Ricci Earns Third Team MVP Award; Bowen, Barton, Ross Captains for 2009-10

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Senior captain Rob Ricci’s (Brampton, Ontario) third team MVP award headlined the honors handed out at the Merrimack hockey annual team awards banquet Friday night at Palmers Restaurant in Andover.

At the banquet, Head Coach Mark Dennehy announced that defenseman Pat Bowen (Marshfield, MA) and forward Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) will serve as co-captains for the upcoming 2009-10 season, while defenseman Adam Ross (Red Deer, Alberta) will be assistant captain.

Ricci repeated as the team’s Most Valuable Player, as voted on by his teammates and coaches. In his three-year career at Merrimack, Ricci was named team MVP in all three seasons, becoming the first Warrior in program history to earn that distinction. Ricci tied for the team lead in scoring with 23 points and tallied a team-high 11 goals and 97 shots this season. He departs the program a veteran of 99 games and ranks eighth all-time in points per game since Merrimack joined Hockey East.

Karl Stollery (Camrose, Alberta) won the Rookie of the Year award and was presented with the honor by last year’s winner Fraser Allan (North Battleford, Sask.). Stollery, one of three players to play in all 34 games, was the lone defenseman named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team. He led Warrior defensemen in ice time and in points (16), while finishing the regular season tops among freshmen defensemen in scoring in Hockey East games with 15 points and first among all freshmen defensemen and fourth among all blue liners in power-play points with twelve.

Stollery’s classmate, Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA) won the Defensive Player of the Year award. Cannata earned four Hockey East weekly honors, getting two Defensive Player of the Week honors and two Rookie of the Week honors and was the first goalie in school history to record a shutout in his first career start, as he stopped 44 shots in 1-0 win over Army. He posted a 7-11-4 record with 2.35 GAA and .918 save percentage and did not allow an even strength goal until overtime of his fourth career game.

Barton brought home the Unsung Hero award. One of three players to play in all 34 games, Barton tied for the team-lead with 23 points and posted a team-best 14 assists and five power-play goals.

Barton’s classmate, Ross was the recipient of the WarriorRinkRat.com 7th Player award, which is awarded to the player who performed above and beyond fan expectations; someone who excelled in the parts of the game that didn’t show up on the score sheet. Warrior fans that voted online at Mike McMahon’s Merrimack hockey blog selected the winner of this award. Ross tallied six points in 33 games this season, scoring his first collegiate goal against Maine on December 7.

The 2008-09 captains, Ricci and Joe Loprieno (Bloomingdale, IL) each signed professional contracts in March, with Ricci signing with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL and Loprieno signing a two-way contract with the San Jose Sharks.