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NAHL Alumni Update

March 17, 2021

Former Odessa Jackalopes forward Matt Brown was named the Hockey East Player of the Week.

B1G Goaltender of the Year: Jack LaFontaine, Minnesota (Janesville Jets)

In addition to being named the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, the senior was also recognized as a First Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Tournament Team selection on Tuesday. He currently leads the nation with 21 wins (21-6-0) and ranks second nationally with a .936 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.74 (among goalies who have played more than 10 games). His save percentage is .001 off the NCAA lead for that statistic. He also ranks tied for second in the NCAA with five shutouts and has even added a pair of assists to Minnesota's high-powered offense.

WCHA Player of the Year: Dryden McKay, Minnesota State (Corpus Christi/Springfield)

McKay, who earlier this week was named first team All-WCHA and the WCHA Goaltender of the Year, was chosen for the top overall league honor by WCHA head coaches from among a group of final candidates that also included two of McKay's MSU teammates – Julian Napravnik (WCHA Offensive Player of the Year) and Akito Hirose (WCHA Rookie of the Year) – along with Bowling Green's Will Cullen and Bemidji State's Elias Rosén (WCHA co-Defensive Players of the Year). The Downers Grove, Ill., native is also just the 10th goaltender to win WCHA MVP or Player of the Year accolades, joining Minnesota's Murray McLachlan (1968-69, 1969-70), Denver's Ron Grahame (1972-73), Minnesota Duluth's Bob Mason (1982-83), Minnesota's Robb Stauber (1987-88), Wisconsin's Curtis Joseph (1988-89), Wisconsin's Duane Derksen (1991-92), Colorado College's Richard Bachman (2007-08), Denver's Marc Cheverie (2009-10) and Bemidji State's Michael Bitzer (2016-17). McKay received his second-straight Goaltender of the Year Award on Wednesday and captured third consecutive WCHA Goaltending Championship this season with a WCHA-record 1.07 goals-against average in league play. The Hobey Baker and Mike Richter candidate enters the postseason with an equally impressive 1.32 GAA in all games that leads the NCAA. He also leads the country in shutouts (eight) and winning percentage (.895/17-2-0).

B1G Sportsmanship Award: Cullen Munson, Minnesota (Janesville Jets)

ECAC 1st Team Forward: Cameron Buhl, St. Lawrence University (Minnesota Magicians)

Buhl (South St. Paul, Minn.) was fourth in the league in scoring during ECAC Hockey play this season, registering 12 points on three goals and nine assists. His scoring was extremely balanced, as the sophomore recorded points in 10 of the 15 games he played. His game-winning goal against Colgate on January 7 turned out to be a difference maker in the Saints season, as it elevated them to the No. 3 seed in the ECAC Hockey championship.

ECAC Rookie of the Year: Ethan Haider, Clarkson University (Minnesota Magicians)

ECAC Hockey has announced that the winner of the 2021 Rookie of the Year award is Clarkson University goaltender Ethan Haider.Haider (Maple Grove, Minn.) was one of the top goaltenders in the league this season, pacing ECAC Hockey in save percentage (.938%), and GAA (1.58) during conference play. He finished the season with a 7-5-4 record (6-3-4 ECAC Hockey), closing out the year with just one loss in his last eight games. Not only was Haider one of the best goalies in the league, he was one of the top rookie netminders in the nation, ranking second among freshman in GAA, fifth in save percentage, and third in wins. He posted seven games where he allowed one goal or less, all of which came against league opponents. A regular face in ECAC Hockey’s 2020-21 honor roll, Haider was a 2x MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week, 1x Adirondack Health Rookie of the Week, and 1x Goaltender of the Month.

ECAC All-Rookie Goaltender: Ethan Haider, Clarkson University (Minnesota Magicians)

Haider (Maple Grove, Minn.) stepped onto campus and into a starting role with the Golden Knights in his rookie campaign. He boasted a 2.01 GAA and .920 save percentage over the course of the year, and was even better in conference play, posting marks of 1.58 and .938%. He earned MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week honors on two separate occasions, and was named the Goalie of the Month in January.

