ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell junior Alec McCrea has been named the ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman, the league announced Friday.
McCrea beat out fellow finalists John Marino, of Harvard, and Kelly Summers, of Clarkson, to become the first Cornellian to win the award since Justin Krueger did so after his senior season in 2010. For all of the defensive acumen demonstrated by the Big Red under the direction of Mike Schafer, now in his 23rd season as the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey, this is only the fifth time the Big Red has captured the Best Defensive Defenseman award since it was reincarnated in 1993.
McCrea has once again been a key cog in a defense corps that enters this weekend ranked first in the country with a paltry 1.52 goals against average. Despite logging heavy minutes against the opposition’s best forward combinations while typically paired with classmate Brendan Smith, McCrea has accumulated a plus-20 rating that currently ranks tied for seventh in the nation. He is also a big contributor on the Big Red penalty kill. Of the 10 five-on-four goals surrendered by Cornell this season, McCrea has only been on the ice for two of them.
Entering the weekend ranked second in the nation in both major polls, Cornell starts its postseason run at 7 p.m. tonight in Game 1 of an ECAC Hockey Championship quarterfinal series against Quinnipiac at Lynah Rink.