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NCAA Roundup: Newhook shines again for BC

Boston College freshman Alex Newhook put together another strong week for the Eagles and has been recognized as the Hockey East Player of the Week, to go along with his two Rookie of the Week honours so far this year. A pair of former Penticton Vees were also named standouts this week for Bemidji State and Cornell’s captain and a former Nanaimo Clipper also gets a conference nod.

Hockey East Player of the Week

Alex Newhook – Freshman – Boston College (Victoria Grizzlies)

Newhook led the nation with four goals, eight points, one shorthanded goal and a plus-six rating in a 3-0-0 week for Boston College. Newhook also led all of Hockey East with four assists and one power-play tally. The rookie posted a career-best five-point night (two goals, three assists) against Merrimack on Saturday, including the game-winner, and also posted six shots on goal. It was the first five-point performance for the Eagles since 2014. In the process, Newhook pushed his point streak to six games (seven goals, six assists) and his goal streak to six).

The 2019 Colorado Avalanche first-rounder led the BCHL in scoring with 102 points and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player last season. In his two seasons in Victoria, Newhook amassed 168 points in 98 regular-season games and another 33 in 27 playoff contests.

ECAC Player of the Week

Yanni Kaldis – Senior – Cornell University (Nanaimo Clippers)

Kaldis was key in Cornell’s sweep of Union and RPI this weekend, registering four points (three goals, one assist) from the blueline. In Friday’s 5-2 win over the Dutchmen, he scored a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner, while dishing out an assist. He also scored the game-winner in a hard-fought 4-2 win over RPI on Saturday. Kaldis ranks second among the league’s defensemen in scoring this year with 22 points on five goals and 17 assists.

The 24-year-old from Montreal, Que. played two seasons in Nanaimo from 2014 to 2016, finishing his BCHL career with 110 points in 112 regular-season games. His best year came in 2015-16 where he had 63 points in 58 games and finished second in the league in points by defencemen.

WCHA Forward of the Week

Owen Sillinger – Sophomore – Bemidji State University (Penticton Vees)

Sillinger had a hand in six of the Beavers’ 10 goals in their series sweep of Northern Michigan. With a goal and five assists, he not only led BSU and the WCHA in scoring, he tied for the top spot among skaters across the nation. The Regina, Sask., native opened the series with a three-assist night on Friday. Saturday, he contributed a pair of assists, including one on the game-winning goal, and an empty-net goal to put the game out of reach. He finished the weekend with three assists on the power play for a unit that was 4-for-8 against the Wildcats. In addition, Sillinger was +3 and blocked one shot in the series. This is his second Forward of the Week honor this season and his fifth career WCHA weekly award.

Sillinger, the son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger and brother of current Penticton forward Lukas Sillinger, played three years with the Vees from 2015 to 2018, putting up 153 points in 171 regular-season games. He was named captain in his final BCHL season and led the team in scoring with 67 points, good enough to tie him for sixth overall in the league.

WCHA Goaltender of the Week

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

Driscoll turned aside 48 of the 49 shots he faced, helping BSU to a WCHA series sweep over Northern Michigan. Driscoll collected his third shutout of the season with a 21-save performance in Friday’s 5-0 victory. Saturday, the Apple Valley, Minn., native posted 27 stops in a 5-1 victory. In addition, Driscoll backstopped a penalty-kill unit that held NMU scoreless in four attempts on the man advantage in the series. He finished the weekend 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA and .980 save percentage to rank second in the nation in GAA, while he tied for the lead in save percentage. This is Driscoll’s third WCHA Goaltender of the Week honor this season and his sixth career weekly award.

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.

NCAA Milestones

A handful of freshman alums scored their first NCAA goals since the last time we checked in.

  • Bennett Norlin – Air Force (West Kelowna Warriors) – Feb. 7 vs. Canisius
  • Hayden Rowan – Yale (Trail Smoke Eaters) – Feb. 7 vs. Quinnipiac
  • Michael Young – Yale (Vernon Vipers) – Feb. 15 vs. Dartmouth

Another freshman goalie also notched his first-career NCAA win.

  • Zach Rose – Bowling Green (Victoria Grizzlies) – Feb. 8 vs. Alaska-Anchorage