The Mack Report

Merrimack’s Joe Cannata named All-American

Joe Cannata makes a save vs. UNH during the 2011-12 season. (Photo by Walter Rossini)

Joe Cannata was named a second-team All-American last night in Tampa, Fla., becoming the second Merrimack player in two years to earn the honor after Stephane Da Costa was selected last season.

Cannata becomes just the third player in Merrimack’s Division 1 history to be named All-American, joining Da Costa and Rejean Stringer (1999).

“Joe is a big time goalie and winner,” said Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy. “He played a huge part in changing our culture to a winning one. He’s been blessed with a wonderful disposition for a goaltender. He does his job and doesn’t get rattled by his environment. He wants to win but does his job first. If he was frustrated, he never let the coaching staff or his teammates see it.”

Cannata, who was a New England Division I All-Star for the second straight season, appeared in 36 games for Merrimack as a senior, posting a 17-12-7 record, a 2.18 goals-against and a .925 save percentage.

Cannata departs as Merrimack’s all-time leader in wins, games played, minutes played, saves, goals-against and save percentage. He started all but one game in his final two years and allowed only 27 even strength goals (excluding empty netters) in 27 league games this season. The Wakefield native surrendered more than two goals only eight times this year, as Merrimack went 18-2-4 when scoring two or more goals.

A two-time Hobey Baker nominee and Walter Brown award semifinalist, Cannata was a Hockey East first-team selection this year, becoming the program’s first first-team honoree since 1993-94.