NAHL Alumni Update
Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Month/Week: Nicholas Niemo, F, Bentley (Lone Star Brahmas) - Bentley’s Nicholas Niemo led Atlantic Hockey in points (13) and assists (nine) and led Bentley in plus/minus (+5) in eight January games while notching four goals. The Middlebury, Vt., native will carry a seven-game point streak into February. He earned AHA Rookie of the Week honors on Jan. 16 after he helped Bentley to a road sweep of Niagara on Jan. 13-14 with six points, including one goal and three assists on Jan. 14. Niemo closed the month with two goals in a 5-3 victory at Mercyhurst on Jan. 28. This is his first career Atlantic Hockey monthly honor. Niemo tallied three points on two goals and an assist in the Falcons’ series split at Mercyhurst. The Middlebury, Vt., native extended his points streak to seven games with the performance. He had two goals in Saturday's 5-3 victory over the Lakers, including a power-play tally that gave Bentley a 3-2 third-period lead. This is his second Atlantic Hockey weekly honor of the season.
Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Month: Anthony Firriolo, D, Army West Point (Corpus Christi IceRays) - Army West Point’s Anthony Firriolo contributed seven assists and 17 blocks across the month of January. The Montville, N.J., native’s seven assists ranked second in the conference for the month, while the 17 blocks were topped by just one AHA player. He logged a pair of multi-assist contests, helping on all three goals against No. 11/11 Providence and assisting on a pair of scores against Air Force. This is his first career Atlantic Hockey monthly honor.
Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week: Maiszon Balboa, Air Force (Shreveport Mudbugs) - Air Force’s Maiszon Balboa earned his first career win on the road at Army West Point over the weekend. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native made a career-high 33 saves in Saturday’s 6-4 win against the Black Knights, while allowing just one even-strength goal and limiting Army to one goal over the game’s final 25:33. This is his first career Atlantic Hockey weekly honor.
CCHA Rookie of the Week: Lleyton Roed, F, Bemidji State (Minnesota Magicians) - Roed led all league rookies with two points on a goal and an assist last week, while pacing Bemidji State at +2. Helping the Beavers to a series split at Lake Superior State, he assisted on the game-winning goal in Friday's 3-2 victory, before scoring the team’s second goal in a 3-2 loss on Saturday. His 10 total shots on goal were the second-most among all CCHA skaters.
ECHL Rookie of the Month: Trenton Bliss, F, Toledo (Coulee Region Chill) - Bliss scored seven goals, added 11 assists and was a +10 in 13 games during the month, helping the Walleye to a 10-3-0 record in January. Under contract to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, Bliss tallied at least one point in 12 of his 13 games, including four multi-point games. He had three points (1g-2a) on Jan. 7 at Fort Wayne, and had three two-point games, including two goals on Jan. 28 against Kalamazoo. The 24-year-old has 26 points (11g-15a) in 24 games with the Walleye this season and has added two points (1g-1a) in 13 AHL games with the Griffins.
ECHL Goalie of the Week: Chase Perry, Allen (Wenatchee Wild) - Perry went 3-0-0 with one shutout, a 2.01 goals-against average and a save percentage of .946 in three appearances last week. The 26-year-old stopped 43 shots in a 3-2 win against Kansas City on Wednesday, made 27 saves in a 5-4 victory over Tulsa on Friday and stopped all 37 shots in a 6-0 win against the Oilers on Saturday. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Perry has appeared in seven games this season with Allen and Greenville posting an overall record of 5-1-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a save percentage of .935.
SPHL Player of the Week: Hayden Stewart, G, Birmingham (Corpus Christi IceRays) - Stewart helped guide the Bulls to a pair of victories, moving them to third in the SPHL standings and extending their winning streak to three games. For the week, Stewart posted a 1.00 goals against average and a 0.955 save percentage. On Friday, Stewart stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Bulls shut out the Quad City Storm 4-0. The following night, he turned away 22 of 24 shots he faced and led the way to a 5-2 victory and sweep of the Storm. The shutout is the second of the season for Stewart and is tied for the second most in the SPHL this season.