NAHL Alumni Update
November 5, 2014
In this week’s edition of the NAHL alumni update, the month awards for October are out and many alums were in the mix for the awards, which included a few winners. Also, several hundreds of NAHL alums that are playing NCAA Division III hockey are now in action and we will be keeping tabs on their progress as well.
Here is a look at some of those players recognized:
Former NAHL and Topeka RoadRunners goaltender Rasmus Tirronen (2010-11) was named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month for October. Tirronen collected an unbeaten 4-0-1 record in five starts in October, finishing with a 1.94 goals against average and .919 save percentage, ranking second in the nation among goaltenders who have played at least five games. Four of his last three appearances for Merrimack have ended in overtime. In October, he led Hockey East in win percentage while ranking fourth in the league in goals against and sixth in save percentage.
Former NAHL and Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Ryan Massa (2009-10) was named both the NCHC Player of the Month and the NCHC Goaltender of the Week. Massa opened his senior campaign in strong fashion, going undefeated between the pipes in October for the Mavericks with a 3-0-1 record, starting four of the team’s five games in the month. He compiled a 1.47 goals-against average during the month and posted a .946 save percentage, both of which were tops among NCHC netminders in October, as was his .875 win percentage during the month. Massa’s 1.47 GAA ranked eighth nationally in October, while his save percentage ranked 12th in the NCAA over the first month of the season.
This past week, Massa remained unbeaten in net on the season (4-0-1), backstopping Omaha to a tie and a win at No. 18 Cornell over the weekend. He gave up just two goals all weekend, including only one even strength, with one goal allowed in each game. Massa compiled a .968 save percentage in the series and a 0.96 goals-against average. On Friday he compiled 29 saves to lift the Mavericks to a 1-1 overtime tie with the lone goal allowed coming on a power play. The following night he stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 2-1 victory, while helping UNO kill all four Cornell power plays. Massa finished the weekend with 61 saves while helping Omaha go 9-for-10 on the penalty kill in the series. His 1.38 GAA and .952 save percentage on the season both lead the NCHC and rank seventh nationally. Massa has now claimed NCHC Goaltender of the Week twice this season.
Former NAHL and Wenatchee Wild forward Landon Smith (2010-11) was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week. Smith's four point weekend (2g, 2a) not only led all ECAC Hockey skaters, but also gave him twice as many points as the next freshmen in the league for the week. Smith's totals for the Bobcats' weekend sweep of Northeastern led all NCAA Division I freshmen as well. On Saturday, Smith set-up the Bobcats first goal of the game in a 3-2 victory. On Sunday, Smith had a hand in Quinnipiac's first three goals, scoring twice and assisting on Quinnipiac's game-tying goal late in the second period.
Former NAHL and Port Huron Fighting Falcons (2011-13) forward Tyler Spezia was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week. Spezia tallied three goals, five shots and a plus-three rating, while his third-period strike Saturday was the game-winner for Bowling Green in a 3-1 triumph over then-No. 12 Minnesota State. The freshman from Clinton Township, Mich., logged his first career multi-goal game in a losing effort Friday night. On Saturday, he scooped up his own rebound and found the back of the net at the 7:32 mark of the third period to snap a 1-1 tie. Spezia's four goals overall are tied for the national lead among D-I freshmen.
Former NAHL and St. Louis Bandits defenseman Chris Wideman (2006-07) was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October. He was also named the AHL Player of the Week this past week. Wideman tallied six goals, five assists and a plus-4 rating in nine games for the Binghamton Senators during October. After being held scoreless in Binghamton’s season opener, Wideman found the scoresheet in each of the last eight games of the month, beginning with an assist in a 3-2 win over Portland on Oct. 17. He had a goal and an assist on Oct. 21 at St. John’s, and scored a pair of game-winning overtime goals on Oct. 22 at St. John’s and Oct. 31 at Utica.
Wideman, who extended his scoring streak to nine games with two more points to begin November, currently leads all AHL defensemen and ranks second in the entire league in both goals (7) and points (13) through 10 games played. A fourth-round pick by Ottawa in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Wideman is in his third professional season and has totaled 18 goals and 64 assists for 82 points in 143 career AHL games with Binghamton. The 24-year-old native of St. Louis, Mo., played four seasons at Miami University before turning pro in 2012.