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NCAA Roundup: March 3

With conference tournaments starting for for many college teams this weekend, we look back at the BCHL alumni who were honoured with weekly and monthly awards in NCAA Division I hockey last week. The NCAA Roundup is presented by Johnston Meier Insurance.

Atlantic Hockey Forward of the Month

Keaton Mastrodonato – Senior – Canisius College (Alberni Valley Bulldogs)

Mastrodonato paced the Griffins in scoring during the month of February as he racked up 15 points on a team-high 10 goals and five assists to help Canisius post a 7-3-0 record during the month and earn home-ice advantage in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinals. The senior forward tallied multiple goals on four occasions during the month and finished with five multi-point games. He became the program’s career shorthanded goals leader during a two-goal performance against Sacred Heart on Feb. 18 that also saw him record his third game-winning goal of the month. He matched his career high with three points on two goals and an assist in a 6-3 victory at Holy Cross to secure the sweep on the final weekend of the regular season.

The Powell River, B.C. native played parts of three seasons for the Bulldogs, totaling 40 goals and 54 assists for 94 points in 125 career regular-season games. His best season came in 2018-19 when he finished second in team scoring with 52 points in 57 games.

Atlantic Hockey Defenceman of the Month

Hunter Sansbury – Sophomore – Sacred Heart University (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Sansbury collected six points, on three goals and three assists, in a 3-5-1 month for Sacred Heart. The Lomita, Calif. native blocked 21 shots, recorded 14 shots of his own and finished the month with a plus/minus of +3. He tallied one goals, three assists and four points in a weekend set at Canisius on Feb. 18 and 19. Sansbury shared the Atlantic Hockey February lead in blocked shots with 21 as he blocked at least one shot in all nine February contests, including four games with three or more blocks.

The 22-year-old spent two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, totaling 37 points in 74 career games.

Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Month

Max Itagaki (F) – Freshman – Army West Point (Nanaimo Clippers)

Itagaki tallied two goals and an Atlantic Hockey-best 10 assists in the month of February. The Glenview, Ill. native ended the month as the conference’s freshman record holder for assists in a season with 29. Itagaki collected multiple points in four of nine games, including a career-high three points with three assists against Mercyhurst on Feb. 18. He tallied an overtime winner in the other fixture versus the Lakers and posted back-to-back two-point games against Sacred Heart and Holy Cross earlier in the month.

The 2002-born forward played the 2021-22 campaign with the Nanaimo Clippers, finishing second on the team with 61 points in 54 games and ending up top-10 in league scoring.

Atlantic Hockey Forward of the Month

Ryan Miotto – Senior – Canisius College (Chilliwack Chiefs/Penticton Vees/Alberni Valley Bulldogs)

Miotto tallied a team-high four points on three goals and an assist to help Canisius sweep Holy Cross on the road. The Thorold, Ont. native scored a shorthanded goal in the Griffins 3-0 victory over the Crusaders on Friday before registering a career-high tying three points on two goals and an assist in the series finale. Miotto got his team on the board with a power-play goal in the second period before netting the game-winning goal on a deflection with 4:48 remaining in the third period. He closed out his evening with the primary assist on linemate Keaton Mastrodonato’s empty-net goal to seal the game.

The 23-year-old played in the BCHL for two seasons from 2017 to 2019, split between the Chilliwack Chiefs, Penticton Vees and Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He recorded 80 points in 111 regular season games.

CCHA Forward of the Month

Andre Ghantous – Senior – Northern Michigan University (Trail Smoke Eaters/Wenatchee Wild)

Ghantous led all CCHA skaters with 11 points in eight February contests, scoring a league-best seven goals with four assists, while posting a +4 rating. Helping the Wildcats to a 6-2-0 record in the month, he had three power-play goals, 23 shots and four blocked shots at the defensive end. Picking up at least one point in seven games, he closed out the month with a four-game point streak in which he collected five goals and three assists for eight points. His month was highlighted by a three-point game (two goals, one assist) in an 8-3 victory over Ferris State on Feb. 18.

The 24-year-old played three seasons in the BCHL from 2016 to 2019, the first two with the Trail Smoke Eaters and his final season with the Penticton Vees. Over his three-year stint in the league, he produced 117 points in 153 regular-season games.

Big Ten 1st Star of the Week

Drew Bavaro (D) – Junior – University of Notre Dame (Wenatchee Wild)

Bavaro helped Notre Dame to a five-point weekend against Michigan last week. He scored both of his team’s goals, including the overtime game-winner on Saturday, as Notre Dame earned home-ice advantage for the Big Ten Tournament. Bavaro finished with seven shots on goal and four blocked shots in the 2-1 win over Michigan. He then assisted on two goals in Notre Dame’s 3-3 overtime tie versus the Wolverines the following night.

The 22-year-old played the 2019-20 season with the Wenatchee Wild and led the team in points from the blueline with 33 in 51 games. He transferred to Notre Dame from Bentley University this past offseason.

Hockey East Rookie of the Week

Grayson Arnott (D) – Freshman – University of Maine (Penticton Vees)

Arnott powered a weekend sweep over Boston College with one goal and two assists. The freshman scored the game-winning goal Saturday night, while assisting on the game-winning strike on Friday night.

The nephew of former NHLer Jason Arnott, the 21-year-old played two seasons with the Penticton Vees from 2020 to 2022. He totaled 48 points in 68 regular-season games throughout his career and won a Fred Page Cup championship in 2022.