Another big week for NAHL alumni
February 5, 2014
Four NAHL alumni were honored in their respective NCAA Division I conferences this past week. Here is a look at those making an impact at the next level:
Michigan Technological University forward David Johnstone, who had a pair of multiple-point games and factored in on both game-winning goals while leading the Huskies to a two-game conference road sweep at Bowling Green last weekend, was named the WCHA Men's Offensive Player of the Week for Feb. 4, 2014. A 5-11, 175-pound junior from Grande Ledge, MI, Johnstone scored three goals, set up another, had six shots on goal, two blocked shots and earned a +1 plus/minus rating as Michigan Tech won 5-2 over the Falcons last Friday and 5-4 (ot) on Saturday.In 15 games played this season, Johnstone has produced 11 points on seven goals and four assists.
Johnstone played a full season in the NAHL for the Traverse City North Stars during the 2008-09 campaign. During that season, Johnstone played in 44 regular season games and registered 16 points.
Sophomore goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) of the UMass Lowell hockey team was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday by the conference office. It marks the second time this season that Hellebuyck has taken home league Defensive Player of the Week honors with the other award coming on October 28. Hellebuyck registered 56 saves on 58 shots (.966 save%) in the weekend sweep of Merrimack College over the weekend, which included his ninth career shutout with a 33-save effort on Saturday night at Lawler Arena. He notched 23 saves with two goals allowed in the series opening win on Friday night at the Tsongas Center. He owns a 10-5-1 record in 16 starts this season for the River Hawks with a 1.76 GAA and a .942 save percentage. His GAA ranks first in the nation among NCAA Div. I goaltenders and his save percentage is the second best nationally.
Hellebuyck played in the NAHL during the 2011-12 season for the Odessa Jackalopes, appearing in 53 games. He won both the NAHL Goaltender and Rookie of the Year awards that season and later that summer was drafted by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
Robert Morris forward Cody Wydo was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Player of the Week. In the two-game series, Wydo totaled five points in the two contests, including three goals and two assists, as he earned his second weekly honor from the AHA this season. Wydo recorded his second-consecutive three-point game in a shutout, notching two goals and an assist. Wydo scored the second and third goals for RMU in the game while picking up an assist on the final goal of the evening. On Saturday, Robert Morris would come away with a 6-4 victory as Wydo recorded a goal and an assist. Wydo would assist on RMU's fourth goal of the evening and then pick up an empty-net goal to seal the victory for the Colonials. Wydo continues to push towards the RMU career record for goals, needing just 11 more to tie the record of 64 goals. Wydo is also moving up the career points list as well, currently ranking sixth in school history with 84 career points and is just two points shy of cracking the top five.
Wydo played two seasons in the NAHL during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, both for the Motor City Metal Jackets. In 116, career NAHL regular season games, Wydo had 133 career points, which included 58 goals and 75 assists. He was also a veteran of two NAHL Top Prospects Tournaments. During the 2010-11 season, Wydo was selected as the NAHL Forward of the Year, as he totaled 91 points during that season, which included 40 goals.
Redshirt junior goaltender Jordan Tibbett of the Mercyhurst University men's hockey team has been named the Atlantic Hockey Association's Co-Goaltender of the Week after leading the Lakers to three of a possible four points against second-place Bentley in a weekend showdown between the league's top two teams last Friday and Saturday. Making his first starts since December 29 at Ohio State, Tibbett stepped up in a huge way in place of injured Jimmy Sarjeant by stopping 69-of-72 shots in helping the first-place Lakers earn a tie and a victory against second-place Bentley over the weekend. On Friday, Tibbett stopped 32-of-34 shots in a 2-2 tie with the Falcons and then stopped 37-of-38 shots in Saturday's 4-1 victory.
Tibbett played two full seasons in the NAHL for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms in 2007-08 and in 2008-09. During the 2008-09 season, Tibbett was 2nd in the NAHL with 24 wins and led the Phantoms to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament in Mason City, Iowa. In 57 career NAHL regular season games, Tibbett posted a record of 35-18-3 with a 2.74 goals against average and a 90.9% save percentage.
Notables: Former USNTDP member and current Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, who played in the NAHL with the NDTP program in 2003-04 and 2004-05, was named as the NHL’s 2nd Star this past week. Kessel recorded seven points last week, helping the Maple Leafs climb to third place in the Atlantic Division with three consecutive victories. The 26-year-old Madison, Wisc. native, who will represent the United States at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games later this month, leads the Maple Leafs in scoring and is fourth in the League overall with 61 points in 57 games. His 30 goals rank second in the NHL.