Sports, Top Story, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Knight, Nesterenko, and York Earn Hockey East Major Awards

Boston College men’s hockey has dominated the Hockey East Association in more ways than one this season. The Eagles finished atop the Hockey East Power Index—suffering just four losses, two of which came in overtime—and on Tuesday, the Eagles added to their laundry list of accolades. 

BC swept the three Hockey East major awards. Head coach Jerry York was named Coach of the Year, Spencer Knight was named Player of the Year, and Nikita Nesterenko was named Co-Rookie of the Year, sharing the honor with UMass’ Josh Lopina. 

Knight, second in the nation in winning percentage with a record of 15-2-1 in net, became the first goalie to win Player of the Year since former Eagle and current NHL standout Thatcher Demko earned the honor in 2016. Knight was also a unanimous Hockey East First Team All-Star and the league’s Goalie of the Year. 

Knight is the first BC goaltender to be named Player of the Year outright after Demko shared the honor. Knight finished the season with five more wins than any other Hockey East goaltender. He is also a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, which honors the nation’s top goaltender.

York is no stranger to Coach of the Year accolades, as in his 27-year tenure with BC, he has earned the conference honor five times, including this year. With over 1,100 career Division I victories, York is the all-time winningest coach in Division I college hockey. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.

This year, under York, BC finished the regular season 16-4-1 to earn the No. 1 seed in the Hockey East Tournament, the seventh time in 11 years the Eagles have entered the playoffs with the top seed. The Eagles also spent over a month as the No. 1 team in the country. 

A newer addition to the awards circuit, however, is Nesterenko. The rookie led Hockey East first years with seven goals, 11 assists, and 18 points in the regular season, including what became the game-winning goal over New Hampshire in the Hockey East quarterfinals—his playoff debut—on Sunday. In the 14 games where Nesterenko recorded at least one point, the Eagles went 12-2-0.

He is the fourth Eagle in six years to earn the honor, joining current teammate Alex Newhook and former teammate Logan Hutsko on BC’s list of award winners. BC now has 10 all-time Rookies of the Year, tied with Boston University for the most in Hockey East.

Featured Graphic by Olivia Charbonneau / Heights Editor

March 16, 2021