The following players are recognized for exceptional seasons at the Division II level. Keep in mind these players are selected based on regular season play not post season performance. Due to number of teams and the talent spread, I've decided to select three teams of 3 Forwards, 2 Defensemen and 1 Goalie. Check back tomorrow for DI's Honorable Mention.
SKATER OF THE YEAR: Zach White, Jr. (Milford Co-op)
GOALIE OF THE YEAR: Matt DePalma, Sr. (New Milford)
DEFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR: Dan Silvestri, Sr. (Fairfield Co-op)
OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR: Ryan Moore, Sr. (Guilford)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Sam Lafontaine (Daniel Hand)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mark Pettorini (Fairfield Co-op)
RYAN BRENNAN ALL HEART AWARD: Evan Isaacs & Tyler Hanley (Newtown)
Ryan Brennan All Heart Award given out each year to players at all three divisions. Brennan, a Fairfield Prep Jesuit lost a two year battle with cancer in February 2011. It was suggested by Prep players last season that we honor the life of Ryan with this annual award given out to players who exhibit excellence on and off the ice.
DII FIRST TEAM
F Patrick Melanson, Sr. (Northwest Catholic)
One of the best distributors in the state Melanson finished tied with Greenwood for NWC's point lead with 45 (17 G, 28 A) on the year. Melanson had 12 multi-point games this year including 7 and 8 point efforts in wins over RMR and Hall-Southington. Melanson made NWC's transition to D2 seamless and will be sorely missed.
F Dylan Podbielski, Sr. (North Branford)
|Milford's Zachary White|
Podbielski is the force that kept North Branford going this year. You'd be hard pressed to find a player with the talent of Podbielski's but also the willingness to go to the dirty areas as well. Nearly carrying the T-Birds to the D2 final, Podbielski finished the year with 45 points (17 G, 28 A) and had 13 multi-point games on the year.
F Zachary White, Jr. (Milford Co-op)
Zach White has dazzled for a couple of years now as one of the state's most gifted all around players. His ability to take over a game is uncanny. White led the state in scoring with 61 points (30 G, 31 A) in 21 games. Like NB's Podbielski, White did this while being continually taking long shifts to help his team. White notched a multi-point game in all but two of his games this year.
D Ryan Moore, Sr. (Guilford)
Competent, stalwart, and smooth, Moore piloted the Indians to a successful season from his post at the blue line. Like fellow first teamer Martin, Moore didn't allow his size slow his game, in fact it more than added to it. Moore finished with 27 points (11 G, 16 A) winning the defensemen scoring title.
D Scott Martin, Sr. (BBD)
Martin, from the blue line, was BBD's most imposing offensive threat. Martin's heroics were no more evident than in their second round overtime win over Guilford when he scored all four of the team's goals. Martin led the Ice Cats in goals and points and is looking to extend his career to Minnesota with the Austin Bruins.
|New Milford's Matt DePalma|
G Matt DePalma, Sr. (New Milford)
DePalma is as solid as you get between the pipes and is among a cast of talented goaltenders at the D2 level. DePalma's New Milford club was bounced early in this year's tourney but during the season the senior posted a 1.46 GAA and 3 shutouts. Selfless and goal geared, DePalma shared the crease with junior and next year starter Nick Capriglione. In doing this DePalma won New Milford's Hobey Baker Character Award this season.
DII SECOND TEAM
F Jeff Greenwood, Sr. (Northwest Catholic)
F Kevin Robinson, Jr. (Fairfield Co-op)
F Kevin Murphy, Sr. (Watertown-Pomperaug)
D Zach Cattaruzza, Sr. (Guilford)
D Ben Lavallee, Jr. (Milford Co-op)
G Chase Briggs, Jr. (Daniel Hand)
DII THIRD TEAM
F Matt Horton, So. (Guilford)
F Rob Buskey, Sr. (Milford Co-op)
F Ben Solin, So. (Daniel Hand)
D Dan Silvestri, Sr. (Fairfield Co-op)
D Lorenzo Stellato, Sr. (New Milford)
G Thomas Usseglio, Jr. (East Catholic)
|Guilford's Ryan Moore|