NAHL Alumni Update
March 5, 2015
It was a record-breaking month and week for NAHL alumni across the NCAA and professional hockey landscape. Here is a look at some of the players that earned multiple awards throughout last week and during the month of February.
Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Month: Keegan Asmundson, Canisius College
Asmundson anchored the top-ranked scoring defense in Atlantic Hockey during the month of February, posting a 1.49 goals against average and .943 save percentage, while helping lead the Griffs to the second seed in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The senior did not allow more than two goals in any single contest and yielded just one tally in three of his final four games overall. Asmundson won each of his final four starts of the month as Canisius jumped from fourth to second in the final standings – matching the program’s best-ever finish. Asmundson led all players in Atlantic Hockey during the regular-season with a 1.89 goals against average in conference play. His 2.09 goals against average is currently the top single-season mark in school history, easily ahead of the current record of 2.37. Asmundson played three years in the NAHL for the Austin Bruins/Coulee Region Chill/North Iowa Outlaws from 2008-11.
Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Month: Erik Baskin, Air Force
Started out the month with two points in the Sacred Heart series (1-1-2) … Helped lead Air Force to a sweep of AIC, Feb. 13-14, with five points in the two games. Career highs of two goals and three points in the first game … One goal and one assist in the second game … Overall this season, ranks fourth on the team with 10 goals and is fifth with 16 points. Baskin played the last two seasons in the NAHL for the Aberdeen Wings during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
NCHC Goaltender of the Week: Tyler Marble, Colorado College
Marble had a career weekend as he backstopped CC to a four-point series against Western Michigan, earning a tie and a win in goal. In the series he posted a 0.96 goals-against average and a .975 save percentage while giving up just two goals all weekend. On Friday, Marble compiled a career-high 50 saves in a 2-2 overtime tie, becoming the first CC goalie with 50 saves since Feb. 7, 2014, while his 21 saves in the second period tied a single-period career high. He added 20 more saves in the third period as he was named the game’s first star. The next night Marble pitched his first career shutout, stopping all 27 shots that came his way in a 5-0 win. He was named second star of the game Saturday. Marble also helped CC go a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill against WMU, including 5-for-5 on Saturday, as he made 14 saves on the Broncos nine man advantages. He finished the weekend with 77 saves on 79 shots against. Marble played three seasons in the NAHL, most recently with the Soo Eagles in 2012-13.
NCHC Defenseman of the Week: Nick Mattson, North Dakota
Mattson contributed at both ends of the ice in a sweep of St. Cloud State to help UND clinch a share of the NCHC regular season title. Offensively, the Blackhawks draft pick totaled three points on a goal and two assists, while defensively he helped limit the Huskies to three goals all weekend, none of which came even strength. In Friday’s 3-2 victory, Mattson dished out two assists, the first coming on the power play while his second helper set up the eventual game-winning goal, which put UND up 3-0 at the time. He also posted a plus-2 rating and blocked two shots in Friday’s win, while earning first star of the game honors. On Saturday, Mattson scored a goal of his own on the power play to put UND up 3-0 late in the second period as he was named the game’s third star. He finished the weekend with a plus-3 rating, two blocked shots and helped UND go 8-for-11 on the penalty kill against SCSU, including 6-for-7 Saturday. Mattson played in the NAHL for two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09) both for the USNTDP Team.
Hockey East Goaltender of the Month & Rookie of the Week: Cal Petersen, Notre Dame
Petersen lead the nation in save percentage over the month of February, kicking out pucks at a .962 clip. He stopped 279 of 290 shots, both the second-highest totals in the NCAA. The rookie claimed wins over each of the top three Hockey East teams, including a 2-0 shutout against Providence and a 55-save performance against Boston College. His 1.48 goals against average was fourth in the country as he backstopped the Irish to a 4-2-1 record to secure the No. 5 playoff seed. Petersen has also collected a Hockey East weekly honor in each of the past four weeks. Petersen made his NAHL debut in 2011-12 with the Topeka RoadRunners.
Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week: Rob Nichols, UConn
Nichols stopped all 29 shots Friday night in a victory against UMass to post his fourth shutout of the season, all coming at home in the XL Center. The Husky netminder is tied for the most shutout victories this season in Hockey East. He also finished the regular season with 982 saves on the year, good for second in the country. Nichols played two seasons in the NAHL for the Wenatchee Wild from 2011-13.
Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week: Brendan McGuire, Army
McGuire recorded his first collegiate multi-goal game on Saturday night against American International with a pair of goals and an assist for three points in a 5-1 victory on Senior Night at Tate Rink. Both goals came in the second period with his first one starting a five-goal frame for the Black Knights. He assisted on the second goal of the game off the stick of Joe Kozlak. McGuire played in the NAHL just last season for the Amarillo Bulls.
