The Canisius College hockey team recognized its top players during the 2013-14 season, naming its award winners for the campaign.
Senior Ben Danford was named the team’s MVP, becoming just the third defenseman in the program’s Division I history and first since Brandon Irish-Baker in 2006 to collect the honor. A member of the All-Atlantic Hockey Third Team, Danford set a career high with 27 points this season, netting five goals to go along with 22 assists. He finished the season ranked 19th nationally among defensemen with 0.66 points per game.
Danford, who also became the first player in the program’s 34-year history to be named Top Defenseman in all four of his seasons at Canisius, finished his career with 84 points, 10 goals and 74 assists. He appeared in all 158 games during his Golden Griffin tenure – the most in school history – and his 74 assists is also the program’s Division I standard among defenders.
Senior Kyle Gibbons earned Top Forward accolades for the second-straight season, joining Cory Conacher (2009-10 and 2010-11) as the only players to earn the honor in consecutive years in the program’s Division I history. A Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American, he led the Griffs with 38 points, 15 goals and 23 assists during his senior campaign and finished his career ranked fourth in program history with 130 points and second with 57 goals.
Freshman Shane Conacher collected Rookie of the Year honors. Conacher led all Canisius freshmen with 23 points, six goals and 17 assists, ranking 20th nationally among rookies with 0.72 points per game. Conacher played his best during the Griffs’ run to the Atlantic Hockey Championship Game, recording eight points, three goals, five assists and a plus/minus rating of +8 in seven postseason games.
Junior Braeden Rigney was named the team’s Most Improved Player for the second time in his career – also earning the accolade during the 2011-12 campaign. Rigney totaled 14 points and nine goals during his junior season after recording 11 points and three goals in his first two years combined.
Senior captain Ryan Bohrer received the Dr. David B. Dietz Award, which is presented to a player for his dedication in both athletics and academics. Bohrer, who owns a 3.979 GPA, appeared in all 41 games as a senior with six points, two goals and four assists.
Senior Patrick Sullivan was honored with the Tom Chapman Memorial Award as the team’s unsung hero. Sullivan played in all 41 games during the 2013-14 season, totaling 24 points, 13 goals and 11 assists.
Junior Keegan Asmundson was also honored for his work off the ice by receiving the program’s Community Outreach Award. Asmundson also collected the accolade during the 2011-12 season.
The Griffs advanced to their second-straight Atlantic Hockey Championship in 2014, falling to Robert Morris one season after winning the program’s first conference title.