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Canisius hockey announces 2017-18 award winners


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canisius hockey program recognized its top players for the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, announcing its award winners for the just-completed campaign.
Junior forward Dylan McLaughlin claimed three awards, earning Team MVP, the Bob & John's Three Stars and Top Forward accolades.
A Hobey Baker Award Top Ten Finalist, McLaughlin led the Griffs in goals (17), assists (31) and points (48) with points coming in 27 of the 37 games he played this season.
The Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year, McLaughlin ranks among the top-10 players nationally in assists (0.84/8th) and points (1.30/7th) per game. He finished the 2017-18 campaign second in assists and points in a season for a Canisius player during the Division I era of the program.  
Senior Ryan Schmelzer was the named the recipient of the Dr. David B. Dietz Hockey Booster Award, presented to a player for his dedication in both athletics and academics in honor of the Canisius Sports Hall of Famer.
A native of Buffalo, Schmelzer served as team captain during the 2017-18 season, helping guide the Griffs to a second-place finish the league standings during the regular season and the squad's fifth trip to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament in the past six seasons. An All-Atlantic Hockey Third Team selection, Schmelzer appeared in 32 games this season and finished third on the team in scoring with 30 points (13g, 17a).
Off the ice, Schmelzer holds a 3.53 cumulative GPA as a dual major in marketing and management and is a three-time Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team. A finalist for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award, Schmelzer has worked with a variety of charitable organizations during his time at Canisius, including the Buffalo Bisons youth hockey program, the South Buffalo Community Table Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels of WNY, the Canisius Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and the Movember Foundation.
Junior Cameron Heath took home Top Defenseman honors for a second consecutive season after leading Canisius' blueliners in goals (7), assists (14) and points (21) while ranking third in blocked shots (40). A native of Troy, Mich., Heath claimed All-Atlantic Hockey First Team honors after ending the season ranked seventh in the league in scoring and third in plus/minus rating among conference defensemen.
The Rookie of the Year award went to freshman forward Grant Meyer. An AHC All-Rookie Team selection, Meyer appeared in 37 games for the Griffs, finishing sixth on the team in scoring with 20 points (6g, 14a). He ranked fourth in the league in goals and fifth in scoring among first-year players.
Most Improved Player distinction went to sophomore forward Matt Hoover. Hoover finished the season fourth on the team in scoring with 26 points (14g, 12a), half of which came during the final 12 games of the season. Hoover led Canisius with 10 goals during the second half of the season.
Senior defenseman Jack Stander took home the Tom Chapman Award, given to the team's unsung hero, for the second consecutive season. A native of Grosse Point Woods, Mich., Stander appeared in all 38 games for the Griffs this season, posting a career-high three goals to go along with seven assists for 10 points. Defensively, Stander led Canisius with 63 blocked shots and was a part of the Griffs penalty kill unit that ranked third in the league (82.1 percent). He recently signed his first professional contract with the ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators.

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