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NCAA Roundup: Pair of Wild, Rivermen alums highlight weekly award winners

Photo credit: Doug Austin-Dartmouth Athletics (Gallant)

It was a good week to be an alum of the Langley Rivermen or the Wenatchee Wild this week as two former players from each team were named conference award winners in the NCAA. There was also a handful more players honoured, including reigning BCHL MVP and leading scorer Alex Newhook picking up his first Hockey East award at Boston College.

Hockey East Rookie of the Week

Alex Newhook – Freshman – Boston College (Victoria Grizzlies)

Newhook had a goal and two assists and was plus-two in a home-and-home series against #10 UMass. He scored the Eagles’ lone goal on Friday night and posted two primary assists in Saturday’s 6-3 win in Amherst.

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

NCHC Forward of the Week

Troy Conzo – Junior – Colorado College (Wenatchee Wild)

Conzo compiled a three-point weekend to help Colorado College earn a split with Miami last week. In the series opener on Friday, he handed out the primary assist on CC’s lone goal in a 6-1 defeat, and finished the game +1. The next night, he tallied two goals, including the game-winner, to lead the Tigers to a 4-2 victory. The two goals tied a career high, his third multi-goal game, but first this season.

The 22-year-old from Nesconset, N.Y. played two seasons with the Wild from 2015 to 2017, putting up 102 points in 110 regular-season games.

NCHC Rookie of the Week

Chase Pletzke – Freshman – University of Miami-Ohio (Langley Rivermen)

Pletzke had a breakout weekend to help Miami earn a road split at Colorado College, totaling four points with two each night, to tie for the NCHC scoring lead on the weekend. The two points each night tied a career high and marked his second and third multi-point games.

The Bay City, Mich. native played one season in Langley last year and put up 22 points in 43 games.

ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week

Mark Gallant – Freshman – Dartmouth University (Langley Rivermen)

Gallant was instrumental in Dartmouth’s 1-0-1 weekend against Vermont and Boston University. He scored one of the Big Green’s two goals in a tie against the Catamounts on Friday, before recording his first-career multi-point game (1G, 2A) in a three-goal comeback against BU Saturday evening.

Like Pletzke, Gallant’s lone BCHL season came last year with the Rivermen. The 19-year-old from Concord, Mass. had 21 points in 56 regular-season games, but caught fire in the playoffs, scoring eight goals in seven contests, including a four-goal game, in Langley’s first-round series against the Chilliwack Chiefs.

WCHA Rookie of the Week

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

Sowder totaled three points on a goal and two assists as No. 3/3 Minnesota State claimed a two-game league road sweep at Ferris State over the weekend. The Trinity, Fla., native had a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Bulldogs. The goal was his second game-winning goal of his career.

This is Sowder’s second WCHA Rookie of the Week honor of the 2019-20 season. He was also the league’s Rookie of the Month for October.

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.

Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Week

Mike Lee – Senior – Sacred Heart University (Penticton Vees)

Lee scored goals in both games of Sacred Heart’s road sweep of Mercyhurst while also finishing the series with three blocks and a league-best plus-6 rating. Lee’s goal in the second period of Friday’s game gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead and eventually stood as the game-winner in a 3-1 win. On Saturday, Lee again scored in the second period, his goal coming after Mercyhurst had scored consecutive goals to trim their deficit to one. The senior reversed the momentum and sparked a five-goal run to close out the 9-3 victory.

The 23-year-old from Hamden, Conn. played the 2014-15 season with the Vees where he had 36 points in 56 regular-season games and won a Fred Page Cup championship.

NCAA Milestones

On top of the weekly award winners, there were also freshmen alums earning milestones elsewhere.

First NCAA goal:

  • Nick Granowicz – Michigan (Merritt Centennials) – Jan. 10 vs. Notre Dame
  • Connor Marshall – Brown (Langley Rivermen) – Jan. 12 vs. Arizona State
  • A.J. Vanderbeck – Northern Michigan (Wenatchee Wild) – Jan. 11 vs. Alaska-Anchorage

First NCAA win:

  • Kolby Matthews – RIT (Coquitlam Express) – Jan. 11 vs. UMass-Lowell