Men's hockey players, coach honored

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: March 31, 2008
WATERVILLE, Maine --- Colby College men's hockey head coach Jim Tortorella and four of his players will be saluted by the New England Hockey Writers Association after earning honors from the group on Tuesday.

Tortorella was named the ECAC East/New England Small College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. Meanwhile, senior forwards T.J. Kelley (Taft School/Ridgefield, Conn.) and Josh Reber (Taft School/Edina, Minn.), defensemen Arthur Fritch (St. Sebastians/South Boston, Mass.), and goalie Cody McKinney (Lawrenceville School/Weston, Fla.) were selected to the ECAC East/NESCAC All-Star squad.

Tortorella and his players will be honored at the annual NEHWA banquet on Wednesday, April 16, at the Prince Restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus, Mass.

Kelley already has been named an American Hockey Coaches Association First Team All-American, the NESCAC Player of the Year, and was a first team all-conference selection. He had 19 goals and 24 assists to lead the conference in scoring with 43 points. He was first in the league in power play goals (9). Kelley had 56 goals and 70 assists for 126 career points.

Fritch also earned All-American first team honors for the second straight year and was on the all-conference first team. He finished his career as Colby's all-time scoring leader among defensemen with 32 goals and 84 assists for 116 points. The assist total also is a record among Colby defensemen. Fritch finished the season with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points.

Reber made the all-conference team for the second straight year after earning first team honors along with Kelley and  Fritch. Despite missing five games with an injury, he still managed to finish second in the conference in scoring with 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points. Reber, who led the NESCAC in assists per game, finished his career with 34 goals and 99 assists for 133 points.

McKinney, a first-year player, quickly earned the starting job and got stronger as the season wore on. He allowed just 18 goals in Colby's final 12 games. McKinney played 92 percent of the minutes for the Mules and had a 2.21 goals against average and a .923 save percentage (611 saves).

Tortorella was the NESCAC Coach of the Year this season and also earned the award in 2006. He led the Mules to a 15-9-1 record and the top seed in the league tourney for the first time ever. Tortorella, a former University of Maine hockey player and a 1981 graduate, set a milestone by collecting win 200 in his 13th season and finished the year at 201-103-24.

2008 New England Hockey Writers ECAC East/NESCAC All-Star Team

Forwards: Rick Cleaver, Norwich; Mark Ehl, New England College; Nikita Kashirsky, Norwich; T.J. Kelley, Colby; Brian Pouliot, New England College; Josh Reber, Colby

Defensemen: Arthur Fritch, Colby; Tom Maldonado, Middlebury; Trevor Turner, New England College; Mike Westerman, Bowdoin

Goalies: Ryan Donovan, UMass-Boston; Cody McKinney, Colby

MVP: Rick Cleaver, Norwich; Coach of the Year: Jim Tortorella, Colby

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