CENTERVILLE, Mass. – On Friday the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) announced the ECAC East men's hockey all-conference teams and major award winners for the 2011-12 season. Earning Goalie of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors was senior Kevin Bendel (Denville, N.J.).
Bendel becomes the first Beacon to ear the goalie of the year selection since Ryan Donovan in 2008. Also earning All-Conference recognition was senior Anthony Fitti (Havertown, Pa.) who was named an Honorable Mention selection and freshman goalie Alex Scola (Exeter, N.H.) who was named to the All-Rookie Team.
For Bendel his senior season was one for the record books as the New Jersey native helped the Beacons to two of the biggest wins ever in the programs history. After stopping and handing previously undefeated and top-ranked Norwich University a 2-1 loss, the senior notched a 5-4 win over top-5 Castleton State College. Those two victories capped off an amazing second half of the season, in which the Beacons 9-4-1 record. Going into Saturday's ECAC East first round meeting with Skidmore College, Bendel ranks second in the conference in save percentage with a .925 mark. His overall save percentage of .929 has him ranked 10th in the country, while his two shutouts has him tied for 11th in Division III. Amongst ECAC East goaltenders, Bendel sits fourth in goals against average with a 2.52 average. Named ECAC East Goalie of the Week three times, Bendel has seen over 824 minutes of playing time this season and has combined for 378 saves and currently stands with a 8-5-1 record.
Fitti's Honorable Mention nod comes after a standout regular season, in which he led the Beacons all three offensive categories. Going into the postseason, Fitti is tied for first on the team in goals scored with 10; he also has 17 assists for a team-best 27 points. Of his 10 goals this season, five have come in conference play. On the power-play the Havertown native has two goals and also owns one game-winning score. Perhaps his best single-game performance this season came in the 9-1 rout of Framingham State, where he netted three goals while also earning a pair of assists.
Scola's rookie campaign was a solid one as the New Hampshire native closed out the regular-season with a 5-4-2 record. In 671 minutes of playing time, the freshman combined for 254 saves and is currently sitting with a 2.99 goals against average in the ECAC East, which has him ranked seventh overall. His .890 conference save percentage also has him ranked in the top-10 as well. Truly one of his top performances this season was when he recorded 32 saves in the 5-4 non-conference win over UMass Dartmouth. Of the 12 games he has appeared in this season, the netminder has made 20 or more stops on six occasions.