Feb. 19, 2009
BOSTON, MA- For the third time in four years, at least one member of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team is a semi-finalist for the ninth annual Joe Concannon Award, presented annually by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston to New England's best American-born NCAA Division II or III hockey player.
Junior goaltender Jon Dryjowicz-Burek (Ludlow, MA/Springfield Jr. Falcons/UMass Lowell), who was a semi-finalist as a freshman, is once again in the running for the award. Dryjowicz-Burek is one of 16 semi-finalists, one of two goaltenders, and one of six players from the Eastern College Athletic Conference Northeast.
Dryjowicz-Burek and forwards Kyle McCullough (Danvers, MA/Boston Jr. Blackhawks) and Eric Frank (Waltham, MA/Traverse City Enforcers) were semi-finalists in 2005-06, and McCullough, forward Jeff Grant (Burlington, MA/Austin Prep) and senior goaltender Jeff Green (Medway, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) were named as semi-finalists two seasons ago. Frank was the winner of the prestigious Thom Lawler Award in 2005-06, and Corsair defenseman Tyler Crocker (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) won the Lawler Award last season.
Dryjowicz-Burek has started 14 of 24 games this season, posting a 7-5-2 record, a 2.06 goals-against average, and a .935 save percentage. His career record is 25-10-2 with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. He leads the ECAC Northeast in save percentage and is second in goals-against average, and is tied for third nationally in save percentage and 13th in goals-against average.
"Jon has been a statistical leader in both the conference and nationally for most of the season," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "If you added up all the players from the ECAC East, the ECAC Northeast and the NESCAC, for us to be represented almost every year is a reflection of the quality of players who have come through our program."
"This season, more than any other, has showcased great competition and individual talents throughout the leagues across New England," said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello. "It seems that each and every season gets a bit tighter, and the level of play continues to improve. That makes it ever more challenging to single out worthy nominees for the Concannon Award. Our committee believes this is a strong group of nominees, it's going to take both the remainder of the regular season and conference tournaments before we'll be able to single out the most worthy nominee."
The finalists and winner will be named in March, prior to the start of the Frozen Four. The award will be presented in mid-April at the annual New England Hockey Writers Banquet.
The Gridiron Club established the Joe Concannon Award in 2001 to honor Concannon, a lifelong devotee of college hockey, former member of the Walter Brown Award Selection Committee and, as a journalist, a staunch advocate for the amateur athletes he knew and covered. He served as sports information director (SID) at Holy Cross before joining the Boston Globe in the late 1960's to cover college sports. He passed away in 2000.