One day after receiving Hockey East’s Army ROTC Three Stars and Stop It Goaltending Champion awards along with being named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award by Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation, UMass Lowell senior goaltender Kevin Boyle was named the Warrior Hockey East Co-Player of the year. He will share the award with Boston College netminder Thatcher Demko.
The Co-Player of the Year award is voted upon by the league’s 12 coaches.
This is just the third time players have been named co-players of the year and is the first occasion where two goaltenders share the honor.
Boyle finished the 2015-16 campaign with the best goals against average (1.62) and save percentage (.941) in Hockey East, compiling a 12-6-4 conference record with the River Hawks. His 12 wins ranked fourth in the league and he allowed just 35 goals in 1,341:42 of play, the fewest goals against of any netminder that played more than 60 percent of his team’s minutes. He also pitched four shutouts in league play during the season, second in Hockey East only to Demko. Nationally, Boyle finished fifth in goals against average (1.84) and ninth in save percentage (.932).
Boyle was honored by the league as Defensive Player of the Week on four occasions this season, most recently, for the week of March 14.
For his efforts, Boyle has also been named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team.
Since dispatching the Boston University Terriers from the Hockey East playoffs last week at the Tsongas Center, Boyle and his UML teammates have been preparing for tonight’s semifinal versus defending NCAA Division I champion Providence College at the TD Garden in Boston.
UML (23-8-5), ranked eighth in the national polls, will be in search of its fourth consecutive trip to the championship game. The River Hawks won the playoff championship in 2013 and 2014.
The number three ranked Friars (27-5-4), who last won the Hockey East championship in 1996, are hoping to make it to the title match for the first time since 2001.
Historically, the Friars and River Hawks have played each other nine times previously in the postseason with UMass Lowell owning a 5-3-1 record including a victory in the only semifinal meeting in 2013. In two regular season tilts during the 2015-16 campaign, Providence and UMass Lowell split a home-and-home series, Jan. 22-23.
Across New England, the New England Sports Network will produce and air the Hockey East championship weekend from TD Garden once again. The first semifinal game, Providence vs. UMass Lowell, will be shown on NESN in its entirety beginning at 5 p.m., while the second semifinal, Boston College vs. Northeastern, begins at 8 p.m. on NESN and NESNplus before moving exclusively to NESNplus at 9 p.m. The title game is set to be played at 7 p.m. Saturday night and shown on NESN. Across the country, NBCSN will also air all three games as part of over eight hours of coverage of the tournament on the weekend. Tickets for the 2016 Hockey East Championship Tournament at the TD Garden are on sale now at the TD Garden Box Office. Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
Follow ESPN New Hampshire NHL/NCAA Hockey Writer, Shawn Hutcheon, on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.
Photo: UMass Lowell Twitter Page
Reprinted with permission of The Lowell Sun.