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Taylor, Traversa Headline ECAC West Awards

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Six members of the Hobart hockey team as well as Head Coach Mark Taylor were honored by the ECAC West with end of season awards today. Head Coach Mark Taylor was named the ECAC West Coach of the Year and senior Tommaso Traversa (Torino, Italy) was selected the Defensive Player of the Year.

Senior forward Brad McBride (Lone Tree, Colo.), senior defenseman Ryan Michel (Camillus, N.Y.) and first-year goaltender Frank Oplinger (Sewickley, Pa.) were named to the all-conference first team. Senior forward Bo Webster (Aurora, Ontario) earned a spot on the second team and senior defenseman Terrence O’Neill (Kearny, N.J.) garnered honorable mention. Oplinger was also named to the all-rookie team.

Taylor led the Statesmen to a 19-6-0 regular season, a 12-3-0 mark in conference play and Hobart’s 13th consecutive winning season. The Statesmen secured the ECAC West regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. Hobart is currently riding an eight-game winning streak and only two teams in Statesmen hockey history have logged more wins in a season. Hobart leads the ECAC West in scoring offense (3.88 goals/game) and scoring defense (2.48 goals allowed/game). The Statesmen are also second in the conference on the power play (22.5 percent). Taylor is in his 15th season at Hobart and has a 227-136-36 overall record. He is just the fourth man to lead the Statesmen and has more wins than all of his predecessors combined. It’s the fifth time Taylor has been named the ECAC West Coach of the Year.

Traversa has played in all 25 games for the Statesmen this season. The two-time ECAC West Player of the Week has posted 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points. Traversa is tied for seventh in the ECAC West in goals, tied for 11th in points, and tied for 16th with six power-play points. He notched the game-winning goal in a 6-2 victory over Southern Maine in the New Year’s College Hockey Holiday Classic in Lake Placid, New York. Traversa chipped in a season-high three points on two goals and an assist in a 5-4 overtime win against Utica.

Traversa, who was named to the ECAC West All-Rookie Team in 2011-12, has played in 98 career games. He’s posted 30 goals and 40 assists for 70 career points.

McBride leads the ECAC West with 13 goals this season. He has added eight assists for 21 points (tied for eighth in ECAC West). McBride is tied for fourth in the conference with five power-play goals. He sent home the game winner in a 5-4 overtime win over the Pioneers and in a 3-0 victory over Manhattanville. McBride tallied a season-high three points on two goals and an assist in a 7-0 rout of Salve Regina.

McBride has played in 76 career games at Hobart. He has produced 27 goals and 24 assists for 51 points as a Statesman.

Michel is making his first appearance on an all-conference first team after two seasons of ECAC West second team honors. He has played in 19 games and ranks second on Hobart with 14 assists this year. Michel has added one goal for 15 points. He has chipped in a season-high two assists in five times this season. Michel ranks third in the ECAC West in defenseman scoring and 17th in the nation in points per game by a defenseman (0.79). He is also tied for sixth in assists and ranks 10th in the league with nine power-play points.

Michel has played in 90 career games at Hobart. He has registered eight goals and 59 assists for 67 career points. His 59 career assists are tied for 10th on the all-time Statesmen list.

Oplinger is having a standout rookie season in goal for the Statesmen. He has played in 14 games and currently sits in first in the ECAC West in goals against average (1.99), save percentage (.936), and win percentage (.857). Oplinger’s save percentage is eighth in the nation. He ranks seventhin Division III in win percentage and 17th in goals against average. Oplinger has posted a 12-2-0 record in goal, winning his last eight games in goal. He posted back-to-back shutouts of Manhattanville this year and stopped a season-high 45 shots in a 5-2 win over Nazareth. Oplinger was selected the ECAC West Goaltender of the Week two times this year and earned the Rookie of the Week Award twice.

Webster leads Hobart with 23 points on eight goals and a team-high 15 assists in all 25 games. He’s fifth in the league in assists, sixth in points, tied for sixth in power-play points (11), tied for seventh in power-play goals (4), and tied for 16th in goals. Webster has posted a season-high three points twice this year, once on two goals and an assist in a 6-3 win at Neumann and again on three assists in a 4-2 win over Elmira. He also scored twice in 6-2 wins over Southern Maine and Neumann.

Webster has played in 78 career games. He has logged 19 goals and 42 assists for 61 career points.

O’Neill played in 19 games this season. He posted six assists. O’Neill played an integral role in the Statesmen defensive unit that leads the league with an average of 2.48 goals allowed per game. O’Neill earned all-conference first team honors in 2013-14 and garnered a spot on the all-rookie team in 2011-12. That year he was also selected the ECAC West Co-Rookie of the Year.

O’Neill has played in 92 career games. He has posted eight goals and 39 assists for 47 career points.

The Statesmen will host an ECAC West tournament semifinal game in The Cooler on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Hobart will host the lowest remaining seed after Wednesday’s first round games.

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