A new initiative of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) recognizes varsity ice hockey players who averaged a 3.6 GPA and participated in 40% of their school's games during the 2016-17 season. In the first year of this program, a total of 1,270 athletes reached this standard. A small number of waivers to the 40% participation requirement was granted due to injury or for back-up goaltenders.
"I want to give credit to Mark Ostapina, head men's coach at Milwaukee School of Engineering and Mare MacDougall Bari, assistant women's coach at St. Lawrence University, for spearheading the successful launch of this initiative," said AHCA executive director Joe Bertagna. "We have been recognizing on-ice excellence with our All American program since 1957. It is long overdue for us to formally recognize excellence in the classroom."
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