WCHA Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State University
Bitzer led Bemidji State to a three-point weekend at Ferris State, giving the Beavers a one-point lead in the race for the final home ice slot in the WCHA playoffs. The freshman from Moorhead, Minn. played every second of the series, recording a 0.96 goals against average and stopping 76-of-78 shots for a .974 save percentage. The rookie came within one shot of a then-career-high save total with 35 stops in a 2-1, series-opening victory, before establishing his collegiate standard with 41 saves in a 1-1 draw Saturday. In addition, he served as the last line of defense for a BSU penalty-kill unit that held Ferris State scoreless on all eight power-play opportunities. During the 2011-12 season, Bitzer played in the NAHL for the Alexandria Blizzard.
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Austin Azurdia, University of Alaska Anchorage
Facing a must-win situation, Azurdia had a three-point night to lead Alaska Anchorage to a 6-1 upset victory over No. 11 Bowling Green on Saturday night. The rookie netted what was eventually the game-winning goal with a first-period tally, and then factored in both of UAA's third-period goals with an assist and his second score of the game. The win allowed the Seawolves to keep their WCHA playoff hopes alive entering the final weekend of the regular season. During the 2011-12 season, Azurdia made his junior hockey and NAHL debut with the Topeka RoadRunners.
Big 10 Hockey #1 Star: Steve Racine, University of Michigan
Recorded a .960 save percentage and 1.00 goals-against average as Michigan swept Wisconsin. He turned aside all 22 shots he faced on Friday to notch his first career shutout. Stopped 26 shots on Saturday, including 10 in the third period, as the Wolverines broke open a 2-2 contest. Racine paces all Big Ten with a .750 winning percentage this season. During the 2010-11 season, Racine appeared in the NAHL with the Chicago Hitmen.
Troy Redmann of the Alaska Aces is the ECHL?Goaltender of the Week for Feb. 23-March 1. Redmann went 2-0-0 with a 0.96 goals-against average and a save percentage of .971 in two appearances last week. The 28-year-old turned aside 40 shots in a 2-1 shootout win at Colorado on Wednesday and made 27 saves in a 3-1 victory against the Eagles on?Friday. Redmann is 6-1-2 in 10 appearances with Alaska this season and overall in 12 games with the Aces and Colorado he is 8-1-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a save percentage of .925. A native of Brea, Calif., Redmann has appeared in 16 career ECHL games with Alaska, Coloado and Ontario posting an overall record of 11-2-2 with one shutout, a 2.31 goals-against average and a save percentage of .928. Redmann played three seasons in the NAHL from 2003-06 for Bozeman, Soo and most recently, the Texas Tornado.
Allen Americans’ forward?Chad Costello is the ECHL?Player of the Week for Feb. 23-March 1. It is the second time this season, and the fourth time in his career, that Costello has won the weekly honor. Costello scored three goals and added four assists for seven points in three games last week. The 28-year-old had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-2 win at Quad City on?Wednesday, had three assists in a 6-5 overtime loss against Brampton on Saturday and picked up a goal and an assist in a 6-4 win at Wichita on Sunday. A native of Johnston, Iowa, Costello leads the ECHL in assists (63), points (92) and power-play points (28) and ranks second in goals (29) and plus-minus (+32). Costello, who was the ECHL?Most Valuable Player with Colorado in 2011-12, has tallied 231 points (77g-154a) in 147 career ECHL games with Allen, Ontario, Colorado and Texas. He has added 17 points (3g-14a) in 40 career American?Hockey League games with Bridgeport, Worcester, Springfield and Lake Erie. During the 2004-05 season, Costello played in the NAHL for the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
The American Hockey League announced today that Hershey Bears left wing Chris Conner has been named the AHL Player of the Month. Conner recorded six goals – including three game-winners – and eight assists for 14 points along with a plus-9 rating in 12 games, helping the Bears move into first place in the overall league standings with a 10-1-1-0 record in February. Conner put together an eight-game scoring streak during the month, beginning with a two-goal effort in a 3-2 win at Binghamton on Feb. 6. He had a goal and an assist in Hershey’s 4-3 overtime victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 7, and assisted on the winning goal in a 1-0 decision at Albany on Feb. 13. Conner’s shorthanded goal on Feb. 21 at Bridgeport was the difference in a 4-3 Bears win, and he closed out the month with a goal and two assists as Hershey defeated Albany, 4-2, on Feb. 28. A ninth-year pro, Conner has registered 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points in 42 games with Hershey in 2014-15. The native of Westland, Mich., has totaled 123 goals and 195 assists for 318 points in 394 career AHL contests since turning pro in 2006, and has added 22 goals and 28 assists in 178 games in the National Hockey League with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Phoenix. Conner signed as a free agent with Washington on July 1, 2014. Conner played two seasons in the NAHL in 2000-01 and 2001-02 for the Chicago Freeze and Detroit Compuware.