UMass Boston's Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) have been selected as two of the 20 semifinalists for the 13th annual Joe Concannon Award, presented each year to the best American-born Division II/III men's player in New England. The award is given out annually by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
The Beacons are just one of three teams to have two nominees, joining #1 Norwich University and #7 Bowdoin College, and the multiple semifinalists are a program first.
Florentino is one of the top scoring defenseman in the nation this seasons and leads the Beacon blue line core with five goals, 19 assists and 24 points on the year. In three seasons as a Beacon, Florentino stands fourth all-time in program-history amongst defenseman with 60 career points. The senior defenseman was named to the 48th Annual Codfish Bowl All-Tournament team last month, after helping the Beacons earn their first tournament title since 2007.
Daniel has been one of the top forwards in the nation this season leading UMass Boston with 25 assists and 35 points for the year. The junior right-winger ranks seconds in the nation with his 25 assists and 1.09 assists per game and is tied for fourth in the nation with four game-winning goals. After strong freshman and sophomore campaigns, Daniel has a chance to go down as one of the top forwards in UMass Boston history, needing just 16 points to become the 13th players in school history to record 100 points.
The Gridiron Club plans to announce the finalists and winner of the award in March, prior to the start of the NCAA Division III Frozen Four. The presentation of the honor will come at the New England Hockey Writers' Association dinner in April.
The Gridiron Club established the Joe Concannon Award in 2001 to honor the late Concannon, a lifelong devotee of college hockey and, as a journalist, a staunch advocate for the amateur athletes he knew and covered. A native of Litchfield, Conn., Concannon graduated from Boston University in 1961 and served as sports information director at the College of the Holy Cross before joining the Boston Globe in the late 1960s to cover college sports.