NAHL Alumni Update
February 19, 2016
Former NAHL and Michigan Warriors head coach Moe Mantha was named the interim head coach for the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit earlier this week. Mantha, 55, began his junior hockey playing career with the Toronto Marlboros in the OHA before the Winnipeg Jets made him their second round pick in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. After a 12-year NHL career, Mantha began coaching in 1993 as an assistant with the Hershey Bears in the AHL. Stops in Columbus (ECHL), Baltimore (ECHL), and Cincinnati (AHL), led Mantha to his first job in juniors coaching the United States Top Development Program in 2000-01. In 2003, Mantha was brought in to coach the Saginaw Spirit on an interim basis which led to a head coaching opportunity with the Windsor Spitfires. Mantha returned to Michigan in 2010 to coach and Co-Own the NAHL’s Michigan Warriors. The Warriors made it to the league finals twice in the four years Mantha was behind the bench. In 2015, Mantha was hired as the Saginaw Spirit’s Northern Ontario Scout while coaching the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week: Dylan Zink, UMass-Lowell (Jamestown/Brookings/Alexandria, 2011-13)
Zink notched his first career hat trick in a 6-3 win Saturday against No. 7 Boston University to help the River Hawks earn a weekend split. The win helped UML stay in the hunt for an opening round bye in the Hockey East playoffs, keeping UML in the fourth spot while BU remained in fifth.
NCHC Defenseman of the Week: Grant Hutton, Miami (Janesville/Corpus Christi, 2012-15)
Hutton had his best game of the season in Miami’s 4-1 win at then No. 19 Bowling Green Friday to complete a home-and-home season sweep of the Falcons. He dished out a pair of assists for his first career multi-point game, setting up the game-winning goal in the second period while assisting on an empty-net goal to seal the victory. Hutton logged a plus-3 rating in the win as he was on the ice for all three non-power play goals for Miami and was named the game’s third star. He also stretched his point streak to three games. Defensively, Hutton blocked a shot and helped limit BGSU to only 22 shots on goal and one goal allowed, while playing on a penalty kill unit that was 3-for-4.
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Gage Torrel, Lake Superior State (Alexandria, 2011-12)
Torrel helped Lake Superior State snap a six-game losing streak, factoring in two goals as the Lakers posted a 3-0 victory Saturday against a hot Bemidji State team. The freshman from Monticello, Minn. set up the game-winning goal, collecting the primary assist on J.T. Henke's power-play strike that snapped a scoreless tie deep into the third period. He later added an empty-net goal to help seal the win, while he finished the weekend with seven shots on goal, a +1 rating and an .800 winning percentage in the face-off circle (4-for-5). This is the second WCHA weekly award of Torrel's freshman campaign.
SPHL Goaltender of the Week: Brandon Jaeger, Columbus (Wenatchee, 2009-11)
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) on Tuesday announced goaltender Brandon Jaeger of the Columbus Cottonmouths is the Easton Player of the Week for February 8-14. Jaeger went 3-0-0 for the week, posting a 1.41 goals against average and .962 save percentage as he helped the Cottonmouths defeat three of the top four teams in the standings and snap an eight-game losing streak. On Friday, the Champlin, MN native came on in the first period in relief of starter Shannon Szabados after Huntsville had taken a 3-0 lead with three goals in 4:17. Jaeger proceeded to stop all 27 Havoc shots he faced as Columbus rallied from the three-goal deficit to win 4-3. On Saturday, Jaeger stopped 36 of 38 shots, including four in overtime, as Columbus rallied from a two-goal third period deficit to defeat Pensacola 3-2 in a shootout. Jaeger finished his week with another strong outing as by making 37 saves in a 3-2 win over Mississippi, as the Cottonmouths were outshot 39-19 for the game and 16-5 in the third period. Jaeger, who currently ranks tied for fifth among SPHL goaltenders with 10 wins, played four seasons for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he set school records for career wins (62), shutouts (11) and saves (2,037). In 2013-2014, he was the university’s Male Team Sport Athlete of the Year.
ECHL Goaltender of the Week: Jack Campbell, Idaho (USNTDP, 2008-09)
Jack Campbell of the Idaho Steelheads is the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Feb. 8-14. It is the second time this season that he has captured the weekly honor. The 24-year-old went 2-0-0 with one shutout, a 0.48 goals-against average and a .983 save percentage in two appearances last week. Campbell made 17 saves in a 3-1 victory over Utah on Friday and stopped all 40 shots he faced in a 1-0 shootout win at Utah on Saturday. A native of Port Huron, Mich., Campbell is 13-4-0 in 17 appearances with Idaho this season. He leads the ECHL with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage and he is tied for the league lead with four shutouts. He has also appeared in 12 games with Texas of the American?Hockey League.