"This is a great accomplishment for our entire program, and we couldn't be more proud of the guys," Robert Morris Men's Hockey Head Coach Derek Schooley said. "Every year, we stress the importance of working hard in everything we do; whether it's on the ice or in class. And I think you can see that this team has really responded to that and run with it."
A total of 179 AHA student-athletes were honored on Monday - setting a new conference record for the ninth-straight season. Atlantic Hockey also set a new record with 14 players earning Atlantic Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year accolades including Robert Morris freshman forward Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials) and freshman defenseman and 2012 AHA All-Rookie Team honoree Tyson Wilson (Brockville, Ontario / Brockville Braves). All 14 AHA Student-Athlete of the Year honorees posted a 4.0 GPA or better over the course of the season.
The Colonials had the most returning honors of any AHA program with 19 as Brandon Blandina (Centennial, Colo. / Indiana Ice), Andrew Blazek (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Topeka Roadrunners), Tom Brooks (St. Louis, Mo. / St. Louis Bandits), 2012 Atlantic Hockey Best Offensive Forward Nick Chiavetta (Harrisburg, Pa. / New York Applecore), Ron Cramer (New Wilmington, Pa. / Indiana Ice), 2012 All-Atlantic Hockey Third Team honoree Cody Crichton (Palgrave, Ontario / Brampton Braves), Eric Ferber (Scottsdale, Ariz. / Bridgewater Bandits), Jimmy Geerin (Anchorage, Alaska / Burnaby Express), Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears), Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders), Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen), Josh Jones (Scenery Hill, Pa. / Hawkesbury Hawks), Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings), Trevor Lewis (Lititz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars), James Lyle (Nepean, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears), Brooks Ostergard (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Bay State Breakers), Evan Renwick (Calgary, Alberta / Canmore Eagles), Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) and Furman South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) all earned their second-straight honor from the league.
Additionally, all seven newcomers to the Colonials program in 2011-12 earned All-Academic honors from the league. Joining Jeff Jones and Wilson as first-time AHA All-Academic honorees were freshmen Cody Cartier (Sylvan Lake, Alberta / Canmore Eagles), Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters), David Rigatti (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Texas Tornado), Cody Wydo (Allen Park, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) and sophomore newcomer John Walton (Philadelphia, Pa. / Philadelphia Jr. Flyers).
To qualify for the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team an individual must post a 3.0 grade point average or higher in all of the academic periods during which his team was actively competing. Atlantic Hockey's Top Scholar Athlete is an award given annually to the player or players who achieves the highest grade point average over the course of the academic semesters of competition.