NCAA Roundup: Chiefs alum Kawaguchi named National POM

Photo credits: Russ Hons (Kawaguchi/Scheel), Matt Dewkett/Cornell Athletics (Galajda)

It was a busy week as far as NCAA awards go as 11 monthly and weekly conference awards were handed out this week to seven different BCHL alums, one of them for National Player of the Month.

Hockey Commissioners Association National Player of the Month/NCHC Player of the Month

Jordan Kawaguchi – Junior – University of North Dakota (Chilliwack Chiefs)

It was a double honour for the Abbotsford, B.C. product as he took home the National Player of the Month honour as well as his conference’s monthly award. He helped lead North Dakota to an 8-0-1 record in November, scoring or assisting on seven of UND’s eight game-winning goals in the month. He racked up 16 points during the month to lead the NCHC and rank third nationally, registering at least a point in eight of the nine games, with five multi-point outings. Kawaguchi’s six goals in November also led the NCHC and tied for ninth nationally, four of which were game-winning goals, including the final three games of the month, as he also led the NCAA in game-winners in November. He handed out 10 assists as well (three on game-winners), which rank second in the NCHC and tied for sixth in the country.

Kawaguchi, played four full seasons with Chilliwack from 2013 to 2017, notching 242 points in 215 regular-season games and another 82 in 55 playoff games. The Abbotsford, B.C. native finished second in league scoring in 2016-17 with 85 points in 55 games and was named a First-Team All-Star.

NCHC Goalie of the Month

Adam Scheel – Sophomore – University of North Dakota (Penticton Vees)

Scheel went undefeated in November, playing every minute in goal for North Dakota to backstop the Fighting Hawks to an 8-0-1 record in the month (also his record in November). The eight wins were three more than any other NCHC netminder in November and ranked second nationally, while his .944 win percentage was third in the country. He led the NCHC with a .918 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average in November, while allowing only one goal in five of his nine games during the month. The 1.75 GAA was 12th nationally in November, as well.

Scheel had a 19-12-3 record in 2017-18 with Penticton and was named a Second-Team All-Star after finishing with the second-best goals-against average in the league with a mark of 2.08 and the fourth-highest save percentage at .927.

ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month

Matthew Galajda – Junior – Cornell University (Victoria Grizzlies)

The 22-year-old led the nation with nine wins during the month of November, leading Cornell to their best start to a season in 50 years. He has allowed just 12 goals (on 213 shots) to this point in the season, and just five of those have come on even-strength opportunities.

Galajda, from Aurora, Ont., played two seasons with the Grizzlies from 2015 to 2017, earning 43 wins and finishing his career with a .918 save percentage, a 2.52 goals-against average and seven shutouts.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month

Austin McIlmurray – Senior – Sacred Heart University (Coquitlam Express)

The Coral Springs, Fla. native  led Atlantic Hockey in both goals, points, and points per game during the month of November, while helping Sacred Heart post a 6-3-0 record in nine games. Five of the six wins came in league play as the Pioneers climbed into a tie for first in the Atlantic Hockey standings. McIlmurray had points in eight of nine games, with multiple points in three. He closed the month on a six-game point streak in which he scored six goals and tallied four assists. He was lethal on the power play as well with seven power-play points and five power-play goals.

McIlmurray, 23, played the 2015-16 season in Coquitlam and had 61 points in 57 games.

Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Month

Trevin Kozlowski – Junior – Army (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Kozlowski backstopped Army to a seven-win month, going 7-2-0 in nine November games. He was a primary factor in Army’s impressive penalty-kill streak which came to an end after 683 minutes and 48 straight penalties killed. He led the league in wins, ranked third in goals-against average and fifth in save percentage. Kozlowski had two separate three-game win streaks in the month, all league games which helped vault Army to a tie atop the conference standings. He had at least 20 saves in six of nine games, with his season high of 35 coming in last Tuesday’s 4-1 win at AIC

The 22-year-old from Santa Clarita, Calif. spent the 2016-17 season with the Silverbacks, winning nine games and earning one shutout.

Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Month

Braeden Tuck – Freshman – Sacred Heart University (Trail Smoke Eaters)

Tuck tied for both the Atlantic Hockey and NCAA lead in rookie scoring for November with 11 points. He had one goal and 10 assists in nine games while also adding seven blocks from his forward position. He opened the month with points in five straight games, which extended his point streak to seven contests. Three of those five points were multi-point efforts and he added another multi-point game later in the month for his fourth of November. Tuck’s lone goal of the month was the game-winner in Sacred Heart’s win over Air Force to open November.

The Calgary, Alta. product played three seasons in Trail, including one as captain, and ended his BCHL career with 108 points in 165 regular-season games, adding another 27 in 38 playoff games.

ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week

Matthew Galajda – Junior – Cornell University (Victoria Grizzlies)

This is Galajda’s second honour this week as he was also named conference Goalie of the Month. He posted his first shutout of the season under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden last Saturday evening, sending aside all 28 shots he faced in Cornell’s 2-0 win over Boston University. The junior is now ranked second in the nation with a 1.34 GAA to this point in the season.

ECAC Rookie of the Week

Skyler Brind’Amour – Freshman – Quinnipiac University (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Brind’Amour played a key role in Quinnipiac’s 2-1 win over No. 10 UMass on Saturday, dishing out an assist on the game-winning goal. His biggest contributions came in the face-off circle, however, as the freshman won 13 draws over the weekend, which was tied for second in the league.

The son of longtime NHLer and current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Skyler played the two previous seasons in Chilliwack, totaling 68 points in 104 regular-season games. He was also a part of the 2017-18 Chiefs team that won a National Championship on home ice.

NCHC Forward of the Week

Jordan Kawaguchi – Junior – University of North Dakota (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Another repeat name here as Kawaguchi took home a pair of monthly honours this week as well as his third weekly conference award so far this year. He continued his hot streak with four points in leading UND to a sweep at Minnesota, scoring the game-winning goal both nights. Kawaguchi also extended his point streak to four games, with game-winning goals in three straight, and leads the NCHC with 22 points on the season, including his seven goals tying for first in the conference.

NCHC Goalie of the Week

Adam Scheel – Sophomore – University of North Dakota (Penticton Vees)

Yet another player who received multiple awards this week, Scheel earned weekly honours as a top goalie as well as monthly. He backstopped North Dakota to its first road sweep of long-time rival Minnesota since 2006-07 with a pair of wins in net. The wins were the 24th and 25th of his career, while on the season Scheel is now 12-1-2. He leads the NCHC with a 1.64 GAA and ranks second with a .917 save percentage.