BOSTON, Mass. – Wentworth Institute of Technology head ice hockey coach R.J. Tolan has been voted the 2014 ECAC Northeast Coach of the year while two of his players – senior defenseman Lawton McCracken (Colborne, Ont.) and junior defenseman Beau Burgau (New Ulm, Minn.) were voted to the All-ECAC Northeast Second Team. The announcement was made by the ECAC after a vote of the league's eight head coaches.
Tolan, in his eighth season behind the Leopard bench, earns coach of the year honors for the third time during his tenure, having been named the league's co-coach of the year in 2007 and the coach of the year in 2012. Through the first 16 games of the season, Wentworth had a 4-10-2 record and were near the bottom of the league standings. Over the final nine regular-season contests, the Leopards have posted a 7-2 record to close the regular season at 11-12-2 overall and finish second in league play with a 9-5 mark.
In his eight seasons, he has amassed a 127-73-16 (.625) record which ties him with former head coach Bill Bowes, who recorded 127 wins (127-95-9) from 1995-2004, for the most wins in program history. Tolan has guided the Leopards to three ECAC Northeast regular season championships, five trips to the conference championship game, two conference championships, and a pair of berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament, where, in 2012, the team earned the program's first ever NCAA Tournament win.
After overcoming an injury which forced him to miss the final seven games of his junior season, McCracken returned to the lineup this season and has been a standout on defense, helping the Leopards post the eighth-lowest single-season goals against average in program history. On the offensive end he has a career-high seven points (five goals, two assists) with two of his goals coming on the power play.
McCracken has played in 81 games over the course of his career, scoring nine goals and adding 10 assists for 19 career points. In addition to his seven points this season setting a career high, his five goals are also the highest in his career.
Burgau has enjoyed a fine season as a member of the blue line corps, where he has helped Wentworth hold opponents to two or fewer goals on 12 occasions, including two shutouts. On the offensive end, he has scored four goals and assisted on six others for a career-high 10 points. Two of his four goals were game-winning tallies, including netting the game winner in a 4-3 win over Becker on Jan. 25.
In 75 career games Burgau has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points with four of his seven career markers coming on the power play. Additionally, he has three career game-winning goals.
Wentworth will host an ECAC Northeast semifinal on Wednesday, March 5, at 7:00 p.m. (at Salem State University) The Leopards will face the higher remaining seed after sixth-seeded Curry travels to third-seeded Salve Regina and fifth-seeded Suffolk travels to fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales.