BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston men's hockey senior captain Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) became the first Beacon to win the Joe Concannon Award Wednesday morning, when the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston released the group of five finalists and the overall winner.
The Joe Concannon Award, which has been awarded for the past 18 seasons, recognizes the best American college hockey player in New England competing at the Division II/III level. It was established in 2001 shortly after the passing of the longtime writer for the Boston Globe, who had a great passion for the game of college hockey while always advocating strongly for amateur athletics.
"This is huge for Colin and for our program," said UMass Boston men's hockey coach Peter Belisle in a statement. "Colin has been a cornerstone player in building the program here and has become a better hockey player during each of his four seasons. He is a terrific competitor and really was a leader on our team this season."
Larkin is the first-ever Beacon to have earned the award. Former Beacon forwards Travis Daniel ('14), Stephen Buco ('15) and Matt Lemire ('16) were each named finalists on one occasion.
"It is always exciting when you see players rewarded for their hard work and dedication to their sport," added Belisle. "Colin just loves playing the game and is continuing on in California right now in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors. His signing of a professional contract coming out of the D-III ranks truly shows how much his game has developed and we are all rooting for him to be successful at the next level in the professional ranks."
Larkin beat out five finalists for the award including last year's winner Brady Fleurent (University of New England). The other four finalists are fellow Bakersfield Condor Logan Day (Endicott College), UMass Dartmouth's Jonathan Ruiz, Fitchburg State University's Nick DiNicola and Colby College's Sean Lawrence.
As a senior with the Beacons, Larkin earned his second-straight New England Hockey Conference Player of the Year Award and earned a spot on the NEHC First Team for a third-straight year. After the conclusion of the Beacons' season, Larkin became the first player in program history to sign a professional contract with an NHL organization, when he signed a pair of contracts with the Edmonton Oilers.
Larkin led all NEHC players with his 46 points and 1.70 points per game and ranked tied for first with 24 goals and 0.89 goals per game. He also paced the conference in power-play goals (10) and power-play goals per game (0.37) and sat third in assists (22) and assists per game (0.81).
Amongst all Division III skaters, Larkin sits fourth in the nation in points per game and third in goals per game.
"This has been an incredible season at the D-II/III level with so many great players and teams accomplishing so much for the first time," said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello in a news release. "These finalists are truly the best representation of the superb level of play and individual excellence from across each of the conferences.
"This year showcased a season where there was great parity and high level of play across New England. For Colin, this season was truly a great culmination to a wonderful four-year career topped off by his NEHC Player of the Year recognition and now the Joe Concannon Award. He joins a growing list of worthy recipients."
Larkin closed out his career as the program record holder in games played (111) and power-play goals (23). He also ranks in the top-five in program history in goals (64-t-4th), assists (84-3rd), points (148-4th) and game-winning goals (nine-3rd).
He will be recognized for the award at the New England College Hockey Writers' Dinner on Wednesday April 11, at the Prince Restaurant in Saugus, Mass.