ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Elmira College men’s ice hockey was well-decorated with year-end accolades from the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC), as the awards from the league office were announced this morning. EC saw four skaters receive honors from the conference, headlined by third-year forward Connor Powell ’20 being voted as the UCHC Co-Player of the Year.
In addition to Powell’s Co-Player of the Year and All-UCHC First Team designation, fellow juniors and first-line forwards Nick Ford ’20 and Matthew Cuce ’20 were included on the All-UCHC Second Team. Freshman defenseman Matthew Cousino ’22 was also recognized by the league as a member of the All-Rookie Team.
A native of Merrimack, New Hampshire, Powell is the first Soaring Eagle to earn conference Player of the Year honors since former All-American Jarryd ten Vaanholt ’16 received the award from the ECAC West in 2014-15. This season, Powell shared the award with Matt Lippa of Manhattanville College.
Powell finished his junior campaign ranked inside the UCHC’s top 10 in seven different statistical categories. He was the only player in the conference to surpass the 20-goal mark, scoring a career-high 23 tallies, while ranking fourth in the nation with an average of 0.85 goals per game. He also led the league with five game-winners, and was sixth in overall points (36) and power-play points (15).
A top-line center, Powell had 10 multi-point games this year. He compiled a season-high four points (2g-2a) in a 4-1 victory at Nazareth College on February 2, the same night he reached a milestone with his 100th career point. Powell also posted his first hat trick with a three-goal effort in EC’s dominate 11-1 win at King’s College (Pa.) on January 18.
After earning All-UCHC First-Team accolades a season ago, Ford was tabbed an All-UCHC Second Team recipient in 2018-19. The third-year winger paced the Purple and Gold in points (39) and assists (24), while finishing second the team in goals (15).
The New Lenox, Illinois, native was a lethal threat on the power play, as nine of his 15 tallies were registered with the extra skater. The nine power-play goals are tied for third-most in all of Division III men’s ice hockey, first in the UCHC and are the most scored by an Elmira skater since 2013-14, when former ECAC West First-Teamer Josh Burnell ’14 logged 10.
Ford’s big year was highlighted by reaching 100 career points in the 4-1 road victory against Nazareth in early February. Ford was credited with the assist on a goal by Powell, as both skaters reached the 100-point plateau on the same play. They became the 50th and 51st skaters in EC history to join the esteemed 100-point club.
Cuce was voted to the All-UCHC Second Team for a second consecutive season, after finishing third on the Soaring Eagles in points (33) and goals (13), as well as second in assists (20). It marked the second straight year he logged 30-plus points and 20-plus assists. His 33 points ranked eighth in the UCHC, while his 13 goals and 20 assists were tied for eighth in the league.
The native of Fort Myers, Florida, opened the 2018-19 campaign with a seven-game point streak and produced at least one point in 10 of EC’s first 11 contests. Additionally, Cuce tied for the team lead with Ford, as the two All-UCHC honorees produced 11 multi-point games apiece.
Rounding out Elmira’s year-end award recipients was Cousino, who was selected to the UCHC All-Rookie team. A first-year blueliner, Cousino led all EC defensemen in points (14), assists (10) and tied for the team lead in goals (4).
The product of Charlotte, North Carolina, played some of his best hockey towards the conclusion of the year, an effort that helped the Soaring Eagles clinch the No. 2 seed in the UCHC Championships. Cousino produced nine of his 14 points in Elmira’s final six games, which included a career-high four-point performance (1g-3a) in a 6-4 win over visiting Stevenson on February 15.
2018-19 UCHC Men’s Ice Hockey Awards
Co-Player of the Year: Connor Powell, Elmira and Matt Lippa, Manhattanville
Defensive Player of the Year: JR Wojciechowski, Nazareth
Goaltender of the Year: Gianluca Baggetta, Utica
Rookie of the Year: Donald Flynn, Wilkes
Coach of the Year: Brett Riley, Wilkes
All-UCHC First Team
Forward: Brett Johnson, Lebanon Valley
Forward: Connor Powell, Elmira
Forward: Gregg Burmaster, Utica
Forward: Matt Lippa, Manhattanville
Defense: Marco Ferraro, Manhattanville
Defense: Oscar Arfelt, Manhattanville
Goaltender: Gianluca Baggetta, Utica
All-UCHC Second Team
Forward: Matthew Cuce, Elmira
Forward: Nick Ford, Elmira
Forward: Donald Flynn, Wilkes
Defense: JR Wojciechowski, Nazareth
Defense: Zach Borsoi, Utica
Goaltender: Sean Kuhn, Nazareth
UCHC All-Rookie Team
Forward: Donald Flynn, Wilkes
Forward: Tyler Barrow, Wilkes
Forward: Regen Cavanagh, Utica
Defense: Justin Allen, Utica
Defense: Matthew Cousino, Elmira
Goaltender: Brandon Gordon, Wilkes