NAHL Alumni Update
March 12, 2014
In NAHL alumni news, three alumni of the NAHL swept the monthly awards for February in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) in this week’s NAHL alumni update.
Mercyhurst forward Nardo Nagtzaam was named as the Atlantic Hockey Forward of the Month for February. Nagtzaam led the Lakers, and the conference, with 13 points in eight games during the month of February, helping Mercyhurst clinch its first-ever AHA regular season title. He led the team, and was tied for the conference lead, with seven goals in February. He scored at least one point in six of the team’s eight games and had at least two points on four different occasions, including career-high tying three-point contests three times during the month. He had two goals in a game twice (at RIT on February 15 and at Niagara on February 22). He also led the team with 28 shots on goal and was third on the squad with a +7 plus/minus rating. He scored his first power play goal of the season on February 28 against Robert Morris and scored the game-winning goal against Bentley on February 1. He also won 52% of his faceoffs during the month (27-of-52). Nagtzaam played three years in the NAHL for the Alexandria Blizzard and the Alaska Avalanche. In 2010-11, he was second in NAHL scoring with 87 points.
University of Connecticut goaltender Robbie Nichols was named the Atltantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month for February. Nichols posted a 4-1-0 record in the month of February with wins over Bentley, Holy Cross, Army and Sacred Heart on his ledger. Nichols posted an 1.59 goals against average and a .947 save percentage during the month over five games. Nichols turned away 28 shots on his way to posting a 3-0 shutout win over second place Bentley, his first career shutout. Nichols got his second shutout of the month when he turned away 38 shots in a 5-0 win at Holy Cross. In a 3-1 win at Army, Nichols stop 27 shots and allowed just a late goal in the final minute as the Black Knights had the extra skater on the ice. Nichols delivered 26 saves to help beat Sacred Heart 4-3 in overtime, giving the Huskies the #4 seed and a bye in the AHA playoffs. On the season, he is 8-1-2 with a 1.81 goals against and a .942 save percentage in 12 games. Nichols played the past two years in the NAHL for the Wenatchee Wild. During the 2011-12 season, he set the NAHL record for shutouts in a season with 10 and was named as the Co-Goaltender and Co-Rookie of the Year.
Air Force goaltender Chris Truehl was named as the Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Month for February. Truehl led Air Force to three wins in four starts during the month of February … All three of his wins came over teams that finished in top four in the league … Made 21 saves in the win over UConn on Feb. 1 … Led the Falcons to a sweep of first-place Mercyhurst … Named the AHA Rookie of the Week on Feb. 10 following the sweep … Made 34 saves, the second most of his career, in the 5-3 win over the Lakers on Feb. 7 … In game two of the Mercyhurst series, stopped all 24 shots he saved as he blanked the top scoring offense in the conference … The shutout was the third of his career. Truehl played in the NAHL during the 2012-13 season for the Johnstown Tomahawks, where he posted a 92.3% save percentage, which was good for 8th best in the NAHL.
In more NAHL alumni news, 10 NAHL alums led the Arizona State University hockey team to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I National Championship on Tuesday. Alumni that helped the Sundevils to the Championship were: Chris Blessing (Kenai River/Fresno), Brett Blomgren (Fresno), Chris Burkemper (St. Louis), Tommy Cooney (Springfield), Zach Holstrom (Minot), Sean Murphy (Soo), Eric Rivard (Soo), Alex Temby (Texas), Jordan Young (Wenatchee) and Patrick Yudez (Wichita Falls Wildcats).