HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth men’s hockey team put a bow on the 2017-18 campaign with its annual team awards dinner Tuesday night.
Seven members of the Big Green were honored following a vote by their peers with recognition for accomplishments over the course of this past season. Head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 and his staff were on-hand to present the awards.
PHELAN AWARD (TEAM MVP): Devin Buffalo
The Phelan Award is annually chosen by teammates and presented to the player who, by demonstrating outstanding skill at his position, continued aggressiveness and team spirit, deserves to be named the ‘Most Valuable Player of The Year’. This award is in honor of ardent Dartmouth hockey enthusiast, Martha M. Phelan, wife of John Phelan ‘28 and mother of John Phelan, Jr. ‘63, captain of the 1963 Dartmouth men’s hockey team.
- Dartmouth’s remarkable turnaround in mid-December coincided with the return of senior goaltender Devin Buffalo to the crease following a five-week absence due to injury. He finished the season with 15 wins, 13 of which came after his return. One of the top goalies in ECAC Hockey down the stretch, he helped the Green and White reach the conference quarterfinals once again. For his play, Buffalo was recognized with a spot on the All-Ivy League Second Team, while finishing the season with a .906 save percentage and a 2.84 goals-against average.
BOOMA AWARD (ROOKIE OF THE YEAR): Quin Foreman
The Booma Award is presented to the player who through determination, desire, dedication, and ability earns the ‘Rookie of The Year’ award. This award is given in honor of Roland C. Booma ‘30, an all-around Dartmouth athlete, including football and baseball in addition to his role with the hockey program.
- Part of the Big Green’s top line, Foreman benefited from playing alongside sophomores Will Graber and Shane Sellar. That’s not to say that Foreman wasn’t a force himself when he wanted to be. The rookie from Needham, Massachusetts, finished fourth on the team in scoring with 19 points, most amongst first-year players. In 33 games, he scored eight goals and dished out 11 assists. His hat trick at Yale in February was the first by a Dartmouth rookie since Hugh Jessiman did so on Jan. 25, 2003, marking a gap of 15 years before Foreman broke the streak.
MANSER AWARD (MOST IMPROVED): Shane Sellar
Chosen by his teammates and coaches as the “Most Improved Varsity Player” during that season, the Manser Award is named for and given in honor of George ‘Johnny’ Manser ‘26, captain of the 1926 varsity team and the first president of the Friends of Dartmouth Men’s Hockey.
- Few players made bigger strides from last year to this past winter than Sellar. The sophomore was second on the team in scoring with 22 points, a 15-point improvement of his rookie campaign of seven (1-6-7). Sellar’s 11 goals were the most on the roster as he had the knack of putting up big games over the course of the season. What makes it all the more impressive is that Sellar didn’t have a point until the 12th game of the season, a two-goal effort at No. 2 Denver, including the game winner as the Green overcame a 3-0 deficit to pick up a 5-4 victory in the Mile High City. His six-point game (2-4-6) at Rensselaer on Feb. 9 was the best single-game point total of any player in the nation this season and the most by anyone in more than two years.
SMOYER AWARD (UNSUNG HERO): River Rymsha and Dean Shatzer
The Smoyer Award is given to the player who has made the most unusual contribution to Dartmouth men’s hockey each year. These contributions are measured more by intangible factors than statistical results and is commonly referred to as the team’s “Unsung Hero”. The award is in honor of Bill Smoyer ‘67, captain of the 1967 team and an outstanding soccer player who was sadly killed in Vietnam.
- Two players shared this award because these two players do so much for the team in very different ways.
- Rymsha is not the flashy, puck-moving defenseman that gets the attention that others around the league and Division I may get. However, the senior was a steady force in his own end, playing a physical style of hockey that makes it hard on opposing forwards, while also finishing second on the team in blocks (53) behind only his partner Brendan Demler, a rookie with whom Rymsha was tasked with mentoring.
- Sophomore Dean Shatzer appeared in two games this season and just under 73 minute of play. His on-ice contributions amounted to just 3.4 percent of the Big Green’s total season. That doesn’t stop his teammates from showing him the utmost respect for what he brings to the team. One of the hardest working players, Shatzer brings a tenacity and passion to practice every day that makes the rest of his team step up their game when it is their time to be called up.
This is the first time in the 42-year history of the award that it has been shared by a pair of Big Green teammates.
McINNIS AWARD (SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR): Cam Strong
The McInnis Award is chosen by the players to honor the individual who has best reflected spirit, camaraderie, loyalty and dedication to Dartmouth men’s hockey and to Dartmouth College. Those same characteristics were demonstrated throughout his lifetime by Philip McInnis ‘36, president of the Friends of Men’s Hockey from 1979 through 1984 and in whose honor this award is given each year.
- Last year’s Booma Award winner didn’t match the offensive production that earned him that praise, but Cam Strong changed his game this season to adapt and continue to add value to the team. Strong is a natural leader with great instincts, but his respect for the game, his teammates and opponents is unmatched. Though he had just four minor penalties in 30 games as a sophomore, you can see Strong’s respect level in his style of play and how he never makes things about himself, but deflects to the team as a whole.
LEADING SCORER AWARD (MOST POINTS): Will Graber
- The sophomore led the team with 26 points on nine goals and a Dartmouth-best 17 assists in 2017-18. The driving force behind “The Timber Line” that helped push the offense ahead in the Big Green’s second-half surge, Graber, like his linemates, struggled early on to find his scoring touch. That changed after the Denver trip, where he scored in the team’s comeback win on the second night. It continued for the rest of the year, including a five-point game at Rensselaer that featured Dartmouth’s first natural hat trick since Jessiman’s at Yale on Nov. 21, 2003.