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NAHL Alumni Update

November 20, 2019

Former NAHL and Aberdeen Wings goaltender Matt Vernon was named the NCHC Rookie of the Week.

Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Week: John Zimmerman, Army (Lone Star Brahmas/Fairbanks Ice Dogs)
Zimmerman had a standout weekend in Army’s first conference sweep of the year. He led the Black Knights with four points over the weekend, scoring a power-play goal and adding two assists in Friday’s victory, then tacking on an assist on Saturday. He finished with a plus-3 rating in the two games, blocked four shots, and helped anchor an Army penalty-kill unit that went perfect in nine chances.
Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week: Ryan Naumovski, Niagara (New Jersey Titans)
Naumovski led all Atlantic Hockey skaters in scoring last weekend, registering six points in a weekend split with Canisius. All six of his points came on assists as the rookie forward had a hand in six of the seven goals the Purple Eagles scored against their neighboring rival. Naumovski assisted on the game’s opening goal in Friday’s 4-2 loss, then tallied an assist on all five Niagara goals in Saturday’s 5-3 win.
ECAC Player of the Week: Drew O’Connor, Dartmouth (New Jersey Titans)
O’Connor led not only the league, but the country in scoring this weekend, registering six points on three goals and three assists. He scored his first goal of the season, and added two assists in Friday’s 4-3 win over Yale before netting two more in a 4-1 win over Brown on Saturday.
NCHC Rookie of the Week: Matt Vernon, Colorado College (Aberdeen Wings)
Vernon backstopped Colorado College to a sweep at St. Cloud State, CC’s first sweep of the Huskies in nearly nine years (since Dec. 10-11, 2010). In Friday’s 4-2 victory, the Calgary native made 20 saves, including two short-handed, to kill both SCSU power plays and give the Tigers their first conference win of the season. A night later, Vernon made 27 more stops, including 10 short-handed saves, to help kill off three of five Husky man advantages in the 5-2, sweep-clinching win. The 27 saves were his second-most in five career starts so far. Vernon finished the series with 47 saves on 51 shots for a .922 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average. He upped his season save percentage to .904 and lowered his GAA to 3.04 on the year, while improving to 3-1-1 on the season with the pair of wins in net.
WCHA Forward of the Week: Trenton Bliss, Michigan Tech (Coulee Region Chill)
Michigan Tech sophomore Trenton Bliss led the Huskies to a WCHA sweep at Lake Superior State over the weekend. The Appleton, Wis., native scored a league-high three goals against the Lakers, with two of them being game-winners and two coming on the power play. Bliss' two game-winning goals led the nation over the weekend. He leads the Huskies with five goals this season and is tied for the team lead with seven points. The two game-winners this weekend give him three for the season, which shares the league lead and is tied for second nationally. This is the second WCHA weekly honor of Bliss' career. He earned Rookie of the Week honors once as a freshman in 2018-19.
WCHA Defenseman of the Week: Joe Rutkowski, Ferris State (Coulee Region Chill)
Ferris State senior Joe Rutkowski had a pair of assists in the Bulldogs' home split with Bemidji State on the weekend. The Crystal Lake, Ill., native finished with a league-high nine total blocks, including a WCHA single-game season-high of seven on Friday, at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Rutkowski finished the weekend with two assists, three shots on goal and an even plus-minus rating. This is Rutkowski's first career WCHA weekly honor.
WCHA Goaltender of the Week: Eric Dop, Bowling Green (Minot Minotauros)
Bowling Green junior Eric Dop backstopped the Falcons to a pair of wins at Alaska Anchorage to earn BGSU's first WCHA sweep this season. The Lewis Center, Ohio, native stopped 15-for-16 shots on Friday before earning his first shutout of the 2019-20 season on Saturday with a 29-save effort. Saturday's win was his fourth career shutout with the Orange and Brown and his third in the state of Alaska. Dop blanked both UAA and Alaska on the road a season ago. This is Dop's second Goaltender of the Week honor of the season and third of his career. He was also a four-time Rookie of the Week recipient in 2017-18.
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Jake Willets, Ferris State (Amarillo Bulls)
Ferris State defenseman Jake Willets tallied his first collegiate goal to account for the Bulldogs' scoring in Saturday night's series finale with Bemidji State as FSU split a pair of league home contests with the Beavers. He finished the weekend with three shots and a +1 rating on the ice. This is Willets' first career WCHA weekly award.
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