NAHL Alumni Update
December 22, 2016
Former Amarillo Bulls and NAHL forward Brady Ferguson was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week.
It was the stuff that makes the holidays so magical and makes people realize that NHL players are also human. Edmonton Oilers winger Patrick Maroon, who played on the NAHL for two seasons and was the NAHL MVP during the 2006-07 season, headed home to St. Louis to face off against the Blues on Monday, and seeing cheers from his biggest fan, his son, was enough for Maroon to choke up post-game. Of the nine goals Patrick Maroon has scored this season, none will be remembered as fondly as the one he netted against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. The puck deflected down and past St. Louis netminder Carter Hutton to knot the score at two in a game Edmonton would go on to win 3-2 in overtime. None of that is why Maroon will remember the tally, though. During a post-game interview Maroon was shown the goal again, but this time with a clip of his son, Anthony, cheering from the stands, proudly sporting his dad’s No. 19 jersey. Seeing his son cheering was enough for Maroon to choke up:
If that doesn’t warm your heart, we’re not sure what will. The trips to play the Blues no doubt mean a bit more to Maroon, a native of St. Louis, and having his son there to cheer him on clearly means the world to him.
Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week: Brady Ferguson, Robert Morris (Amarillo Bulls)
Brady Ferguson led Atlantic Hockey in scoring this week with a goal and three assists for a four-point weekend. Ferguson's goal was a game-tying goal against Mercyhurst that helped earn the Colonials a tie on Sunday. Ferguson's goal came on the power play, making him the NCAA's leader in power play goals with his eighth of the season.
Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week: Colin DeAugustine, Mercyhurst (Johnstown Tomahawks)
DeAugustine helped Mercyhurst to a 1-0-1 record against Robert Morris, posting consecutive 40-save games versus the Colonials. He had 40 saves in Mercyhurst's 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday, then stopped 43 of 45 shots faced in Sunday's 2-2 tie in the series finale. Overall, DeAugustine had a 0.943 save percentage and a 2.32 goals against average.
WCHA Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State (Alexandria Blizzard)
Bitzer turned in a 60-save weekend against the nation's top-ranked team, helping No. 15 Bemidji State earn a tie before dropping a one-goal decision to No. 1 Minnesota Duluth. The junior from Moorhead, Minn. had a season-high 35 stops over 65 minutes Friday in Duluth, allowing the Beavers to earn a 1-1 tie on the road despite being outshot by a 36-21 margin. Bitzer then turned aside 25 shots Saturday in a 2-1 setback, finishing the series with a .952 save percentage and 1.45 goals-against average. Entering the holiday break, Bitzer ranks in the top-15 nationally for: wins (tied 1st – 13), games (1st – 21), starts (1st – 21), minutes (1st – 1270:24), goals-against average (2nd – 1.46), shutouts (tied 2nd – 3), save percentage (3rd - .940), saves (4th – 483) and winning percentage (11th - .690). This is Bitzer's fourth WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his 11th career honor, including a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades.
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State (Minnesota Magicians)
Michaelis led all WCHA skaters and tied for second nationally with four points, tallying a goal and three assists as No. 19 Minnesota State spit a nonconference road series at Princeton. After picking up an assist in Friday's loss, Michaelis had a three-point effort as the Mavericks halted the Tigers' five-game winning streak with a 5-4 triumph Saturday. The freshman from Mannheim, Germany scored his 10th goal of the season to give Minnesota State a 2-0, first-period lead, then assisted on a pair of second-period tallies (including one power-play goal) as the Mavericks extended their advantage to 4-2. Michaelis enters the holiday break leading the WCHA overall scoring race with 26 points (10g-16a), good for ninth in the NCAA (second amongst freshmen). This is Michaelis' second WCHA weekly award of his rookie campaign.
In other news, former NAHL and Minnesota Wilderness forward Brett Heikkila
will join the Northern Michigan Wildcats for the second semester (read