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Hockey East Online
March 19, 2009
~Huskies' Cronin named Coach of the Year; BU's Millan tabbed as Rookie of the Year~


Player of the Year Brad Thiessen of Northeastern
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the first time in the 25-year history of Hockey East, the Player of the Year is a Northeastern University Husky. The announcement was made at the 25th annual Hockey East Awards banquet on Thursday night at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.

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Brad Thiessen Interview
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Starting and finishing every game in his junior season, Northeastern University goaltender Brad Thiessen (Aldergrove, B.C.) led the Huskies to within a whisker of their first-ever Hockey East regular season title and has led them to their first appearance in the conference semifinals since 1994. He was by far the league leader in save percentage (.932) and boasted a save percentage just over 2.00 despite facing an average of over 30 shots per game. No single player did more for his team this year than Thiessen.

But he had help. In just four years behind the NU bench, Husky Head Coach Greg Cronin has built his team from a humbling three-win season in 2005-06 to a 25-win season this year as a new national powerhouse and championship contender. For his efforts, Cronin has been deservedly selected by his peers as the Bob Kullen Hockey East Coach of the Year.

Only one thing kept the Huskies from their first regular season title – the oft-top-ranked Boston University squad and their freshman goaltender, Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alb.). Millan was chosen by the league’s coaches as the Pro Ambitions Hockey East Rookie of the Year, and was also named a Second Team All-Star, second only to Theissen, who backstopped the First Team. Millan was the only first-year player among the All-Stars.

Boston University led the All-Star selections with four, including two on an otherwise diverse First-Team that featured five of the league’s 10 programs. BU captain Matt Gilroy (North Bellmore, N.Y.), a superior two-way senior defenseman, averaged nearly a point per game and is amazingly the only repeat honoree among this year’s selections and now a three-time First Team All-Star. The Terriers’ offensive catalyst Colin Wilson (Winnipeg, Man.) is on the cusp of a 50-point season in just his sophomore year while another sophomore, James Marcou (King Park, N.Y.) of the University of Massachusetts, shared the league scoring title with him. Yet another sophomore, Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alb.) of UMass Lowell, was the league’s highest point producer among defensemen, just ahead of Gilroy. Vermont junior forward Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) rounded out the First Team.

BU sophomore defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y.) joined Millan on the Second Team, as did Boston College senior sniper Brock Bradford (Burnaby, B.C.), who has 25 goals entering this weekend, second-best in the NCAA. The Second Team also featured UMass defenseman Justin Braun (Vadnais Heights, Minn.), Northeastern forward Ryan Ginand (Milford, Mass.) and University of New Hampshire forward James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.).

The deep Boston University squad also had two forwards among the Honorable Mention All-Stars in Chris Higgins (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.) Five other teams received Honorable Mention selections, including Providence defenseman Matt Taormina (Washington Township, Mich.).

Player of the Year
Brad Thiessen, Northeastern
(Jr., G, Aldergrove, B.C.)
Kieran Millan, Boston University
(Fr. G; Edmonton, Alb.)
BOB KULLEN CCM Coach of the Year
Greg Cronin, Northeastern

2008-09 Hockey East All-Stars
First Team
Second Team
Brad Thiessen (NU, Jr., G) *
Kieran Millan (BU, Fr., G)
Matt Gilroy (BU, Sr., D)
Justin Braun (UMass, Jr., D)
Maury Edwards (UML, So., D)
Kevin Shattenkirk (BU, So., D)
Colin Wilson (BU, So., F)
Brock Bradford (BC, Sr., F)
Viktor Stålberg (UVM, Jr., F)
Ryan Ginand (NU, Sr., F)
James Marcou (UMass, So., F)
James van Riemsdyk (UNH, So., F)
* – unanimous choice

Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Stars
G: Brian Foster (UNH), D: Matt Taormina (PC), D: Nick Schaus (UML), F: Chris Higgins (BU),
F: Peter Lenes (UVM), F: Nick Bonino (BU), F: Wade MacLeod (NU)

Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year Kieran Millan of Boston University
Coach of the Year Greg Cronin of Northeastern University
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