ECAC All-Rookie Defenseman: Pierson Brandon, Colgate University (Aberdeen Wings)

Brandon (Irvington, N.Y.) was simply outstanding in his rookie season, skating in all 21 games while anchoring the Colgate defensive unit. He led the team in both blocked shots (30), and plus-minus (+9) despite logging a ton of ice time in every facet of the game. He also helped on the offensive end, recording nine points, including six during league play.

ECAC All-Rookie Defenseman: Luc Salem, St. Lawrence University (Topeka/Maryland)

Salem (Santa Monica, Calif.) was one of the top defensemen not only among first-year skaters, but in the entire league in 2021. During ECAC Hockey games, he tied for third among all defensemen with six points, and tied for first with three goals. His biggest goal of the year came on January 15 at Clarkson, a game-winner that elevated the Saints to a 2-1 win over their crosstown rival.

Atlantic Hockey has announced the members of the 2020-21 All-Conference and All-Rookie Teams. Due to the nature of the season, where the league was split into east and west pods, the AHA felt the only way to do awards this year was within the pods. Even though Air Force was placed in the east pod for the playoffs, the Falcons played all but one team in the west and therefore, the coaching staffs from both Air Force and the rest of the west teams were more equipped to assess the performance and vote accordingly.

Atlantic Hockey East Pod

First Team All-Conference

Forward – Colin Bilek, Army (Northeast Generals)

Forward – Tobias Fladeby, AIC (Bismarck Bobcats)

Forward – Marc Johnstone, Sacred Heart (Kenai River Brown Bears)

Defense – Brennan Kapcheck, AIC (Aston Rebels)

Defense – Thomas Farrell, Army (WBS Knights)

Second Team All-Conference

Forward – Elijah Barriga, AIC (Amarillo Bulls)

Forward – Chris Dodero, AIC (Janesville Jets)

Defense – John Zimmerman, Army (Lone Star/Fairbanks)


Forward – Lincoln Hatten, Army (WBS Knights)

Forward – Aaron Grounds, AIC (Minot Minotauros)

Forward – Eric Otto, AIC (Minnesota Magicians)

Goalie – Nick Grabko, Bentley (Minot Minotauros)

Atlantic Hockey West Pod

First Team All-Conference

Defense – Nick Jenny, Robert Morris (Aberdeen Wings)

Goalie – Jacob Barczewski, Canisius (Janesville Jets)

Second Team All-Conference

Forward – Jon Bendorf, Mercyhurst (Aberdeen, Philadelphia, Wichita Falls)

Forward – Carson Briere, Mercyhurst (Johnstown)

Defense – Brendon Michaelian, Robert Morris (Amarillo Bulls)

Goalie – Noah West, Robert Morris (Jamestown Rebels)


Forward – Carson Briere, Mercyhurst (Johnstown)

Defense – Brian Kramer, Robert Morris (Corpus Christi IceRays)

Defense – Josef Mysak, Niagara (Austin Bruins)

Goalie – Noah West, Robert Morris (Jamestown Rebels)

2020-21 All-WCHA Teams

1st First Team

Brandon Kruse, F, Bowling Green (Brookings Blizzard)

Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State (Corpus Christi, Springfield)

2nd Team

Nathan Smith, F, Minnesota State (Aberdeen Wings)

Ashton Calder, F, Lake Superior State (Minnesota Wilderness)

Will Riedell, D, Lake Superior State (New Jersey/Austin)

Mareks Mitens, G, Lake Superior State (Aston Rebels)

3rd Team

Trenton Bliss, F, Michigan Tech (Coulee Region Chill)

Riese Zmolek, D, Minnesota State (Austin Bruins)

Zach Driscoll, G, Bemidji State (Austin Bruins)

WCHA All-Rookie Team

Tyrone Bronte, F, Alabama Huntsville (WBS Knights)

Rico DiMatteo, G, Northern Michigan (Lone Star Brahmas)

Hockey East Player of the Week: Matt Brown, UMass-Lowell (Odessa Jackalopes)

Matt Brown (Wood Ridge, N.J.) scored twice in a 5-3 opening round win against Vermont, including the game-winning strike. In the River Hawks’ 2-1 quarterfinal victory at Boston University on Sunday, Brown again found the back of the net to tie the game, 1-1. The sophomore forward now has four goals in his last four outings, including two game-winning goals.

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