North Dakota freshman forward and former Coulee Region Chill forward Connor Gaarder has been named Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Rookie of the Week for his performance in UND's non-conference series with Harvard last weekend.
Gaarder collected four points and was a +3 in the series to help lead UND to a win and a tie against the Crimson. In Saturday's 7-3 win, Gaarder had a power-play goal and two assists for the first multi-point game of his career. One night earlier, the Edina, Minn., native scored his first collegiate goal to put UND ahead 4-1 in an eventual 4-4 overtime tie.
Gaarder now has six points (2g, 4a) in his last five games after opening his career with one assist in his first six games. He became the second UND freshman to earn WCHA Rookie of the Week honors this season, joining forward Brendan O'Donnell, who was honored on Dec. 6.
Gaarder played last season for the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL, where is was second in team scoring with 61 points in 58 games. He led the Chill to a 2nd place regular season finish and within one game of winning the Central Division playoff championship. In 2009-10, he played his rookie season for the then North Iowa Outlaws.
Gaarder played in the 2011 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan in February.
The WCHA offensive player of the week, Drew Shore, who plays for the University of Denver, is also an NAHL graduate, playing for the USA National Development Program during their time in the league.