NAHL Alumni Update
February 6, 2019
The NHL’s Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender and NAHL, NAPHL grad Pheonix Copley (Corpus Christi IceRays) to a three-year, $3.3 million contract extension, with an average annual value of $1.1 million, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced. This season, the North Pole, Alaska, native has posted a record of 10-5-3 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. The 6'4", 200-pound goaltender has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 19 appearances. Additionally, Copley went on a seven game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) from Nov. 24 through Jan. 9, the longest stretch by a Capitals goaltender this year. In 21 career NHL games, Copley is 10-6-3 with a 3.08 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. Copley made his NHL debut on Feb. 27, 2016 as a member of the St. Louis Blues at Nashville and made 24 saves in his first career NHL start on Jan. 21, 2017 at Winnipeg.
HCA and NCHC Goalie of the Month: Hunter Shepard, Minnesota-Duluth (Bismarck Bobcats)
After backstopping Minnesota Duluth to a nearly undefeated first month of 2019, UMD junior netminder Hunter Shepard has been selected the Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Goaltender of the Month for January, the HCA announced on Tuesday. Shepard was tabbed the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Goaltender of the Month last week. Shepard (Cohasset, Minn.) continued his strong season in net, backstopping the Bulldogs to a 5-1-0 record last month for an .833 win percentage, which was tops in the NCHC in January. He ranked third nationally with a 1.34 goals-against average and fifth in the NCAA with a .944 save percentage during the month, both of which led the NCHC. Shepard recorded two shutouts as well, tying for the NCAA lead in January. He allowed more than two goals only once in his six games, which came in his only loss of the month to top-ranked St. Cloud State, while allowing only three power play goals in 23 opportunities in January.
Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Month and Rookie of the Week: Ludwig Stenlund, Niagara (Odessa Jackalopes)
Skelleftea, Sweden native Ludwig Stenlund has earned the HCA’s Rookie of the Month honors after tying for the lead in scoring amongst rookie skaters in January. He had 10 points on five goals and five assists, leading Niagara to a 2-2-2 record against conference opponents. Stenlund finished January as the only freshman in Atlantic Hockey's top-10 in scoring, tying for fifth. He scored in five of the team's six games, with multi-point games in three of those outings. Stenlund was the only player in the conference to tally two shorthanded goals this month, and bookended his January with three-point performances against RIT (Jan. 4) and Mercyhurst (Jan. 19). His four-point weekend against the Lakers gave Niagara their second conference sweep of the season.
ECAC Goalie of the Month: Jake Kielly, Clarkson (Austin Bruins)
Jake Kielly (Clarkson) has been named Goalie of the Month for the second time this season after backstopping the Golden Knights to a 6-1 record in January. The junior led the league in both wins (6), and save percentage (.942), turning aside 180 of the 191 shots he faced. He recorded two shutouts during the month, as Clarkson rose all the way to No. 10 in the national polls.
WCHA Forward of the Month: Hans Gorowsky, Alabama Huntsville (Fairbanks Ice Dogs)
Alabama Huntsville's Hans Gorowsky led all WCHA forwards with 10 points on a league-high seven goals along with three assists. The seven goals included four on special teams – three power play tallies and one short-handed goal. Gorowsky made his biggest impact of the month in the Chargers' weekend sweep at Alaska Anchorage (Jan. 18-19), tallying four goals and adding one assist to earn his first career WCHA Forward of the Week award. The Lino Lakes, Minn., native scored at least one goal in four of UAH's eight games in January. His 95 faceoff wins for the month ranked third in the WCHA. This is Gorowsky's first career Player of the Month honor.
WCHA Goaltender of the Month: Anton Martinsson, Alaska-Fairbanks (Amarillo Bulls)
Alaska junior Anton Martinsson backstopped the Nanooks to four wins in their last five January contests, including a win over nationally-ranked Bowling Green on Jan. 18. Martinsson led the WCHA with 202 saves for the month. The Klippan, Sweden, native ranked third in the league in goals against average at 1.59 and was fourth in save percentage at .958. Martinsson also picked up two assists last month, both on the power play, tying him for first in the country in scoring among Division I netminders. This is Martinsson's first career Player of the Month honor.
