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NCAA Roundup: Oct. 19

In this week’s NCAA Roundup, presented by Johnston Meier Insurance, there are seven BCHL alumni to highlight after they won weekly conference awards.

Big Ten 2nd Star of the Week

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

Bavaro generated a goal and two assists in Notre Dame’s weekend sweep of Northern Michigan. He registered four shots on net over a two-game stretch and capped his week by breaking a tie late in regulation Sunday night with a power-play goal.

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 in the offseason.

CCHA Forward of the Week

Sam Morton – Senior – Minnesota State University (Wenatchee Wild)

Morton posted a league-best four-points last weekend in helping lead Minnesota State to a two-game home sweep over Minnesota Duluth. On Friday, he registered a goal and an assist in the Mavericks’ 6-0 win, before scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory on Saturday. For the week, he had eight shots, with two power-play tallies and one game-winner. He also blocked two shots at the defensive end and won 15 of 27 faceoffs.

Morton was a standout with the Wenatchee Wild for two years from 2016 to 2018. In his second year in the league, he notched 54 points in 58 games and another 25 in in 20 playoff games, helping Wenatchee to the franchise’s first Fred Page Cup championship. After a year and a half of NCAA hockey at Union College, Morton returned to the Wild to finish the 2019-20 campaign, posting 31 points in 26 games, before committing to Minnesota State.

CCHA Defenceman of the Week

Akito Hirose – Junior – Minnesota State University (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Hirose led all CCHA defensemen with four points last week, assisting on four of Minnesota State’s eight goals against Minnesota Duluth. He notched three helpers in a win on Friday, before setting up the eventual game-winning goal on Saturday. For the week, he also compiled four shots on goal and blocked three at the defensive end, while helping anchor a defensive unit that allowed a total of 32 shots.

Hirose played four seasons in the BCHL, all with the Silverbacks, suiting up for a total of 208 regular-season games for the team. During his final season in 2019-20, he led all blueliners in scoring with 51 points in 57 games and was named the league’s Top Defenceman at year’s end.

ECAC Hockey Forward of the Week

Ethan de Jong – Graduate – Quinnipiac University (Prince George Spruce Kings)

de Jong registered three points last weekend in the Bobcats win and tie against North Dakota. On Friday, he assisted on Quinnipiac’s game-tying goal in the third period that helped the team to a 5-5 draw. He then converted on the power play on Saturday and added an even-strength goal to power the Bobcats to a 6-2 win.

From North Vancouver, B.C., de Jong played two seasons in Prince George from 2016 to 2018. During the 2017-18 campaign, he finished ninth in league scoring with 63 points and fifth in assists with 46. In the playoffs that year, he led the Spruce Kings to an appearance in the Fred Page Cup Final and finished third in postseason scoring with 27 points in 24 contests.

Hockey East Rookie of the Week

Matthew Wood – Freshman – University of Connecticut (Victoria Grizzlies)

Wood was instrumental in the Huskies unbeaten weekend against Ohio State. After a 0-0 draw on Friday, Wood scored Saturday’s opening goal to get the Huskies started, and assisted on two more goals in an eventual 6-1 win. The 17-year-old freshman finished the weekend with three points and was plus-three.

Wood played two years in the BCHL and finished as the league’s leading scorer and top goal scorer in 2021-22 with 85 points and 45 goals in 46 games. He was still considered a rookie that year, as he played the previous shortened pod season as an affiliate with the Grizzlies, so he won the league’s Rookie of the Year award in 2021-22 as well.

NCHC Defenceman of the Week

Zak Galambos – Senior – Western Michigan University (Wenatchee Wild)

Galambos was a force at both ends of the ice in the Broncos sweep of Bowling Green. He chipped in three points offensively, while playing on a penalty kill that finished 7-for-8 in the series and limited the Falcons to three goals all weekend. In Thursday’s series opener, the AIC transfer tallied an assist and led a penalty kill unit that was a perfect 5-for-5 in a 4-1 victory. A night later in Bowling Green, Galambos scored two goals for his second collegiate multi-goal game and first with Western Michigan.

The 25-year-old spent the 2017-18 season in Wenatchee where he put up 28 points in 41 regular-season games. In the playoffs, he outperformed his regular-season pace and notched 15 points in 20 games, en route to a Fred Page Cup championship.

NCHC Rookie of the Week

Ryan McAllister – Freshman – Western Michigan University (Prince George Spruce Kings)

McAllister had a monster weekend against Bowling Green, continuing his strong start to his college career. The freshman racked up five points against the Falcons, while stretching his point streak to five games. In Thursday’s opener, he registered an assist to give the Broncos a 3-1 lead, then sealed the victory soon after with a goal of his own to cap the 4-1 win. On Friday, McAllister tallied a career-high three points with a goal and two assists in an 8-2 road victory.

McAllister played 37 games for the Prince George Spruce Kings during the 2019-20 season, putting up five goals, eight assists and 13 points.