Cavanagh celebrates a goal against Clarkson in the 1969 ECAC semifinals.
ALBANY, N.Y.—Three-time first-team All-America selection and United States Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Cavanagh '71 has been named one of the top 50 players in league history, ECAC Hockey announced Wednesday.
As part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, ECAC Hockey has compiled a group of its top 50 players to recognize the storied history of the league and honor its significant players. The league released the third installment of five honorees Wednesday. The top 50 players were determined by a selection committee made up of former coaches and media members, who selected the honorees from 145 nominees (47 defensemen, 73 forwards, 25 goaltenders).
Cavanagh, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Beanpot Hall of Fame in 1995, joins defenseman Mark Fusco '83 as Harvard's ECAC top-50 selections so far.
The latest segment of honorees: Cavanagh; Yann Danis, goaltender at Brown, a two-time all-America and one of two league goaltenders to win both Player and Goaltender of the Year; Dave Fretz, a defenseman at Clarkson, a member of the 1980-89 all-decade team; Dan Laperriere, defenseman at St. Lawrence, the Saints' all-time leading scorer among defensemen and Vermont forward Martin St. Louis, a three-time all-America first team selection and the Catamounts' all-time leading scorer.
Cavanagh earned All-America, all-conference and ECAC all-tournament honors in each of his three years as a forward for the Crimson varsity squad. He scored a team-high 24 goals and 62 points as a freshman, earning selection as ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year and Beanpot Most Valuable Player. He again led the Crimson in scoring the next two seasons, each year earning the Tudor Cup as team MVP both years. He was the recipient of the Bingham Award as Harvard's top male athlete and the Walter Brown Award as the top U.S.-born player in New England in 1971.
The Providence, R.I., native registered 72 points in his senior season to finish his career as Harvard's all-time leader in assists (127) while ranking second in points (187) and third in goals (60). Four decades later, Cavanagh currently ranks third, fifth and 14th in those respective categories. He captained Harvard to the 1971 ECAC title and led the Crimson to the 1969 Beanpot championship. He is the all-time leader in Beanpot scoring (19 points) and assists (12).
All current and former teams' impactful players were reviewed in comprising the list of candidates for the special team. Five players from the top 50 all-time team will be released every two weeks throughout the season leading up the league championship semifinals and final March 18-19 in Atlantic City, N.J.
The top 50 players were determined by a vote of a selection committee of 10 individuals: Joe Bertagna '73, former student-athlete at Harvard, former hockey commissioner of the ECAC and current commissioner of Hockey East; Ed Carpenter, former sports information director at Boston University; Bill Cleary '56, former student-athlete, head coach and director of athletics at Harvard; John Connolly, longtime sports reporter at the Boston Herald; Dan Fridgen, former student-athlete at Colgate and head coach at Rensselaer; Mike Gilligan, former head coach at Yale and Vermont; Lou Lamoriello, former student-athlete and head coach at Providence and current CEO, president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils; Mark Morris, former student-athlete at Colgate and former head coach at Clarkson; Tim Taylor '63, former student-athlete at Harvard and head coach at Yale; and Adam Wodon, editor of the College Hockey News website.