NCAA Roundup: Feb. 18

Photo credits: Mark Kuhlmann (Weatherby), Rob Rasmussen (Fawcett)

It was another banner week for BCHL alumni in Division I college hockey with six players being honoured with weekly conference awards. Let’s take a look at who stood out this week in the NCAA Roundup.

Big Ten 1st Star of the Week

Jack LaFontaine – Senior – University of Minnesota (Penticton Vees)

LaFontaine posted back-to-back shutouts at Notre Dame over the weekend as Minnesota reclaimed first place in the Big Ten behind a pair of 3-0 wins. The Carolina Hurricanes draft pick stopped all 52 shots faced on the weekend and left the series with an NCAA-best 15 wins on the season and five shutouts. LaFontaine also added his second assist of the season to set up the game winner on Friday, tying him for the NCAA lead in goaltender scoring this season.

LaFontaine played one season with Penticton in 2018-19 during his year away from the NCAA when he transferred from the University of Michigan to Minnesota. That season, he finished second in the BCHL in both save percentage (.923) and goals-against average (2.19) and was named the league’s Top Goaltender.

This is his fourth career weekly award and his third of the season. He was also recognized nationally as the Hockey Commissioner’s Association Goaltender of the Month for November.

NCHC Forward of the Week

Jasper Weatherby – Junior – University of North Dakota (Wenatchee Wild)

Weatherby tallied goals both nights last weekend and compiled four points to power North Dakota to a sweep of rival Denver. In Friday’s series opener, he scored the game’s first goal unassisted late in the first period, which turned out to be the game-winner in a 3-0 victory. The next night, he recorded a career-high three points in a 5-2 victory on two goals and an assist, again scoring the game’s opening tally.

The 23-year-old from Lummi Island, Wash. played two seasons with the Wild from 2016 to 2018. His second year in the league, he led the BCHL in scoring with 74 points in 58 games and was named the league MVP. That same year, Wenatchee went on to win the Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup to earn a spot in the national championship tournament. Following his MVP year with the Wild, Weatherby was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.

WCHA Forward of the Week

Andre Ghantous – Sophomore – Northern Michigan University (Penticton/Trail)

Ghantous led both the Wildcats and the WCHA in scoring and finished second nationally in points (five) and assists (four) on the weekend, helping his team to a road sweep of Bemidji State. The Glendale, Calif., native led NMU and the league with a +4 on-ice rating.

The 22-year-old played three seasons in the BCHL from 2016 to 2019, the first two with Trail and his final season in Penticton. Over his three-year stint in the league, he produced 117 points in 153 regular-season games.

ECAC Hockey Player of the Week

Matthew Fawcett – Sophomore – Quinnipiac University (Powell River Kings)

Fawcett tied for the league lead in points (four), and assists (three) over the weekend. He recorded multiple points in both of the Bobcats games against Colgate, factoring in on both goals during Friday’s 2-2 tie. The sophomore has come on strong of late, recording six points in his last four contests, all of which have been multi-point games.

The 21-year-old had 10 goals and 10 assists in 21 games for the Kings in his lone season with the team in 2018-19.

Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week

Vincent Duplessis – Freshman – Boston University (Merritt Centennials)

Duplessis stopped 34 of 35 shots in the weekend sweep at Vermont to extend his personal winning streak to three games. The rookie netminder allowed just one goal and posted his first collegiate shutout in Friday’s 1-0 triumph over the Catamounts with 18 saves.

The 21-year-old played two years in Merritt, but got the majority of his action in during the 2018-19 season where he had a 9-8-1 record in 20 appearances and finished with a .906 save percentage.

Hockey East Rookie of the Week

Nick Poisson – Freshman – Providence College (Prince George Spruce Kings)

Poisson registered two assists in the Friars’ lone game against UConn on Friday, a 4-0 victory. He also finished with a plus-one rating and was the only rookie in the league to average two points per game last week.

The Vancouver, B.C. native suited up for the Spruce Kings the last two seasons and led the team in scoring in 2019-20 with 47 points in 49 games. As a rookie, he was a part of the Prince George team that went 16-1 in the BCHL playoffs and won the franchise’s first Fred Page Cup. His biggest contribution that year came in the National Junior A Championship tournament where he had six goals in six games en route to a second-place finish.