March 6, 2008
CENTERVILLE, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey player Ryan Donovan (Rexford, NY) was named the 2007-08 Eastern College Athletic Conference East Men's Ice Hockey Goalie of the Year and also earned a spot on the All-ECAC East First Team, while Eric Tufman (Abington, PA) was selected to the All-ECAC East All-Rookie Team, it was announced by the conference tonight on its ECAC Awards web show on FASThockey.com.
Donovan becomes the first goaltender in school history to earn the top goalie award after establishing himself as one of the best "big game" goaltenders in the league. The sophomore leads ECAC East with 819 saves in a league-high and school-record 1533:35 minutes of action and has averaged 31.5 saves per game. Donovan has posted 30 or more saves on 17 occasions this year, including five outings with 40-plus and has earned 11 victories to rank second at UMass Boston for wins in a single campaign. The second-year stopper has met the challenge when it's come to tough opponents, turning in a 42-save effort and allowing three goals to take down nationally-ranked Middlebury College on February 16 a day after he helped put an end to a nine-year losing streak to Williams College with 37 saves in a 2-2 tie. He also stopped 42 out of 45 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to nationally-ranked Norwich University on January 19 to help the Beacons hold the distinction of being the only team this season to take the Cadets into overtime. Donovan has also lived in the nightmares of players from nationally-ranked Babson College, holding the Beavers winless in a pair of meetings, including a 35-save performance on December 5 to gain a 1-1 tie and allowing just one goal, while turning away 33 shots in the Beacons' 4-1 ECAC East Tournament quarterfinals victory at Babson on March 1. A two-time Goalie of the Week honoree this season, Donovan has already surpassed his own school-mark for games played with 26 this year and owns a 3.40 goals against average, which is the fourth-lowest mark in school annals, while ranking 11th in ECAC East this year. A product of Avon Old Farms (CT), he has turned in a .904 save percentage to place seventh among league leaders and stand fourth on the school's all-time single-season list, while allowing two or fewer scores on eight occasions.
In just two seasons, Donovan is arguably one of the best goaltenders in school history, ranking as the program's all-time career leader in save percentage with a .905 mark, while placing second with a 3.68 goals against average. A former member of the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Junior Hockey League, he shattered the school-record for saves last season with 898 and has racked up 1,717 for his career to stand third all-time at UMB. His 16 victories put him seventh among the Beacons' best goaltenders, while placing fifth in games and minutes played with 51 and 2,938:08, respectively.
Tufman lands on the All-Rookie squad after a phenomenal first season at UMass Boston. The freshman has regularly been recognized as one of the ECAC East's top rookies, having been selected the Rookie of the Week a league-high six times. The winger led all league freshmen with 1.44 points per game, while ranking sixth among the nation's rookies in points per outing. The first-year player emerged as the top player for the Beacons, which had a roster comprised of 17 freshmen and five sophomores and just three seniors out of 29 players, leading the squad with 36 points and 18 goals, while standing second with 18 assists. The Abington Senior High School product ranked sixth among the league leaders in points, fourth in goals and 10 in assists and made his scores count, racking up four game-winning tallies to place 12th among the national leaders as well as third in ECAC East. Tufman has also been a big part of UMass Boston's power play, potting nine goals with the extra skater to stand 16th in NCAA Division III, while ranking second in ECAC East and entering the UMB record-book as the second-highest total in a season in school annals. He also ranks sixth in the league with 15 (9-6-15) power play points. A former member of the Philadelphia Little Flyers of the American Junior Hockey League, he has been extremely reliable for the Beacons, notching at least one point in 20 of 25 contests, including nine multi-point efforts and a season-high of four points on three occasions. The forward has put together four separate point-scoring streaks of four games or more, including a five-game streak that saw him tally 11 points from December 28 to January 18 and a seven-game stretch that produced eight points from January 22 to February 9. UMB hockey fans got their first taste of the impact he has brought to the program when he collected four points on a pair of goals and two assists in his second collegiate game of the season at Southern New Hampshire University on November 24 and later saw him help the Beacons to their first Codfish Bowl victory since 1997 with a 5-4 triumph over Fitchburg State College on December 29, thanks to another four-point effort, which led to a spot on the All-Tournament team. His point-total is the most by a UMass Boston freshman since Joe McCafferty (1981-83, 1984-85) racked up a school-record 77 points during the 1981-82 campaign. Tufman has already drawn attention from the hockey community after being named one of 16 semifinalists by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for the eighth Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England playing at the D-II/III level.
The Beacons are unbeaten in four of their last five contests and own an 11-13-2 overall record, while compiling a 5-12-2 mark in league play and garnered one vote in the USCHO.com national poll this week. The team has its highest win-total since it finished with a 13-12-0 record in 1999-2000. UMass Boston's playoff win over Babson was its first in the post-season since defeating Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 6-1, on February 26, 2000 in Boston and its first road playoff victory since beating Babson, 6-2, on February 25, 1989 at Babson. The Beacons will travel to Northfield, VT on Saturday, March 8 to take on top-seeded Norwich University at 3:00 p.m. in the ECAC East Tournament semifinals. The victor will play the winner of number four seed New England College and sixth-seeded Salem State College in the championship game on Sunday, March 9 in Northfield, VT at 3:00 p.m.