NAHL Alumni Update
February 5, 2015
NAHL alumni raked in the monthly and weekly accolades this past week. We also have an update on some alumni playing overseas and some NCAA Division III alumni.
Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month: Keegan Asmundson, Canisius
Asmundson anchored the Griffs’ defense during the month of January, going 5-1-1 with a 1.70 goals against average and .941 save percentage. He led the Griffs to a seven-game unbeaten streak to finish the month – the longest active streak in the country and the longest for Canisius in the regular season in 14 years. The highlight performance of the month was a shutout against one of the top offense’s in the league against Bentley, stopping 18 shots to hold the Falcons off the scoreboard. Asmundson played in the NAHL for the Austin Bruins and the North Iowa Outlaws from 2008-11.
Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week: Rob Nichols, UConn
Nichols earns Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after denying 70 of the 73 shots he faced against Maine and helping the Huskies earn a 1-0-1 weekend. For the third time this season, Nichols tied his career high of 41 saves Friday to backstop the Huskies to a 2-1 overtime win. Nichols played two full seasons in the NAHL in 2011-12 and 2012-13 for the Wenatchee Wild. During the 2011-12 season, he was the Co-Rookie and Co-Goaltender of the Year and set a league record for shutouts in one season with 10.
WCHA Co-Offensive Player of the Week: Tanner Kero, Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech senior co-captain Tanner Kero had five points and recorded his 100th collegiate point to lead the Huskies in a WCHA series sweep of Alabama Huntsville. After recording an assist in Friday's win, Kero reached the career century mark with a third-period helper Saturday part of a four-point game that included two goals and two assists. Kero was the NAHL Rookie of the Year during the 2009-10 season playing for the Marquette Rangers.
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State University
Bitzer helped Bemidji State run its unbeaten streak to four games – all against top-10 opponents – and capture three of four points against Bowling Green in a WCHA series. The freshman from Moorhead, Minn. recorded 41 stops and a .911 save percentage, held the Falcons scoreless in seven power-play opportunities and posted a 1.93 goals against average on the weekend. Bitzer recorded 18 saves in Friday night's 5-2 victory, before logging 23 stops in 64:31 as Bemidji State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 tie Saturday. During the 2011-12 season, Bitzer played in the NAHL for the then Alexandria Blizzard.
Mac Carruth of the Indy Fuel is the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for January. Carruth went 7-2-0 with two shutouts, a 1.45 goals-against average and a save percentage of .951 in 10 appearances during the month. The 22-year-old, who won his final seven starts in January, allowed two goals or less in seven of his nine starts during January, and made at least 26 saves in seven games. Under contract to the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, Carruth has appeared in 22 games with Indy this season posting a record of 8-9-4 with two shutouts, a 2.53 goals-against average and a save percentage of .913. He has also won both of his appearances with Rockford of the American Hockey League this season. A native of Jackson, Wyo., Carruth has appeared in 54 career ECHL games with Indy, Florida and Toledo posting an overall record of 18-28-5 with four shutouts, a 3.10 goals-against average and a save percentage of .901. Carruth spent two seasons playing in the NAHL with the Wenatchee Wild from 2008-10.
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced Jake Hauswirth of the Louisiana IceGators has been selected as the Player of the Month for January. Hauswirth led all players with 20 points last month, scoring 11 goals and adding nine assists, in leading Louisiana to an 8-3-3 record. Hauswith is currently riding an 11-game point streak, second-longest in the SPHL this season, while recording 16 points during that stretch. Though only playing 17 games since joining the IceGators on December 22, Hauswirth is tied for second on the team with 12 goals and is sixth in points with 23. Now in his sixth professional season, Hauswirth played 16 games with the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush this year before joining the IceGators. Hauswirth spent the 2006-07 season playing in the NAHL for the Marquette Rangers, where he recorded 40 points in 55 games played.
Tuesday continued the consistent production for former Corpus Christi defenseman Colton Saucerman (2010-11) and Northeastern University, defeating 11th-ranked Boston College 3-2 on the road. Scoring didn’t begin until the second period, and just 21 seconds into the frame the Colorado Springs, Colo., native kicked off the scoring with a power play goal
Former Texas Tornado forward Stephane DaCosta (2006-07) was able to sign in the KHL with CSKA Moscow last summer where he's been having a huge season averaging a little over a point per game with 50 points (25 goals & 25 assists) in 40 games this season. His team, CSKA, currently has the league's best record and have an 8 point gap on bitter rival SKA St. Petersburg for the Western Conference top seed.
One week after former Bismarck Bobcat Patrick Moore (2011-13) netted WIAC Player of the Week, 2013-14 Bobcat alum Nate Flynn won MIAC Player of the Week thanks to a Saturday hat trick for Augsburg as the Auggies upset 14th-ranked St. Thomas at home.