Larkin and Cusin Take Home Major New England Hockey Conference Awards

Larkin and Cusin Take Home Major New England Hockey Conference Awards

MARSHFIELD, Mass.—Junior Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) became the first player in program history to be named Conference Player of the Year to lead a group of four players who were recognized on the New England Hockey Conference All-Conference Teams, the league office announced Thursday afternoon.

Freshman Ryan Cusin (Detroit, Mich.) was the other big winner for the Beacons, as he became the third Beacon to win the Rookie of the Year award in the past five seasons. 

Senior defenseman Tyler Bishop (Ramsey, N.J.) and Larkin were both repeat honorees on the NEHC First Team, while Cusin earned a spot on the Third Team. Freshman forward Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) and Cusin also were recognized on the NEHC All-Rookie Team.

Larkin in only the fourth Beacon player or coach to earn a major conference award. Ryan Donovan ('10) and Kevin Bendel ('12) each earned the Goalie of the Year award in the ECAC East, while head coach Peter Belisle was named the NEHC Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year last season.

The junior forward led the entire NEHC in goals (19) during the regular-season and tied for the league-lead with eight power-play goals and five game-winning goals. Larkin also ranked second in the conference with 38 points, tied for third in power-play points (15) and tied for fifth with 19 assists. He ranks tied for first nationally in game-winning goals (five) and tied for third with his 19 goals and eight power-play goals. Additionally, Larkin leads UMass Boston with his +14 +/- rating and 129 shots and played in all 25 games.

Larkin recorded at least one point in 20 games and multiple points in 10 contests. Nine of those 10 multi-point games came during conference play, including four games with three points more. In 18 conference contests, Larkin finished with 15 goals, 15 assists and 30 points. Larkin put together his two biggest games of the season against conference foes; he posted a hat trick against Castleton University on November 11 and added four goals and one assist in a 5-2 win over St. Anselm College on January 6. He became the 16th member of the UMass Boston 100-Point Club on February 3 against Saint Michael's College and currently has 101 points in 83 career games. 

Cusin put together a phenomenal freshman campaign and became the first Beacons freshman to earn a spot on one of the top three All-Conference Teams in program history. He joins Larkin and Peter MacIntyre ('15) as the only Beacons in program history to be named Conference Rookie of the Year. In addition to being named to the NEHC Third Team, Cusin also earned a spot on the NEHC All-Rookie Team. The accolades come on the back of his league-leading 18 power-play points and 40 total points. Cusin also ranked second in the conference in points per game (1.60), goals (16) and assists (24). On the national level, Cusin leads all Division III rookies with his 40 points and sits second in points per game.

He played in all 25 games and ranked second on UMass Boston in +/- rating (+10) and shots (114), while also tacking on five power-play goals and one game-winning goal. Cusin was the Beacons most consistent point scorer, as he tallied at least one point in 22 of 25 games and multiple points 10 times. In NEHC play, Cusin finished with 11 goals and 19 assists, to tie Larkin for the league-high with 30 points in 18 games. Cusin posted one goal, three assists and a +5 rating in a 5-2 win over St. Anselm College on January 6, before tacking on a goal and three assists in a 4-2 victory against Saint Michael's College on February 3. 

Bishop becomes the first Beacon to earn a spot on an All-Conference Team in three seasons. After being named an ECAC East Honorable Mention Team honoree as a sophomore, Bishop picked up his second-straight NEHC First Team selection this winter. The senior ranked second in the conference amongst blue liners with his 23 assists and 29 points and third overall with six goals. He was one of just two NEHC defensemen to post more than a point per game (1.16) during the regular season.

Bishop finished third on the Beacons with his +9 +/- rating and tacked on two power-play goals and one game-winning tally. He recorded at least one point in 18 contests and posted multiple points in nine games. Bishop set the program record for defenseman career points on January 20 when he scored a goal and added an assist in a road win over Skidmore College. For his career, Bishop has 24 goals and 64 assists for 88 points and he ranks tied for second in program history with his 106 career games played. The senior assistant captain put together one of his best performance of the season at Fenway Park, when he scored a third-period goal and finished +5 in a 5-1 win over rival Babson College.

Redler was the fourth and final Beacon to be honored. After bouncing around the Beacons lines to start the season, he became one of the top point scorers in the entire NEHC after becoming the third member of the Beacons' top line. Redler finished second in the conference amongst rookies, behind only Cusin, in goals (10), assists (17), points (27) and points per game (1.17). He also ranked in the top 10 in the conference in goals, assists, points and power-play goals (five). On the national stage, Redler ranks ninth amongst Division III rookies in points and 11th in points per game. 

He recorded at least one point in 16 games, including a 12-game point streak, and compiled seven multi-point games. Redler put together by far his best performance of the season on January 20 at Skidmore College, when he recorded his first collegiate hat trick and added two assists in a 7-2 victory. He also posted a goal and an assist in the Beacons' 5-1 win over Babson College at Fenway Park.

UMass Boston will open NEHC Tournament play on Saturday at 7 p.m., when the sixth-seeded Beacons travel to take on third-seeded Babson College. The Beacons and Beavers split the regular-season series, with both teams winning on the road.