Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere got some good news during a phone call from Dutchmen head coach Rick Bennett on Friday. And, in turn, Gostisbehere gave Dutchmen fans some positive news.
Gostisbehere was named to the East second team-All-America. He is the third Dutchmen defenseman to be honored, joining Jack Rankin (second team, 1977, when Union was a Division III program) and Mat Bodie (second team last year). Gostisbehere is the ninth Union player overall to earn the honor.
Gostisbehere, whose NHL rights are owned by the Philadelphia Flyers, announced he will be back for his junior season.
Gostisbehere wasn’t the only Capital Region college hockey player to be named an All-America. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute senior defenseman Nick Bailen was named to the first team.
Gostisbehere, who had eight goals and 18 assists in 36 games this season, was named to the All-ECAC Hockey second team. He scored a goal in Union’s 5-1 NCAA hockey tournament semifinal win over defending national champion Boston College. The Dutchmen, who won their second straight ECAC Hockey tournament title last month, missed out on a second straight trip to the Frozen Four when they lost the regional final to Quinnipiac, 5-1.
“It’s just a tremendous honor for Shayne,” Bennett said. “He deserved every accolade that he got this year. As a program, we’re honored to be able to produce All-Americans. To be an All-American, too, you have to be a stand-up person on and off the ice. That’s what Shayne represents.”
Gostisbehere also helped Team USA win the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He had a goal and an assist in six games.
“I didn’t know it was possible,” Gostisbehere said about being named an All-America. “It’s totally awesome. I’m definitely shocked. I’m very happy about our season. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We came pretty close. Some people didn’t expect us to get that far.
“I’m just looking forward to next season. Just watching all these playoff games really tears you up inside. You wish you were there.”
Gostisbehere was selected in the third round of last June’s NHL draft by the Flyers. Next year’s Frozen Four will be in Philadelphia.
“I’m definitely coming back,” Gostisbehere said. “I’m definitely excited. It was never in my plans to leave. I was always coming back. We’re going to have a great team. We’re losing a lot, but we have some good guys coming in. I’m really excited and ready to go.”
And that pleases Bennett.
“From the conversations with Shayne, ‘Ghostsbusters’ is coming back,” Bennett said. “We’re extremely happy.”
Bailen led the Engineers in scoring with 12 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. Bailen, who was named to the first team All-ECAC Hockey, finished his career with 33 goals and 72 assists in 149 games.
It’s the second time Bailen has been named an All-American. He was a second team All-American in 2010-11. He is playing with the Rochester Americans on an amateur tryout contract and was unavailable for comment.
appert a finalist?
RPI coach Seth Appert was unavailable for comment, too. That could be because he’s reportedly a finalist for the University of Denver coaching position.
The Denver Post reported late Thursday night Appert is one of four finalists for the position. The Pioneers are seeking a replacement for George Gwozdecky, who was fired April 1.
Sources told the paper that Appert and former Denver assistant coach Derek Lalonde, who is now coaching Green Bay in the U.S. Hockey League, have interviewed with the search committee.
The other finalists appear to be Jim Montgomery, a former assistant coach under Appert who is the head coach of Dubuque in the USHL, and Boston College associate head coach Greg Brown.