Links: HEA Release
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by a league-most three Top Scholar-Athletes thanks to perfect 4.0 grade-point averages in the classroom over the past academic year, the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team once again displayed a dominant showing in the annual Hockey East All-Academic Team, which was announced by the league on Wednesday.
For the fourth straight season, at least one Merrimack student-athlete took home the prestigious honor of being named the league's Top Scholar-Athlete, as senior Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden), junior Alfred Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) and freshman Johnathan Kovacevic (Grimsby, Ontario) all shared the honor as the only student-athletes with perfect 4.0 GPAs in both the fall and spring semesters.
As a team, Merrimack once again led Hockey East with 21 All-Academic selections for the fourth straight season and for the sixth time in the last nine years, as the Warriors continue to pace the conference in off-the-ice excellence in the classroom and the community.
Gustafsson, Larsson and Kovacevic run Merrimack's league-most list of Top Scholar-Athlete honors to 23 in total since joining the league, marking the 15th different season in which the program has had at least one honoree. More impressively, Gustafsson becomes the first player in league history to finish his career with a perfect 4.0 GPA and is the only student-athlete to earn four Top Scholar-Athlete honors. Larsson is now 3-for-3 in his career and will look to match Gustafsson's feat next academic year, while Kovacevic takes home his first such honor.
Gustafsson and classmate Jonathan Lashyn (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) became the 20th and 21st players in program history to be named recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award, which is given to student-athletes who post 3.00 or higher GPAs in each of their four seasons. Merrimack leads the conference in all-time Distinguished Scholar Award winners, as well.
Juniors Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Jace Hennig (Port Moody, British Columbia), Jared Kolquist (Hermantown, Minn.), Larsson, Mathieu Tibbet (Dover, Del.) and Aaron Titcomb (Charlestown, Mass.) all made it 3-for-3 in their careers by earning their third all-academic selection.
Sophomores Michael Babcock (Northville, Mich.), Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) and Derek Petti (Tewksbury, Mass.), as well as junior Brett Seney (London, Ontario) and senior Chris LeBlanc (Winthrop, Mass.) all garnered their second career selection to the All-Academic Team.
Finally, freshmen Ryan Cook (Lancaster, N.Y.), Logan Coomes (Northville, Mich.), Tyler Drevitch (Middleborough, Mass.), Tyler Irvine (Livonia, Mich.), Patrick Kramer (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Sami Tavernier (Morzine, France), as well as junior Marc Biega (Port Moody, British Columbia) were all first-time honorees.
Finally, Gustafsson, Kovacevic and Larsson were all named to the 2016-17 Hockey East All-Academic All-Star Team, as each earned the conference's top GPAs at their respective slots in the lineup.
Hockey East overall boasted a record 149 student-athletes that were named to the All-Academic Team, while seven players reached Distinguished Scholar status in 2016-17, having qualified for the All-Academic team in each of four seasons of varsity play, while 27 others were three-time honorees.