TROY, N.Y. – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team has announced its year-end awards for the 2019-20 season and nine student-athletes have been recognized, including the team’s Co-Most Valuable Players, Will Reilly and Owen Savory.
Reilly, a senior captain and defenseman from Toronto, Ont., was also named Top Defenseman, Best Defensive Player and Ben Mayo Most Inspirational Player. Savory was the team’s Top Goalie, while senior Todd Burgess earned Top Forward honors. Classmate Chase Zieky was the Best Offensive Player and blueliner Cory Babichuk was the Freshman of the Year, with sophomore Ture Linden picking up Most Improve Player honors. The Community Service and Scholar Athlete Awards went to senior TJ Samec and junior Linden Marshall, respectively, while senior Jake Marrello collected the Unsung Hero Award.
A finalist for Top Defensive Defenseman in ECAC Hockey, Reilly played in all 34 games for the Engineers this season, recording eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points to earn All-ECAC Hockey Second Team honors. The team-leader in plus/minus at +14, he also led the club in power play points with nine, on four goals and five assists. Averaging a team-high 2.53 shots per game, he had 27 blocked shots and was assessed six penalties for 12 minutes.
Reilly anchored a defensive unit that has allowed 2.55 goals per game overall and just 1.86 during ECAC Hockey play. RPI’s penalty kill of 86.0% ranked second in the league and 12th in the country. In 22 conference games, the former Nanaimo Clippers standout had six goals and 10 assists for 16 points, with a team-high +17 rating.
Offensively, Reilly recorded five multi-point efforts, including a three-point game against St. Lawrence on November 8 at the Houston Field House. He had a goal and two assists in that contest, as the Engineers won, 6-2. A finalist for the conference’s Top Defensive Defenseman, he ranked second in goals, fourth in plus/minus and fifth in points among league blueliners.
A native of Cambridge, Ont., Savory started 24 games for the Engineers this season, posting a 13-9-2 record, with a 2.06 goals against average and a .932 save percentage and five shutouts – the most by an RPI netminder since Nathan Marsters ’04 had five in 2003-04.
In 18 ECAC Hockey contests, Savory went 11-6-1 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .941 save percentage and four shutouts. The former St. Catharines Falcons standout led all conference goalies in both save percentage and shutouts, while ranking third in goals against average, fourth in winning percentage (.639) and seventh in total saves (479). He was a two-time Hockey Commissioners Association and ECAC Hockey/MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Month (January and February) and a four-time ECACH Hockey/MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week.
Burgess, who hails from Phoenix, Ariz., earned Top Offensive Player honors after leading the Engineers in goals with 14, while handing out six assists for 20 points. Also the team leader in power play goals (5), hat tricks (1) and shooting percentage (17.7%), he was a +3 on the season, with 79 shots for an average of 2.47 per contest.
The ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for February, Burgess led the Engineers to a 6-3-0 month, including a 5-1 mark in ECAC Hockey play. Netting a league-best nine goals to go along with three assists for a league-high 12 points, he had the second-highest plus/minus among conference skaters at +10, with three power play tallies, 28 shots and six blocks at the defensive end. His month was highlighted by a four-goal outing against Princeton on February 22 – registering his first collegiate hat trick in a 7-1 win.
A senior forward from Avon, Conn., Zieky earned Best Offensive Player after recording a team-high 23 points on seven goals and a team-best 16 assists. Playing in all 34 game, he collected seven power play points, including a goal and six assists, while posting a +4 rating and finishing second on the team with 85 shots (2.50 per game).
Earning Freshman of the Year, Babichuk, who is from Edmonton, Alb., finished with four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in just 27 games. Seven of his points came on the man advantage (2 goals, 5 assists) and he amassed a +6 rating. A finalist for Rookie of the Year in ECAC Hockey, he ranked third among conference freshman defenseman in assists and fourth in both goals and points.
Linden, a sophomore out of Great Falls, Va., played in all 34 games for the Engineers this season, finishing third on the team with 21 points, scoring six goals and adding 15 assists. The team leader in face-offs won (281), he was successful 50.9% of the time on the draw. He also had a +7 rating and took 50 shots, while blocking 22 at the defensive end and playing big minutes on the penalty kill.
Samec, a senior defenseman from St. Paul, Minn., was the team’s nomination for the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award. A multiple ECAC Hockey All-Academic and Dean’st List honoree, the Industrial and Management Engineering major earned The Design Lab at Rensselaer Performance Excellence Award. Throughout his career, he has been a member of RPI’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), worked with Adopt-A-Highway, the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Street Soldiers II Troy, STRIDE Adaptive Sports, Troy Soup Kitchen and on a number of other local service projects. On the ice, he concluded his career with two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 85 games.
A junior netminder out of Trail, B.C., Marshall is a Mechanical Engineering major with a 3.50 grade point average. The team’s nomination for ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year, he was the team’s Freshman of the Year in 2017-18. In eight games this season, he went 3-3-0 with a 2.90 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. Through 51 career games, he is 13-31-2, with a 3.25 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
The Unsung Hero Award went to Marrello, who is from Slingerlands, N.Y. Posting a career-high 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists, he played in 31 games for the Engineers in 2019-20. Winning a team-best 52.3% of his face-offs, he finished the season with a +8 rating and 13 of points (4 goals, 9 assists) came in ECAC Hockey play. In 114 career games at RPI, he notched 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points.
RPI posted a 17-15-2 overall record, this season, including a 13-8-1 mark in ECAC Hockey play, earning its first bye in the conference tournament since the 2012-13 season. The Engineers’ 17 victories are the most since 2015-16.