NAHL Alumni Update
November 12, 2015
NAHL alumni were honored this week at almost every level of hockey including the NHL, ECHL, NCAA Division I and III. Here is a look at some of those that were recognized:
Former Janesville Jets goalie Matt Jurusik was named the Big 10’s #2 Star of the Week. The University of Wisconsin freshman goalie posted a .941 save percentage and 2.04 goals-against average to guide Wisconsin to a series split at top-ranked North Dakota. He recorded 29 saves on Friday, including 12 in the third period, as the Badgers snapped North Dakota’s 12-game home unbeaten streak. Jurusik then registered 35 saves in the series finale on Saturday. This is his second career weekly award and second in as many weeks. Jurusik played in the NAHL for the Jets last season.
Former Johnstown Tomahawks and Alaska Avalanche defenseman Casey Nelson was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. Nelson tied for tops among all NCAA defensemen last week with two goals and four points, while adding nine shots on goal and a pair of blocked shots as Minnesota State split a WCHA series at Ferris State. The junior from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. had a hand in three of the Mavericks' goals in a 7-4 loss Friday with a goal and two assists. Saturday, his goal at the 11:00 mark of the second period brought MSU into a 2-2 tie in a contest the Mavericks would eventually win, 3-2. Nelson finished the weekend with a +2 rating. Nelson spent three years in the NAHL from 2010-13, with the final season being played in Johnstown.
Former NAHL’er Patrick Kane was named the #1 star of the week in the NHL. Kane shared first in the NHL with four goals and led the League with five assists and nine points to help the Blackhawks (8-6-1, 17 points) gain five of a possible eight standings points. He opened the week with a pair of 1-1-2 games, in a 4-2 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings Nov. 2 and in a 6-5 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues Nov. 4. Kane scored again in a 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils Nov. 6 before capping the week with 1-3-4, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 8. In doing so, Kane equaled career highs for assists and points in one game; the only other time he recorded four points in the regular season was Oct. 23, 2007 vs. CBJ (2-2-4), his ninth appearance in the NHL. The 26-year-old Buffalo, N.Y., native shares first in the League with 10 goals and 23 points in 15 contests this season, including 7-10-17 during a 10-game point streak. Kane played in the NAHL for the USNTDP team during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
Former Bismarck Bobcats goalie Ryan Faragher of the Utah Grizzlies is the ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Nov. 2-8. It is the second time in his career that Faragher has won the weekly honor. The 25-year-old was 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in three appearances last week, helping the Grizzlies sweep a three-game series in Alaska for the first time in club history. Under contract with San Diego of the American?Hockey League, Faragher has appeared in 30 career ECHL games with Utah posting a record of 16-8-3 with one shutout, a 2.53 goals-against average and a save percentage of .918. He also has seen action in 15 career AHL games with Norfolk where he is 4-9-1 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a save percentage of .901. Faragher spent two years playing for the Bobcats in the NAHL from 2009-11.
Former NAHL’ers Chris Leon, Mike Davis, Brandon Zurn and Ayrton Valente were named to the inaugural D3hockey.com 1st team for the week ending November 9th. An alternate captain, Leone led Adrian Bulldog blueliners with three points on a goal and two assists and recorded a plus-5 rating. In an 11-2 win versus Northland on Saturday, he tied a career high with three points. His power-play goal at the 11:16 mark of the first period gave Adrian the lead for good at 2-1. He also helped the Bulldogs defensive unit limit the Lumberjacks to 17 shots after the visitors were able to generate 28 in the series opener. Leone has 47 points in 84 career games. Leone played in the NAHL from 2009-12 for the Wichita Falls Wildcats and Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings.
Davis scored four goals in a 7-6 overtime win for Neumann College at Elmira to open ECAC West action. The sophomore scored the game-tying goal with 1:04 left in regulation and then the game-winning goal 47 seconds into overtime. The Philadelphia native's seven goals tie him for the national lead. Davis played three years in the NAHL from 2011-14 all for the Amarillo Bulls.
Zurn is off a red hot start for Hamline, with a share of the national lead in goal scoring with seven goals, and the outright lead in points per game with an average of 2.75 per contest. He scored once in the opener, a 3-3 OT tie with Gustavus. The next day, he exploded for four goals and an assist in an 8-5 win over St. Mary's. Three of his goals came on the power play, and one was a shorthanded tally. He was officially scoreless in a 5-5 tie at St. Olaf but did convert on one of the shootout goals the Pipers scored to earn the extra point. On Saturday, he had two goals and two assists in a 5-2 win over the Oles at home. Zurn played in the NAHL during the 2010-11 season for the Alexandria Blizzard and Fresno Monsters.
Valente, a sophomore defender for SUNY-Platssburgh, has tallied a point in every game the Cardinals have played this season from his defensive post, with four assists in three games. The junior from Woodbridge, Ontario is a major contributing factor to a defense that allows less than two goals per game. He played in the NAHL during the 2013-14 season for the Lone Star Brahmas.
Know of an NAHL alum doing something great? Send us an email and let us know!