Seven NAHL alumni honored by leagues
January 8, 2014
It was another banner week for NAHL alumni in not only the NCAA Division I ranks, but the American Hockey League as well. A total of seven former players were honored by their respective leagues.
Former Wichita Falls Wildcats and St. Louis Bandits goalie Cal Heeter was named as the AHL Player of the Week. Heeter won all three of his starts and recorded two shutouts last week, allowing just one goal on 87 shots for a 0.33 goals-against average and a .989 save percentage. In 23 appearances for the Adirondack Phantoms this season, Heeter (13-10-0), leads the AHL with a .932 save percentage, is tied for the league lead with four shutouts and ranks second with a 2.03 goals-against average. The second-year pro out of Ohio State University has gone 25-26-3 in 55 career AHL outings with the Phantoms. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Heeter signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers on Mar. 6, 2012.
Former Johnstown Tomahawks and current Air Force Freshman goaltender Chris Truehl was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Week as he helped lead the Falcons to a 2-0 win over American International College, Jan. 4. In his first career start, Truehl made career-high 18 saves as Air Force shutout AIC, 2-0 at the Olympia Ice Center in Springfield, Mass. Prior to the game, he had played in just two career games for a combined 30 minutes in relief. Filling in for the injured Jason Torf, Truehl made seven saves in the third period as the Falcons clung to a 1-0 lead.
Former Austin Bruins and North Iowa Outlaws goaltender Keegan Asmundson was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Goaltender of the Week. The Canisius recorded his first collegiate shutout in Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Holy Cross. The junior stopped 31 shots to help the Griffs complete their first sweep against the Crusdaers since the 1999-00 season. In seven starts this season, Asmundson owns a 2.37 goals against average and .936 save percentage.
Former Kenai River Brown Bears and current Northern Michigan University goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom, who yielded just two goals while backstopping the Wildcats to a conference road sweep at Bemidji State last weekend, was named the WCHA Men's Defensive Player of the Week. A 6-0, 175-pound freshman from Smedjebacken, Sweden, Dahlstrom got the call to start between the pipes in both games at BSU on Jan. 3-4, stopping 60 of 62 shots on goal for a .968 series saves percentage, posting four shutout periods, and blanking the host Beavers on all nine series power-play chances. Dahlstrom, who ranks second in the WCHA and 15th nationally with a 2.10 goals-against average over 1,028:25 of action, has made 18 appearances in nets for the Wildcats and has a 7-8-2 record and three shutouts. He is also is second in the league and 13th nationally with a .930 saves percentage.
Former Alexandria Blizzard and current Michigan Technological University forward Reid Sturos, who contributed three points, five shots on goal, and earned a +2 plus/minus rating in a road series split at nationally-ranked Lake Superior State last weekend, has been named the WCHA Men's Rookie of the Week. A 6-2, 175-pound freshman right winger from South Lyon, Mich., Sturos opened the two-game, Jan. 3-4 series with an assist in a one-goal, 4-3 loss to the host Lakers last Friday night. Sturos then came back with two more assists last Saturday evening, including the primary helper on Tanner Kero's third period game-winner, as Michigan Tech earned a 3-2 victory to secure two key points on the road. Sturos, who entered the weekend with just one career point – an assist vs. Bowling Green State on Dec. 13 – now has four assists in 14 games played.
Former Wenatchee Wild and current Vermont men's hockey freshman forward Mario Puskarich, who earned Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors on Tuesday for the second time in the last three weeks, was also named the Hockey East Rookie of the Month for December. In four contests last month, Puskarich posted two goals, three assists, 19 shots on goal, and a plus-2 rating. He netted his third game-winning goal of the season last Sunday against Canisius to help UVM win the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla. native is tied for fifth among rookies in Hockey East with 14 points on a team-best seven goals and seven assists.
Former Marquette Rangers and current Western Michigan goalie Lukas Hafner was named the NCHC Goalie of the Week. Hafner had the best weekend of his young career Dec. 26-27, backstopping Western Michigan to its first Great Lakes Invitational title since 1986 while earning GLI MVP honors. In the semifinal Dec. 26, he made 30 saves, including 11 on seven Michigan power plays, to lead the Broncos to a 3-2 overtime win over the third-ranked team in the country in WMU’s first ever outdoor game. The next night in the championship game, he recorded 33 stops in a 1-0 overtime win against Michigan Tech for his second career shutout. Hafner finished the weekend with a .969 save percentage (63/65) and a 0.96 goals-against average while giving up just two goals and killing all 10 opponent power plays. In addition to being Tournament MVP, he was named to the GLI All-Tournament Team.