Continuing its reputation of in-the-classroom dominance, the Merrimack College men’s ice hockey program dominated the 2017-18 Hockey East All-Academic Team, boasting a league-high 21 selections that featured two of the league’s four Top Scholar-Athletes.
Leading the charge was senior Alfred Larsson, the recipient of the Merrimack College Medal at Commencement in May and a finalist of the Senior CLASS Award, who rounded out his career with another sensational showing in the classroom. The Mechanical Engineering major graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA), becoming the second straight Warrior to graduate as a four-time Top Scholar-Athlete after Hampus Gustafsson ’17 did so last spring.
Additionally, sophomore Johnathan Kovacevic joined Alfred Larsson as Merrimack’s second straight Top Scholar-Athlete. Merrimack has now had at least one student-athlete earn the league’s most prestigious academic honor in five straight seasons.
They were two of a league-high 21 selections, marking the fifth year in a row and seventh time in the last 10 seasons, as the Warriors continue to pace the conference in off-the-ice excellence in the classroom.
Merrimack has seen a student-athlete garner Top Scholar-Athlete status 25 separate times since joining the league, marking the 16th different season in which the program has had at least one honoree. More impressively, Alfred Larsson becomes the second player in league history to finish his career with a perfect 4.0 GPA and earn Top Scholar-Athlete status every year, joining Gustafsson on that very exclusive list.
Alfred Larsson was flanked by classmates and graduating seniors Jace Hennig, Jared Kolquist, Mathieu Tibbet and Aaron Titcomb in earning the league’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which is given to student-athletes who post a 3.00 or higher GPA in each of their four seasons. That increases Merrimack’s all-time total to 26 such selections, the most in the conference, as well. All seven members of the senior class were honored at least twice in their four years.
Senior Brett Seney and juniors Michael Babcock, Ludvig Larsson and Derek Petti were all-academic selections for the third time in their careers. Senior Marc Biega and sophomores Ryan Cook, Tyler Irvine and Kovacevic took home the accolade for the second time, as well.
Finally, juniors Craig Pantano and Drew Vogler, sophomore Jeff Solow and rookies Jackson Bales, Dominic Dockery, Logan Halladay, Simon Loofand Laine McKay earned all-academic status for the first time.
On campus, the men’s program was Merrimack’s top team in terms of team-wide cumulative GPA, finishing the year with a department-best 3.541 GPA.
Hockey East overall saw 144 of its student-athletes named to the league’s 2017-18 All-Academic Team. Each student-athlete achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better in each of the two academic periods during which he was actively competing.
Sixteen players reached “Distinguished Scholar” status in 2017-18, having qualified for the All-Academic team in each of four seasons of varsity play, while 12 others are three-time honorees.