CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - University of Maine men's ice hockey senior standout Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) was named the 2012 Athletic Republic Hockey East Player of the Year on Thursday night at the annual awards banquet held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. In addition, he was also named one of the 10 finalists for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's top college hockey player. Abbott, along with teammate Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.), earned a spot on the Hockey East First Team. Linemate Joey Diamond (Long Beach. N.Y.) was selected to the Hockey East Second Team.
Also at the banquet, there was a video announcing the Hobey Baker Top 10, which Abbott was among. It is the third straight year that Maine has had a player in the Hobey Baker Top 10 as former standout Gustav Nyquist was one of the finalists each of the past two seasons.
There will now be an additional round of Hobey Baker fan voting, with the Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists announced on March 29. The winner will be named on April 6 at the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla.
The trio of Abbott, Flynn and Diamond finished as the top three scorers in Hockey East. It is just the third time in Hockey East history that three players from one school finished as the top three scorers in the league. In 1986-87 Craig Janney, Dan Shea and Kevin Stevens from BC accomplished the feat. In 1992-93, Maine's Paul Kariya, Jim Montgomery and Cal Ingraham led Hockey East.
Abbott becomes the fifth Black Bear to win the prestigious Player of the Year award, joining Mike McHugh (1988), Scott Pellerin (1992), Paul Kariya (1993) and Chris Imes (1995). He was the lone unanimous selection to the Hockey East First Team.
Abbott leads Hockey East and the nation in scoring with 20 goals and 39 assists for 59 points. He has three power play goals and one short-handed tally. He has two game-winning goals and is a +17. He was selected Hockey East Player of the Month for December and February. In addition, he was named the Hockey Commissioner's National Division I Player of the Month in December. Abbott currently ranks 20th on Maine's all-time scoring list with 53 goals and 90 assists for 143 points in 149 career games.
Brian Flynn was also named to the Hockey East First Team. He scored 17 goals and added 29 assists for 46 points. Flynn has seven power play goals and four game-winners. In addition, two of his game-winning goals have been scored in overtime. He tallied the overtime game-winner against Providence (Oct. 28) and New Hampshire (Jan. 7) at Frozen Fenway. He leads the Black Bears with a +21 ranking.
Flynn has earned Hockey East Player of the Week honors this season and is a semifinalists for the Walter Brown Award, given to the top American-born college hockey player in New England. Flynn ranks 12th on Maine's all-time scoring list with 68 goals and 86 assists for 154 career points.
Flynn has seen action in 150 career games, having played in an impressive 149 consecutive games. He has missed just one career game, the second game his collegiate career at Alaska.
Diamond scored 23 goals and added 21 assists for 41 points on the season. He had 20 goals in Hockey East league play which led the league. He ranks third in the nation in goals per game. Diamond was named Hockey East Player of the Week twice this season and was also named Hockey East Player of the Month for January. He is also a finalists for the Walter Brown Award, given to the top American-born college hockey player in New England.
The Black Bears return to action on Friday, March 16 when they face Boston University in the 2012 Hockey East semifinals. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 PM at the TD Garden in Boston.