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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: March 19, 2007
WATERVILLE, Maine -- Junior defenseman Arthur Fritch (St. Sebastians/South Boston, Mass.) and senior forward Greg Osborne (Pomfret School/Stoughton, Mass.) are the third pair of players in the long history of the Colby College men’s hockey program to earn All-America honors in the same year.
Fritch was named a first team All-American and Osborne was selected to the second team of the American Hockey Coaches Association National Division III All-America Team on Monday. Fritch and Osborne were two of 12 players selected to the East Region first and second teams. Four New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) players were honored.
Colby greats Ron Ryan ’62 and Frank Stephenson ’62 were the first two players to earn All-America honors in the same year. The Mules waited until the 1996-97 season to have another pair earn honors when Don Lavergne ’97 and Robert Koh ’99 were selected. Colby has had 13 players receive 15 All-America honors since 1962-63.
Fritch led NCAA Division III in scoring by defensemen with 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points. He was a NESCAC second team selection last year and moved up to the first team this season. Fritch heads into his senior season with 23 goals and 66 assists for 89 career points.
“Arthur’s work ethic and ability to get better each year has proven the sky is the limit with him,” Colby head coach Jim Tortorella said. “So the fact that he went from being second team all-league last year to first team All-American is not surprising to me at all.”
Fritch was first in the NESCAC in power play points (0.92 per game), first in defensemen scoring, tied for first in assists with teammate Josh Reber and was second to Osborne in points.
Fritch’s work on the blue line on the power play helped the Mules have the third-best man advantage in Division III this season.
“(Fritch) doesn’t get in bad positions on the ice during the power play to force himself into making difficult plays,” Tortorella said. “He makes simple plays to allow the other four guys to do something well with the puck. Arthur is such a visual learner that you can show him something and he is able to act upon it immediately.”
Osborne was a beneficiary of Fritch’s passing on the power play. The senior led NESCAC in scoring (21 goals, 20 assists, 41 points) and goals scored. Osborne also was first in the conference in power play goals (11) and second to Fritch in power play points. Osborne had 22 power play goals in the last two seasons.
Osborne, Colby’s captain, went from having two goals and six assists for eight points in his first year with the Mules to being named NESCAC Player of the Year and earning All-America honors in his final season.
“To be an All-American and the NESCAC Player of the Year says more about him than it does about our coaching staff or our program itself,” Tortorella said. “Earning those honors comes more from the individual to go from where he started to where he is now.”
Osborne became the 13th player in Colby men’s hockey history to reach 100 career points. He had 48 goals and 57 assists for 105 points. Osborne was an assistant captain during his junior year and was voted captain by his teammates for this past season.
“Ozzie has that calming leadership where he talks and people listen,” Tortorella said. “He’s not a screamer or a guy that gets in another player’s face. He commands the room with his articulation in the locker room and he commands attention on the ice with what he can do with the puck.”
Osborne also helped the Mules win games during his four years. Colby had a 58-33-9 record in his four years, including a 14-9-2 record this year and a trip to the NESCAC semifinals.
RBK/American Hockey Coaches Association Division III All-America Team
Player of the Year: Andrew Gallant, Manhattanville, senior, goalie
East Region First Team: Arthur Fritch, Colby, junior, D; Tom Maldonado, Middlebury, junior, D; Andrew Gallant, Manhattanville, senior, G; Rick Cleaver, Norwich, junior, F; Mitch Stephens, Geneseo, senior, F; Neil Trimm, Neumann, junior, F
East Region Second Team: Mike Gooch, Neumann, junior, D; John Halverson, Trinity, senior, D; Ryan Scott, Oswego, junior, G; Greg Osborne, Colby, senior, F; Mike Hedden, Neumann, sophomore, F; Ryan McLaughlin, Oswego, sophomore, F
West Region First Team: Jim Henkemeyer, UW-River Falls, first-year, D; Derek Paige, UW-Superior, senior, D; A.J. Bucchino, UW-River Falls, sophomore, G; Marc Belanger, St. Norbert, junior, F; Aaron Johnson, Augsburg, senior, F; T.J. Dahl, UW-River Falls, junior, F
West Region Second Team: John Paulson, St. Olaf, junior, D; Ryan Van Bockel, St. Thomas, senior, D; Mike Stone, UW-Stout; junior, G; Derek Hansberry, UW-River Falls, sophomore, F; Nick Pernula, St. Thomas, junior, F; Brian Soik, MSOE, senior, F