KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) was one of twenty collegiate hockey players, who have combined excellence in athletics, academics and community service, and were  announced today as the official candidates for the men’s hockey division of the 2007-08 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  

Fornataro, who was one of two Hockey East players selected, is currently the team’s leading scorer and garnered Hockey East Player of the Month for October. In addition, the senior forward is quickly approaching the 100-point mark for his career.
The award – presented annually to the NCAA  Division I Student-Athlete of the Year in eight sports – focuses on the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition.  

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched in 2001 to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who fulfill their entire athletic eligibility and pursue the many rewards of a senior season and complete college education.  Since that time, Lowe’s an official corporate partner of the NCAA®, has expanded the award to include other NCAA  sports and it has developed into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors.
This marks the second year for the hockey division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  Notre Dame goaltender David Brown was the inaugural winner in 2006-07.
From the list of 20 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in late January 2008.  Those ten names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote that will include coaches, media and fans.  The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four in Denver, CO.  
 “At Lowe’s, we take pride in acknowledging hard work and outstanding accomplishments both on and off the court,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising.  “That commitment extends beyond our employees and customers and into the communities we serve where these student-athletes become real-life mentors.  We’re thrilled to honor each candidate’s contributions and look forward to recognizing the award recipients at the Frozen Four .”

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA.  
Lowe’s has expanded the Senior CLASS Award program in 2007 to include men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, softball and men’s and women’s soccer. 
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An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.  The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring.  For more information, visit
With fiscal year 2006 sales of $46.9 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 13 million customers a week at more than 1,425 home improvement stores in 49 states.  Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world.  For more information, visit
NCAA and the Frozen Four are licensed by or trademarks of National Collegiate Athletic Association
Lowes Senior CLASS Award
2007-2008 Men’s Hockey Nominees
Name         Height     Pos     School         Conference
Robbie Bina     5'8"         D     North Dakota     WCHA*
Ryan Cruthers     6'0"         F     Robert Morris     College Hockey America
Mark Dekanich     6'2"         GK     Colgate         ECAC Hockey
Nick Dodge     5'10"         F     Clarkson         ECAC Hockey
Matt Fornataro     6'0"         F     New Hampshire     Hockey East
Bryce Hollweg     5'10"         F     U.S.M.A        Atlantic Hockey
Nick Johnson     6'2"         F     Dartmouth         ECAC Hockey
Peter Mannino     6'0"         GK     Denver         WCHA*
Marty Mjelleli     6'2"         F     St. Cloud State     WCHA*
Jake Morissette     5’9”         F     Rensselaer         ECAC Hockey
Justin Pesony     5'11"         GK     St. Lawrence     ECAC Hockey
Kevin Porter     5'11"         F     Michigan         CCHA**
Travis Ramsey     6'4"         D     Maine         Hockey East
Dale Reinhardt     5'9"         F     Holy Cross         Atlantic Hockey
Frank Schiavone     5'11"         D     Air Force         Atlantic Hockey
Topher Scott     5'6"         F     Cornell         ECAC Hockey
Matt Smith         5'11"         RW     RIT             Atlantic Hockey
Landis Stankievech     5'11"         F     Princeton         ECAC Hockey
Mark Van Guilder 6'2"         C     Notre Dame     CCHA**
Jesse Winchester     6'1"         F     Colgate         ECAC Hockey
*Western Collegiate Hockey Association
**Central Collegiate Hockey Association
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