year, Nuttle’s night-and-day evolution has earned himself the Best Defensive Defenseman award in the ECAC, the league announced March 19. Over the course of the regular season, Nuttle has helped anchor a Cornell defense that has conceded less than two goals per game and under 25 shots on goal per game.

A fixture on the team’s penalty killing unit, Nuttle paced all Cornellians in plus/minus this season at plus-17, which was good enough to be tied for No. 5 in the conference over the regular season. The alternate captain has played in every game this season, and alongside his 54 blocked shots, his offense has continued to evolve, too: he’s racked up three goals and 14 assists for a career-high 17 points so far this year.

Alec McCrea, Nuttle’s classmate and fellow alternate captain on the blueline, won the award last season.

Chase Priskie of Quinnipiac and Greg Moro of Clarkson were the other two finalists — all three hail from the top-ranked defenses in the ECAC.

First-Team All-ECAC: Sophomore forward Morgan Barron

In total, four Cornellians were named to the All-ECAC teams, the league announced March 18, including every squad except the All-Rookie Team. Barron headlines the quartet, as the sophomore serves as the first Cornell forward named a first-teamer since Riley Nash ’11 did so in 2009.

A two-way forward who has also been named a finalist for Best Defensive Forward, Barron’s 1.05 points per game in conference play rank him No. 8 in the ECAC, and he sits tied for second with three game-winning goals on the year.

First-Team All-ECAC: Joe Snivley (F, Yale), Ryan Kuffner (F, Princeton), Morgan Barron (F, Cornell), Nico Sturm (F, Clarkson), Chase Priskie (D, Quinnipiac), Adam Fox (D, Harvard), Andrew Shortridge (G, Quinnipiac)

Second-Team All-ECAC: Junior defenseman Yanni Kaldis

Kaldis elevates himself to second-team this season after being named a third-teamer in 2017-18. The junior’s 17 assists are good enough for fourth-most in conference play, and his 0.86 points per game rank him the No. 4 scoring defenseman in the conference.

Second-Team All-ECAC: Odeen Tufto (F, Quinnipiac), Haralds Egle (F, Clarkson), Max Veronneau (F, Princeton), Yanni Kaldis (D, Cornell), Aaron Thow (D, Clarkson), Jake Kielly (G, Clarkson)

Third-Team All-ECAC: Sophomore goaltender Matt Galajda and sophomore forward Cam Donaldson

This is Galajda’s second All-ECAC selection and Donaldson’s first, as the former was a first-teamer a year ago. Galajda took a minor step back this season in his numbers despite still sitting as the No. 2 in the conference at goals against average (1.66) and No. 5 in save percentage (.928).

As for Donaldson, this selection caps off a breakout season for the sophomore who was a potential candidate for last year’s All-Rookie Team before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Despite battling the shoulder injury once again this season, Donaldson finished in the upper-tier of ECAC forwards this season with 0.80 points per game over the 20 league contests he dressed for.

Third-Team All-ECAC: Cole Maier (F, Union), Bobby McMann (F, Colgate), Cam Donaldson (F, Cornell), Josh Teves (D, Princeton), Reilly Walsh (D, Harvard), Matt Galajda (G, Cornell)

Ivy League Coach of the Year Winner: Mike Schafer ’86

Schafer is the Ancient Eight’s top coach for the second straight year after leading Cornell to a pair of consecutive Ivy titles and a 7-2-1 record in 2018-19, the league announced March 13. Schafer is now the first coach to capture the honor multiple times since the award first began in 2016.

First-Team All-Ivy League: Sophomores Austin McGrath and Morgan Barron, junior Yanni Kaldis.

Three Cornell players have been honored as first-team All-Ivy, the league announced March 13. Barron, a breakout forward for the Red this season, has shown stellar play in all areas on the ice, excelling at faceoffs and special teams and leading Cornell in scoring this season. Barron’s is the team’s top line and includes his classmates Brenden Locke and Cam Donaldson.

Kaldis, one of Cornell’s most talented defensemen, earns his third consecutive first-team selection — a first for Cornell since future-NHL star Matt Moulson ’06. Kaldis represents a complete defenseman who leads the team in ice time and leads units on both the power play and the penalty kill while remaining a dynamic part of the Red’s offense this season.

McGrath started just seven games in goal this season in relief of his injured classmate Matt Galajda. Fortuitously, he happened to start in four of the Red’s Ivy contests. Despite the fact that all Ivy League schools with hockey programs also compete in the ECAC, only Ivy League statistics are considered for the awards within the Ancient Eight, so McGrath’s solid performances are enough to land him a spot on the list. In his four Ivy starts, the sophomore netminder posted 1.94 goals against and a .925 save percentage.

Honorable Mention All-Ivy: Senior Mitch Vanderlaan and sophomore Cam Donaldson.

Two of Cornell’s top forwards, Vanderlaan and Donaldson are each dynamic offensive contributors. For Vanderlaan, the team captain, it’s his third All-Ivy selection and his second straight honorable mention. For Donaldson, it’s his first All-Ivy selection which he earned despite missing a pair of league games due to injury.

ECAC Goaltender of the Year Finalist: Sophomore Matt Galajda

Galajda is the ECAC’s reigning goaltender of the year, after posting a 2017-18 season that catapulted him near the top of the list of best goalies in the entire country. Now, after struggling with injuries mid-season, Galajda has returned as a finalist for the award named for Cornell’s own Ken Dryden ’69, the conference announced Wednesday.

After his early-season struggles and mid-season injury, Galajda leads all goaltenders in the conference with 1.59 goals against average and a .934 save percentage since Jan. 1. In that time span, the Ontario native has posted eight wins including three shutouts. For his efforts, the league named him goaltender of the month for February.

ECAC Best Defensive Forward Finalist: Sophomore Morgan Barron

Barron paces the Cornell roster in goals, points and shots, but it’s his defensive aptitude that is being recognized was named a finalist for the ECAC’s Best Defensive Forward, the league announced March 12.

Barron’s duties lie on both the power play and penalty kill, and along with classmates Cam Donaldson and Brenden Locke, his line has distinguished itself as the team’s most dependable, often finding itself paired up against other teams’ top lines. A participant in every game so far this season, Barron’s plus-10 rating ranks third on the team.

The last Cornellian to win the award was Jake Weidner ’17, who won it in the 2016-17 campaign.

Clarkson’s Nico Sturm was announced as the award winner Match 19, with the last remaining finalist serving as Cole Maier of Union.

ECAC Coach of the Year Finalist: Mike Schafer ’86

For the second time in as many years, Cornell’s bench boss has been named a finalist for coach of the year in the ECAC, the conference announced March 11. Schafer, a four-time recipient of the Tim Taylor Coach of the Year award, won it last season.

In the 2018-19 campaign, Schafer faced a much tougher path than the 2017-18 season but still guided Cornell through an injury-riddled season to a second consecutive Cleary Cup for best regular season finish, this time in the form of a shared title with Quinnipiac.

Clarkson’s Casey Jones ’90 was chosen as the winner of the award, the ECAC announced March 19. Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold was the other finalist.