Marian’s Howie and Lake Forest’s Cooper
Earn NCHA Men’s Hockey Weekly Honors
Marian University sophomore Jake Howie (F - Grand Blanc, Mich.) is the NCHA Men’s Offensive Player of the Week and Lake Forest College senior Billy Cooper (G - Etobicoke, Ontario) is the NCHA Men’s Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.
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Howie becomes the first Sabre to earn NCHA Offensive Player of the Week this season. Howie played a big role in Marian clinching home-ice for the postseason with a five-point weekend (1G/4A) against Aurora University. Howie assisted a pair of goals in the opener before having a hand in three of the five Sabre goals in a 5-0 series finale win - recording a pair of assists while lighting the lamp once.
Cooper is the NCHA Defensive Player of the Week, capping the season with his second award of the year (he was also honored week one to bookend the campaign). Cooper stopped 57 of 60 shots on goal in a pair of victories over Lawrence University over the weekend. He made a season-high 38 saves in Friday’s 3-2 overtime win on the road and 19 more in a 6-1 triumph at home on Saturday as the Foresters clinched a berth in the 2017 NCHA Harris Cup Playoffs. For the week, he posted a 1.44 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
It went right down to the wire to determine the field for the NCHA postseason. In the South Division, Adrian gets a bye after a 34-point season in league play, going 17-3-0. Marian is the No. 2 seed and will host Lake Forest in the quarterfinal round Wednesday. In the North Division, St. Norbert claimed the crown and first-round bye with 31 points (15-4-1). St. Scholastica is the two-seed, hosting upstart Northland College midweek. The LumberJacks grabbed the last seed with a 9-10-1 NCHA mark that included a school-record 11 victories overall and their first appearance in the postseason since the school became part of the NCHA.
2016-17 NCHA WEEKLY TOP PERFORMERS
Josh Adkins, Concordia
Adkins scored three times over the weekend for the Falcons. He tallied two goals on Friday, while adding the game-winner in the third period of a 2-1 Saturday win.
Mike Baldwin, Marian
Baldwin finished the weekend with a 1.93 goals against average making a total of 39 saves for a .907 save percentage. Baldwin led the Sabres to clinching home-ice for the opening round of the NCHA Harris Cup Playoffs by posting a 27-save shutout in the series finale against Aurora.
Gage Christianson, MSOE
Scored game-tying short-handed goal in Thursday’s 2-1 win over St. Norbert. On Saturday, assisted on a goal and scored the equalizer just 1:47 apart to tie the score at 3-3 on the road.
David Haaf, Concordia
Haaf closed out his career with three assists over a pair of games against Northland this weekend. He picked up two helpers on Friday, while adding an assist on the game-winning score Saturday.
Taylor McCloy, Adrian
The alternate captain was a one-man wrecking crew on the Bulldogs’ penalty-killing unit produced two short-handed goals in Friday’s 6-2 win over St. Scholastica, clinching the Peters Cup for the third year in a row and on Adrian home ice for the first time. He scored what proved to be the game-winner by stealing the puck at his defensive blueline and shooting for his third shorthanded goal this season. During a 4-2 win on Senior Day, he helped the PK unit kill off 9 of 10 CSS extra-man advantages which included several minutes of 5-on-3 when the outcome was in doubt. He also had an assist on a shorthanded goal and blocked several shots.
Mathew Thompson, Adrian
Tied for the team lead with four points and had a plus-2 rating. During a 6-2 win over St. Scholastica that clinched the Peters Cup for the third year in a row and on Adrian home ice for the first time, the team captain had a goal and an assist, four shots on goal and plus-2. He followed that up with another 1g/1a game in a 4-2 win with two power-play points.
Zach Woodman, MSOE
Woodman made 29 saves in 2-1 win against St. Norbert Thursday; then made 27 saves in tough loss Saturday. The win came with the Green Knights ranked No. 2 in the country.