WCHA Rookie of the Month: Ashton Calder, Lake Superior State (Minnesota Wilderness)
Lake Superior State's Ashton Calder led all WCHA rookies with a +9 rating in January and tied for first in assists with six to help the Lakers to a 5-2-1 record in January. The +9 also tied for first nationally among freshmen. In addition, the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native tied for second among league newcomers in points with six. Calder tallied an assist on LSSU's game-winning goal against Bemidji State on Jan. 25 and posted an assist in six of the Lakers' eight games in January. The freshman also blocked three shots and fired 10 shots on goal. This is Calder's first career Player of the Month honor.
Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week: Josh Benson, Sacred Heart (Fairbanks Ice Dogs)
Benson sported a flawless 3-0-0 record last week, with a non-conference win over UConn on Tuesday before leading Sacred Heart to a road sweep of Robert Morris over the weekend. The rookie netminder tallied a 1.33 goals against average and a 0.951 save percentage in the three games, allowing just four goals in the three games and stopping 78 of 80 shots faced.
B1G #3 Star: Tommy Nappier, Ohio State (Springfield Jr. Blues)
Nappier backstopped the Buckeyes to a 2-0 shutout against No. 11/13 Notre Dame last Saturday, his fourth shutout of the year. He turned aside 30 shots on the evening, including 15 saves in the second period and nine in the third to preserve the shutout. He ranks second in the nation in both goals-against average (1.64) and save percentage (.945). He earns his fourth career weekly award and his first since Jan. 8, 2019 (Third Star).
Hockey East Player of the Week: Stefanos Lekkas, Vermont (Springfield Jr. Blues)
Stefanos Lekkas (Elburn, Ill.) made 33 saves in Vermont's 3-1 win at #9 Providence on Friday before coming back with a 46-save effort in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Friars. He finished the weekend with 79 saves, a 0.98 goals against average and .975 save percentage in the two wins.
WCHA Goaltender of the Week: Dryden McKay, Minnesota State (Springfield Jr. Blues)
Minnesota State freshman Dryden McKay stopped 26-of-27 shots in two wins over visiting Alabama Huntsville. Registered his third career shutout with 12 saves in Saturday's 4-0 win over the Chargers. Stands 16-5-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and a .921 save percentage in his first college season.
ECHL Player of the Week: Mike Szmatula, Adirondack (Traverse City North Stars)
Mike Szmatula of the Adirondack Thunder has been selected as the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3. Szmatula scored five goals and added an assist for six points in three games last week. The 26-year-old had two goals and an assist in a 6-0 win at Manchester on Wednesday, tallied the game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory against Reading on Friday and added a pair of goals in 5-3 loss at Maine on Saturday. A native of Commerce Township, Michigan, Szmatula leads ECHL rookies with 20 goals and has added 14 assists for 34 points in 42 games this season. He added four points (2g-2a) as the Thunder's representative in the 2019 ECHL All-Star Classic.
SPHL Player of the Week: Marcus Ortiz, Knoxville (Odessa Jackalopes)
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced that Marcus Ortiz of the Knoxville Ice Bears is the Warrior Player of the Week for January 28 - February 3. Ortiz tallied five goals and an assist and was +4 in just two games in a weekend series against the Fayetteville Marksmen. During the third period of Friday night’s game, Ortiz contributed a goal and an assist as the Ice Bears fell to the Marksmen 5-3. On Saturday night, Ortiz struck quickly and scored an unassisted goal just two minutes into the game against the Marksmen. Later, Ortiz scored another goal to wrap up the first period. The second period saw another goal by Ortiz as he slipped one in against the Marksmen goalie only five minutes into the period. Ortiz recorded his fourth goal of the game in the first two minutes of the third period to close out an 8-2 victory against the Marksmen.