NCAA Roundup: 4 alums snag weekly awards

Photo credit: BSU Photo Services (Driscoll)

It was a good week for BCHL alums playing in the WCHA as they captured three of the four weekly awards in the conference, plus yet another Wenatchee Wild grad got his hands on a Player of the Week award, this time in the Atlantic Hockey conference.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week

Brandon Koch – Freshman – Air Force Academy (Wenatchee Wild)

The 21-year-old defenceman had the best weekend in his young career with four points in a pair of wins over Niagara. His 2.00 points per game average was the best of any player in the league last week and his plus-3 rating was tied for second-best. Koch had three points in Friday’s game, assisting on the first two goals of the game before putting the Falcons ahead 3-2 with his only goal of the game. Then, on Saturday, he forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed an assist on the game-winning goal late in the second period.

Koch played his lone BCHL season with the Wild last year and put up 38 points in 58 games to finish in the top-10 in defenceman scoring.

WCHA Forward of the Week

Steven Jandric – Junior – University of Alaska (Vernon Vipers)

Jandric put up four points in Alaska’s sweep of Ferris State over the weekend to lead all WCHA skaters in scoring. The Prince George, B.C. native posted the game-winning goal for the Nanooks in Friday’s victory before contributing three points on a goal and a pair of helpers as Alaska rolled to a 6-3 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. Jandric leads the Nanooks in scoring with 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists this season with a pair of game-winners. This is Jandric’s second career WCHA weekly award. He was previously recognized as the league’s Rookie of the Week on Oct. 23, 2017.

The 22-year-old played two seasons for the Vipers from 2015 to 2017, leading the team his final year in both points, with 51, and goals, with 27. Jandric totaled 74 points in 121 regular-season games in his BCHL career.

WCHA Goalie of the Week

Zach Driscoll – Junior – Bemidji State University (Penticton Vees)

Driscoll turned aside 46 of the 48 shots he faced against Michigan Tech on the weekend. The Apple Valley, Minn. native led BSU to a 4-1 victory Friday and a 1-1 overtime draw Saturday as the Beavers went on to score in the shootout to win the series by taking five-of-six points from the Huskies. Driscoll backstopped a penalty-kill unit that was 7-for-8 on the weekend. He finished the weekend 1-0-1 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .958 save percentage to lead the league in GAA and rank second in save percentage. This is Driscoll’s fourth career WCHA Goaltender of the Week nod.

The 22-year-old played the 2015-16 season in Penticton and led the BCHL in both save percentage (.933) and goals-against average (1.90), while recording five shutouts and finishing the year with a record of 21-4-0. His save percentage from that season is tied for the third-best mark all-time for a single season, while his goals-against average is the sixth-lowest in BCHL history.

WCHA Rookie of the Week

Lucas Sowder – Freshman – Minnesota State University (Wenatchee Wild)

Sowder registered three assists as No. 3/3 Minnesota State claimed a two-game league road sweep at No. 15/15 Bowling Green over the weekend. The Trinity, Fla. native had the third three-point game of his freshman season with three assists in Friday’s 6-3 victory over the Falcons. One of his assists came on the game-winning goal. This is Sowder’s third WCHA Rookie of the Week honor of the 2019-20 season.

The former Wenatchee captain played three seasons with the Wild, finishing his career with 128 points in 132 regular-season games and another 47 points in 40 playoff games. He won the Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup in 2018.

NCAA Milestones

A pair of freshman alums also notched their first NCAA goals:

  • Lucas Bahn – Alabama-Huntsville (West Kelowna Warriors) – Jan. 18 vs. Alaska-Anchorage
  • Adam Conquest – Bowling Green (Cowichan Valley Capitals) – Jan. 17 vs. Minnesota State