The Canisius hockey program has enjoyed success on the ice, advancing to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament's Final Four for the past three seasons including one championship.
The success spills over into the classroom for the Golden Griffins. Canisius sophomore defenseman Geoff Fortman was the Atlantic Hockey Scholar Athlete of the Year while 22 Griffs (out of 24 on the roster) collected Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team honors.
It's part of the national trend. Hockey ranked as the men's sport with the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in data released by the NCAA in May.
Fortman became the seventh Griff in the last 10 years to receive Atlantic Hockey's top academic honor. The math major had a 4.0 grade point average. In 30 games as a sophomore he had five assists and helped the Griffs post the program's best scoring defense in its Division I history.
Fortman posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average to collect the league’s top academic honor, marking the seventh time in the last 10 years that a Griff has received the accolade. In 30 games during the 2014-15 campaign, Fortman registered five assists, while helping the team post the best scoring defense in the program’s Division I history.
Cody Freeman, Matthew Grazen (Clarence), Doug Jessey, Mitch McCrank and Tyler Wiseman were named to the All-Academic Team for the fourth time in their careers.
Three-time honorees included seniors Stephen Farrell and Braeden Rigney and junior Chris Rumble.
Earning their second academic honors were senior Keegan Asmundson, junior Ralph Cuddemi and sophomores Shane Conacher and Josh Kielich (Orchard Park).
Senior Doug Beck, junior Mathew Backhouse and freshmen David Bennett, Jeff Murray, David Parrottino, Mike Sabatini, Ryan Schmelzer (Buffalo), Jack Stander and Reilly Turner earned their first all-academic team spot.
To qualify for the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team, an individual must post a 3.0 grade point average or higher in each academic semester during the 2014-15 year. The 22 selections to the team are the second-most in program history. Last year 23 of 27 student-athletes earned the honor.