Adrian College’s Mathew Thompson Named Player of the
Year as NCHA Releases All-League Honors and Awards
Adrian College forward Mathew Thompson has been named Player of the Year in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association for the 2017-18 season, as announced by the league office today. Thompson leads the Bulldogs into the Harris Cup Championship Game this Saturday against St. Norbert College.
The NCHA also announced a 13-member All-Conference team, six-member All-Freshman team, Coach of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
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Thompson has amassed 32 points in 28 games played this season, including six points in three postseason contests. Four of his goals have been game-winning goals and five of his assists came on game-winning goals – including twice in the postseason. The Bolton, Ontario native has been particularly effective on the power play, having scored eight times with the man-advantage – good for first in the conference in that category. He ranks third in the NCHA in game-winning goals, fifth in goals and sixth in points.
“(Thompson) is the player every coach dreams of having,” said Adrian head coach Adam Krug. “From day-one you could tell he was a leader. He is selfless, he’s a great teammate and citizen. It’s great to see him get this recognition.”
Thompson’s points have come when it matters most for the Bulldogs, with 25 of his 32 points coming when the teams have been separated by two goals or less. The senior captain has been most productive in the third period this year, notching thirteen of his points in the final frame. He has four third-period points in three postseason games this season.
Two of Thompson’s game-winning goals stand out, as they came in back-to-back games against top-ranked competition in early January. He scored the difference-maker against then No. 3 Trinity in a 4-1 victory and repeated the feat days later with a third-period game-winner against then No. 10 Utica. Those wins were significant for Adrian, coming at the front-end of a current 16-game winning streak.
The 2018 Coach of the Year is Adam Krug of Adrian. Krug has led the Bulldogs to the Harris Cup Championship Game this weekend, a 24-4 overall record and the No. 1 ranking in both recognized national polls. Thompson has thrived with Krug’s guidance, as have two other All-NCHA selections this year. This is the second Coach of the Year award for Krug, who previously won the award in 2015.
The 2018 Freshman of the Year is Braydon Barker of Concordia University Wisconsin. The Red Deer, Alberta native averaged nearly a point per game this season while posting 24 points in 25 games. Barker had multiple points in seven games and added a game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Northland. His 24 points rank second in the NCHA among defensemen and tie for first among freshmen.
The coaches also voted 13 student-athletes to the All-Conference team, highlighted by a trio of repeat award-winners on defense. Adrian’s Cory Dunn, St. Norbert’s Sean Campbell and St. Scholastica’s Mark Whiteley all were named to the All-NCHA team a year ago. Dunn was also named All-NCHA in 2016 as a freshman, making him a three-time selection.
Other student-athletes earning their second All-Conference awards were Northland’s Lucas DeBenedet, St. Norbert’s Tanner Froese and T.J. Black, Adrian’s Thompson and Marian’s Derek Thorogood – who returns to the all-star team after having won the award in 2016 as a sophomore.
Lawrence’s Lane King, who led the NCHA in scoring with 37 points, was one of three players earning All-Conference for the first time. The two other forwards joining King as first-timers are Adrian’s Taylor McCloy and Marian’s Hunter Stewart.
Lake Forest goaltender Louis-Philippe De Courcy posted four shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage as part of 564 saves to earn his first award.
Barker of Concordia Wisconsin is the lone freshman that earned All-NCHA.
St. Norbert sent the most student-athletes to the All-Freshmen Team, with three Green Knights earning the honor. Forwards Peter Bates and Keegan Milligan are joined by defenseman Luke Davison on the team. A pair of Aurora University Spartans - defenseman Tim Faulkner and goalie Josh Boyko - played their way to freshmen awards. Lake Forest’s Aaron O’Neil and Concordia Wisconsin’s Barker also made the team.
2017-18 NCHA Player of the Year: Mathew Thompson, Adrian College
2017-18 NCHA Freshman of the Year: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin
2017-18 NCHA Coach of the Year: Adam Krug, Adrian College
2017-18 Men’s NCHA All-Conference Team
Forward: Lucas DeBenedet, Northland College (Jr./ International Falls, Minn.) 2017 All-NCHA
Forward: Tanner Froese, St. Norbert College (Sr./ Estevan, Saskatchewan) 2017 All-NCHA
Forward: Lane King, Lawrence University (Sr./Waunakee, Wis.)
Forward: Taylor McCloy, Adrian College (Sr./Keswick, Ontario)
Forward: Hunter Stewart, Marian University (Sr./Calgary, Alberta)
Forward: Mathew Thompson, Adrian College (Sr., Bolton, Ontario) 2016 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshmen
Forward: Derek Thorogood, Marian University (Sr., Calgary, Alb.) 2016 All-NCHA
-Additional forward due to tie in voting
Defense: Sean Campbell, St. Norbert College (Sr./ Holt, Mich.) 2017 All-NCHA
Defense: Cory Dunn, Adrian College (Jr., Trenton, Mich.) 2017 NCHA | 2016 All-NCHA | 2016 All-Freshman
Defense: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin (Fr./Red Deer, Alberta)
Defense: Mark Whiteley, College of St. Scholastica (Sr./ Surrey, British Columbia) 2017 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshman
Goalie: T.J. Black, St. Norbert College (Jr./ Wheaton, Ill.) 2017 All-NCHA
Goalie: Louis-Philippe De Courcy, Lake Forest College (Jr./Quebec City, Quebec)
2017-18 Men’s NCHA All-Freshman Team
Forward: Peter Bates, St. Norbert College (Evanston, Ill.)
Forward: Keegan Milligan, St. Norbert College (Emerald Park, Saskatchewan)
Forward: Aaron O’Neill, Lake Forest College (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defense: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin (Red Deer, Alberta)
Defense: Luke Davison, St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wis.)
Defense: Tim Faulkner, Aurora University (New Baden, Ill.)
Goalie: Josh Boyko, Aurora University (Mississauga, Ontario)
-Additional defenseman due to tie in voting