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Pair of Cents and Wild alums headline NCAA Roundup

Photo credit: Shannon Valerio-University of Denver (Cooley)

A pair of Merritt Centennials and Wenatchee Wild alums headline this week’s NCAA Roundup presented by Lordco, which features six players in total earning NCAA weekly honours.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week

Jonathan Desbiens – Senior – Bentley University (West Kelowna Warriors)

Bentley had just one game last week, but Desbiens left his mark on it in what became a 2-2 tie at Dartmouth. The Falcons trailed 2-0 midway through the second period, but Desbiens notched a goal and an assist in the second half of the game to help Bentley earn a road draw. He had an assist on Will Garin’s power-play goal to make it a 2-1 game heading into the third period. Then, with just two minutes remaining in regulation, Desbiens netted a power-play goal of his own to even the score.

The 23-year-old from Montreal, Que. played two seasons in West Kelowna from 2014 to 2016 and finished his BCHL career with 71 goals, 66 assists and 137 points in 112 regular-season games. 2015-16 was his best year from a personal and a team perspective. He tied for fifth in league scoring during the regular season with 83 points and added another 20 in the playoffs as the Warriors won the Fred Page Cup and eventually a National Championship.

Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week

Trevin Kozlowski – Junior – Army (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Kozlowski continued his strong run in between the pipes for Army, leading the Black Knights to a five-point weekend against Robert Morris. The 22-year-old opened the series with a 25-save shutout, stopping 11 in the final period to secure his first shutout of the season. The next day, Kozlowski made 32 saves to help Army get the bonus point after the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

The Santa Clarita, Calif. product spent the 2016-17 season with the Silverbacks, winning nine games and earning one shutout.

ECAC Hockey Player of the Week

Sam Hesler – Sophomore – Dartmouth College (Wenatchee Wild)

Hesler recorded two points in each game for Dartmouth this week to lead the Big Green in scoring. He notched a goal and assist in a 2-2 tie with Bentley on Thursday, before posting the same stat line in Saturday’s game at Northeastern.

Hesler, from Boxborough, Mass., played the 2017-18 season with the Wild and totaled 26 points in 58 games. He also won a Fred Page Cup and a Doyle Cup with the Wild that season and appeared in the National Championship tournament.

ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week

Mathieu Gosselin – Freshman – Clarkson University (Merritt Centennials)

Clarkson extended its unbeaten streak to six straight this weekend thanks in large part to Gosselin, who dished out an assist in each game at Michigan Tech. The rookie forward finished the weekend with a +1 on-ice rating, and two shots on goal.

Gosselin played two years in Merritt from 2017 to 2019, finishing with 93 points in 106 regular-season games, including 60 last season alone.

WCHA Rookie of the Week

Michael Van Unen – Freshman – Northern Michigan University (Merritt Centennials)

Van Unen netted his first-career goal on Saturday night to open the scoring for the Wildcats in their 4-1 win over Minnesota State. The Kamloops, B.C., native’s two-point night in Saturday’s victory was the first multi-point night of his career. His two points ranked third among all WCHA members and first among rookies for the weekend while his +3 on ice rating was the best in the league over the two-day period.

The 20-year-old defenceman played the last three season with the Centennials alongside his twin brother Rylan, before making the jump to college this year. He finished his BCHL career with 46 points in 145 regular-season games over his three years in the league.

NCHC Goalie of the Week

Devin Cooley – Junior – University of Denver (Wenatchee Wild)

Cooley backstopped Denver to a 3-0 shutout of rival Colorado College last Friday, turning aside all 24 shots he faced, including 11 in the third period, for his first shutout of the season in only his third start this year. It was his fifth-career shutout after four last season. Cooley was tabbed first star of the game for his efforts. With his 1.000 save percentage and 0.00 goals-against average on Friday night, he upped his season save percentage to .958 and lowered his goals-against average to 0.98 on the year. Cooley is now 2-0-1 in his three starts this season after recovering from an injury.

Cooley, from Los Gatos, Calif., joined the Wild midseason in 2016-17, finishing with a 7-3 record and a 2.45 goals-against average.

NCAA Milestones

Only one milestone to speak about this week and it’s from a player mentioned earlier in the Players of the Week section.

  • Michael Van Unen – Northern Michigan – Dec. 14 vs. Minnesota State