WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State freshman forward Jake Ratcliffe (Auckland, New Zealand) was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference men's ice hockey rookie of the year, and Owls' bench boss Bob Miele was named the coach of the year as the Owls were well represented in the league's end of season awards released today.
Westfield State junior goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Quebec) was also name to the league's All-Conference second team, in the awards voted on by the circuit's coaches.
Ratcliffe added plenty of scoring punch to the Owls lineup this season, as he was the top–scoring freshman in conference play with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 18 conference games. He finished the year as the Owls leading scorer overall with 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points.
Miele led the Owls to a much improved season, as Westfield finished with a 14-9-3 overall record and an 11-6-1 mark in the league, which earned the Owls the number 2 seed in the conference tournament. The Owls posted two wins against league champion Plymouth State on the season, winning at Plymouth for the first time in six seasons. The 14 wins matched the high-water mark for the program since it was returned to varsity status in 2008. (Westfield had a 21-win season in 1980, but the program had been discontinued after the 1990 season.) Miele completed his ninth season behind the Owls bench.
The addition of Messervier, transfer student from Plymouth State, to the lineup was another key in Westfield's strong season. The netminder finished the year with a 2.65 goals against average and .920 save percentage. The Owls ironman also started 25 of 26 games in net and logged all but 77 minutes of the season between the pipes for Westfield. Westfield was 14-8-3 in Messervier's starts.