It was a big week for NAHL goaltending alumni as five former players received honors in their respective NCAA Division I conferences. Here is a look at those former NAHL netminders who were honored this past week:
Former Odessa Jackalopes and current UMass Lowell hockey sophomore goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was named the Hockey East/Warrior Hockey Co-Player of the Week after stopped 74 of 75 shots as the River Hawks swept the two-game weekend series from #6 Notre Dame. Hellebuyck made 40 saves in the Friday night, 1-0, shutout of the Fighting Irish. The netminder was named the game's number-one star in media voting and earned the number-two star the following night with a 34 save performance in a 3-1 UMass Lowell victory. Statistics rarely tell the story, but in this case they may do just that. Hellebuyck leads Hockey East goalies in both Goals Against Average, 1.57 and Save Percentage, .951. It is the second honor this season for Hellebuyck. He earned Hockey East's Defensive Player of the Week honors on October 28th.
Former Aberdeen Wings and Soo Eagles and current University of Michigan freshman goaltender Zach Nagelvoort was named as the BIG 10’s #1 Star of the Week. Nagelvoort recorded his first career shutout as the Wolverines defeated Niagara 6-0 on Friday as he made a career-high 36 saves in the contest. He sas allowed two goals or less in seven of his eight appearances this season. Nagelvoort leads the nation in goals-against average (1.48) and ranks third in save percentage (.950) and this week’s honor marks his third career Big Ten weekly award already this season.
Former Kenai River Brown Bears and current Northern Michigan University goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom, who recorded back-to-back shutouts over league rival Alabama Huntsville last weekend, was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week. Dahlstrom got the victory and the shutout both nights for the Wildcats against the visiting Chargers in Marquette, winning by scores of 3-0 last Friday (Nov. 22) and 4-0 last Saturday (Nov. 23). He stopped all 33 shots on goal in the series for a 1.000 save percentage, had six shutout periods, and blanked UAH on all seven of their power-play chances. Dahlstrom, who now has three shutouts in his rookie season at NMU, is unbeaten over his last five starts at 4-0-1 as the Wildcats have improved to 6-5-1 overall and moved into fourth place in the league race with a 4-2 mark. He currently ranks second among WCHA goaltenders for all games played with a 1.91 goals-against average over 564:59 of action, is third in saves percentage at .932, and is fifth in winning percentage at .611 on a 5-3-1 record.
For the second week in a row former Traverse City North Stars and current Ferris State University goaltender C.J. Motte, who stretched his season-opening unbeaten streak to 11 games with back-to-back victories over league-rival Alaska last weekend, has been named the WCHA Men's Defensive Player of the Week. Motte pushed his season record to 10-0-1 for the league-leading Bulldogs while amassing 69 saves, posting four shutout periods, holding Alaska to just one power-play goal in nine chances, and adding two assists of his own in 5-3, 4-3 victories at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Motte has played a crucial role as Ferris State completed a six-game WCHA homestand with 11 of a possible 12 points and ran their nation-leading unbeaten streak to nine consecutive games at 8-0-1. FSU was outshot by the Nanooks both nights, but Motte made 41 saves in last Friday's 5-3 victory followed by 28 more in Saturday's 4-3 triumph. As the nation's winningest goaltender this season, Motte has helped FSU (10-2-1) climb to a No. 6 national ranking this week.
Former Bismarck Bobcats and current University of Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Ryan Massa was named as the NCHC Goaltender of the Week. Massa was huge in backstopping Nebraska Omaha to a sweep of No. 8 Miami, collecting both wins while compiling a 2.00 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. On Friday, he made 29 saves, including stopping a penalty shot, while allowing three goals, but just one came even strength in the 6-3 victory. The next night in a 3-1 win, Massa totaled 25 saves while conceding just one goal, which came on the power play, to collect his fifth straight win in net. The junior finished with 54 saves on the weekend, allowing just one even strength goal, while helping kill nine of Miami’s 12 power plays in the series.
For a complete list of NAHL alumni currently playing NCAA Division I hockey, click here