NAHL Alumni Update
December 3, 2014
It was yet another huge week for several NAHL alumni including some who captured monthly honors in November in both the pro and college ranks. Here is a look at some of those honored:
NCHC Rookie of the Month-Kasimir Kaskisuo, G, Minnesota Duluth
After a solid October, Kaskisuo took control of the goaltending reins at Minnesota Duluth and logged a stellar November, starting all seven games in net for UMD while compiling a .933 save percentage and a 1.71 goals-against average for the month. He finished the month with a 6-1-0 record, leading the Bulldogs to a top-10 national ranking, while his six wins tied for the lead among all NCHC netminders in November and led all freshman goalies nationally. His .933 save percentage and 1.71 GAA both ranked third among rookie goalies in the NCAA during the month and both ranked in the top three among all NCHC netminders for November as well. Kaskisuo also pitched one shutout during the month while all of his wins came against top-15 opponents. Kaskisuo played last season in the NAHL for the Minnesota Wilderness.
Hockey East Rookie of the Month- CJ Smith, F, UMass-Lowell
The former member of the NAHL’s Austin Bruins playd in eight games in November. Smith notched nine points on four goals and five assists to help lead the No. 7 River Hawks to a 4-2-2 record on the month. Two of Smith's four tallies came on the power play. The Des Moines, Iowa native logged a point in seven and an even or plus rating in six contests while firing an average of 3.3 shots on net per game. Twice Smith recorded multi-point efforts, first on Nov. 14 against Penn State (1g, 1a) and then against then-No. 18 Harvard on Nov. 29 (2g).
Big 10 Hockey First Star of the Week-Zach Nagelvoort, G, Michigan
The former NAHL’er (Aberdeen/Soo/Traverse City/Kalamazoo) recorded a .961 save percentage and 1.04 goals-against average while leading Michigan to a series sweep of Rensselaer. He turned aside 25 shots on Friday to guide the Wolverines to a 3-2 victory. He then stopped all 24 shots he faced in a combined shutout with Luke Dwyer on Saturday. He picked up his first career point with an assist on Saturday, the first point by a Michigan goaltender since Shawn Hunwick recorded an assist in 2011. This is his fifth career weekly award and first of the season
NCHC Offensive Player of the Week-Justin Kovacs, F, Western Michigan
The former Topeka RoadRunner led Western Michigan to the Shillelagh Tournament title, dishing out seven assists in two games to earn Most Outstanding Player of the tournament honors while also landing on the All-Tournament Team. In Friday’s 6-2 win over Ohio State, he assisted on two goals, including setting up the game- winner. On Saturday, he handed out five helpers to lead WMU to an 8-2 win over defending NCAA champion Union in the championship game. He was one assist shy of tying the WMU single-game record while he became the first Bronco to tally five points in a game since 2002. Four of his five assists Saturday came on the power play. Kovacs was +1 in each game and finished the tournament with a +2 rating while putting five shots on goal.
ECAC Goaltender of the Week-James Kruger, G, Dartmouth College
Kruger was 2-0-0 posting a 3-2 win against American International College and a 2-0 shutout victory over No. 1 Boston University. He turned aside all 23 shots he faced against the Terriers who came into the game averaging 3.67 goals per game and had not been shutout all season. The junior netminder finished the weekend with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. Kruger played in the NAHL during the 2010-11 season for the Texas Tornado.
Allen Americans and former Texas Tornado defenseman Trevor Ludwig was named the ECHL Plus Performer of the Month for November after sharing the league lead with a plus-minus rating of +12. Ludwig was even or better in nine of his 11 games during the month, including posting a +4 rating in a 9-2 win against Brampton on Nov. 21. He was a +2 on two occasions - Nov. 8 against Tulsa and Nov. 16 against Rapid City. The 29-year-old has four points (3g-1a) in 11 games this season and he is second in the league with his +12 rating. Ludwig has 20 points (6g-14a) in 60 career ECHL games with Allen and Idaho and he has added 18 points (4g-14a) in 144 career American Hockey League games with Houston, Syracuse, Norfolk, Texas, Manitoba and Iowa. A native of Rhinelander, Wis., Ludwig has 51 points (16g-35a) in 116 career games with Allen.