Amherst Captain Jeff Landers '09 Tabbed Finalist for Joe Concannon Award

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BOSTON, MA – When The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Tim Whelan announced the 16 NCAA Division II/III players who are semifinalists for the ninth Joe Concannon Award, Amherst senior captain Jeff Landers (Hanover, MA) was one of five NESCAC players tabbed.

The Concannon Award is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England playing at the D-II/III level. A NESCAC student-athlete has claimed the award in six of the previous eight years.

The list is comprised of 11 forwards, three defensemen and two goalies, including two nominees from the D-II ranks. Joining Amherst’s Landers from the NESCAC are Middlebury senior forward Jamie McKenna, Trinity senior defenseman Chris Diozzi, Connecticut College junior forward Brett Moore and Tufts sophomore forward Tom DeRosa.

Landers is Amherst’s top scorer and a mainstay of the Lord Jeffs’ defense, the country’s best thus far. With seven goals and 23 assists, Landers leads the NESCAC in points scored (30), assists, power-play points (17), short-handed points (3), and defenseman scoring (30). Landers and the Lord Jeff defense also lead the conference in goals-against average and penalty kill percentage. Landers has also been named the NESCAC Player of the Week the last two weeks.

With a pair of wins this weekend, Amherst increased its current win streak to eight games, having won 12 of the last 13. With a 16-4-1 (14-2-1 NESCAC/ECAC East) mark entering the final weekend of the regular season, the 12th-ranked Lord Jeffs couldn’t be hotter at a better time.

Head Coach Jack Arena ’83 explains that “Jeff has had as dominating a year as any player I've had in recent memory.  He has excelled both offensively and defensively and has the rare quality of making those around him better.  He has been an exceptional leader and has thrived as our lone captain.”

“This season more than any other has showcased great competition and individual talents throughout the leagues across New England," says Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello. "It seems that each and every season gets a bit tighter and the level of play continues to improve. That makes it ever more challenging to single out worthy nominees for the Concannon Award. Our committee believes this is a strong group of nominees, it’s going to take both remainder of the regular season and conference tournaments before we’ll be able to single out the most worthy nominee.”

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The Gridiron Club plans to announce the finalists and winner of the ninth Joe Concannon Award in March, prior to the start of NCAA Frozen Four Tournament play and present the award during the New England Hockey Writers dinner in mid-April.

The Gridiron Club established the Joe Concannon Award in 2001 to honor Joe, a lifelong devotee of college hockey, former member of the Walter Brown Award Selection Committee and, as a journalist, a staunch advocate for the amateur athletes he knew and covered. A native of Litchfield, Connecticut, Joe graduated from Boston University in 1961. He served as sports information director (SID) at Holy Cross before joining the Boston Globe in the late 1960’s to cover college sports.

Joe declined frequent invitations by his editors to write about Boston’s major professional sports teams, preferring to concentrate on the colleges, distance running and golf. He wrote the book Marathoning with Bill Rodgers and established the highly successful Litchfield Road Race in his hometown. Joe was a world traveler and was especially proud of his Irish heritage, frequently sojourning to the Emerald Isle. He passed away in 2000.

Previous Joe Concannon Winners
2001 - Keith Aucoin, Norwich
2002 - Michael Carosi, Bowdoin
2003 - Nick Stauder, Salem St.
2004 - Jim Pancyzkowski, Wesleyan; Michael O’Sullivan, Curry
2005 - Brian Doherty, Curry; Joseph Ori, Trinity
2006 - Adam Dann, Bowdoin
2007 - Greg Osborne, Colby
2008 - Tom Maldonado, Middlebury