After a record-breaking season for George Mason University Hockey, four Mason players received prestigious awards from the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
Cameron Smith was honored with several awards. He was named as the ACHA Division III Player of the Year for the first time. It’s also the first time Mason has had a player selected for the league’s highest honor.
Smith also was selected as the Atlantic Region Player of the Year, marking the second time in three years that he has received this recognition for his efforts at Mason. He previously received the award after his first season at Mason in 2017-18.
In addition, Smith and Nick Grose were both named to the ACHA First Team All-American. This is the first time for Grose and the second time for Smith, who made the First Team following his breakout season in 2017-18. The First and Second All-American Teams are selected from players on the four All-Region teams.
At the regional level, Smith, Grose and two other Mason players were chosen for All-Atlantic Region teams:
This is the third year in a row that Smith and Mack have been selected for the All-Atlantic Region teams.
Grose and Campbell were selected for ACHA regional honors for the first time after breakout seasons. Grose ranked in the Top 20 scoring leaders in the country. Campbell was undefeated between the posts with a 0.919 save percentage.
In a statement announcing Smith’s award as the Division III Player of the Year, the ACHA said, “This junior from Arlington, Va., led Men’s D3 in goals this past season with 58 tallies and was fourth in the nation with 86 points. Smith helped lead the Patriots to their highest regional ranking ever at #2 in the Atlantic, thus securing an automatic bid to the 2020 Men’s D3 National Championships.”
Smith posted a 58-28—86 record and 20 PIM in 25 games played. He also led the country with 22 power play goals, followed by teammate Nick Grose who had 11.
Smith was set to be honored at the National Championship this week, but the tournament was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Mason was one of only three teams from the Atlantic Region that had players on the ACHA All-American Teams list. Dartmouth College, ranked first in the Atlantic, had its starting goalie chosen for the First Team, and a forward from Columbia University, ranked 15th in the Atlantic Region, was selected for the Second Team.
Additionally, Mason was the only team other than Michigan State University to have two players chosen for the national All-American teams. Mason had two players on the First All-American team and MSU had two on the Second All-American team.
Mason ended its last season at the Division III level with a 19-4-1-1 record in 25 games, at one point holding a 17-game win streak despite a challenging lineup of opponents. As a result of the team’s strong showing, Mason ranked second in the Atlantic Region – its highest final ranking in program history – and received its first automatic bid to compete at the National Championship. (The tournament was later canceled.)
Next season, Mason will move up to ACHA Division I as the newest member of the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association, facing new division rivals including DMV-area opponents such as the United States Naval Academy and Towson University.