Rodrigues named D-III player of the year

LAKE PLACID – SUNY Oswego senior forward Paul Rodrigues was awarded the Sid Watson Award on Thursday, a day before his team is slated to take on Norwich University in the NCAA Division III hockey national semifinals at the Olympic Center.

The Etobicoke, Ontario native helped the Lakers to a 24-4 record this season. The award is given annually to the nation’s best Division III men’s hockey player.

Norwich will bring a 24-3-1 record into tonight’s 4 p.m. game. Wisconsin-Eau Claire will take on Utica in tonight’s nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s head coach Matt Loen was named as coach of the year after guiding his team to the school’s first national semifinals. His team is also the first in school history to win an NCAA playoff game and a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship.

All four of the national semifinalist team had players named to the All-American team. Oswego, Norwich and UW-Eau Claire lead the way with three selections each, while Utica had one honoree.

Senior forward Zach Graham of Adrian College is the only repeat first team selection from 2012. Of the 30 All-Americans, 18 are from the United States, 11 are from Canada, and one is from Sweden. The two leading sources are Ontario (six) and Massachusetts (five).

St. Norbert won the last two D-III NCAA national championships, including last year’s 4-1 victory over Oswego in Lake Placid. Norwich won the title in 2010 and Oswego was champion in 2007.