COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The penultimate Bauer National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Players of the Week this season include three winners who earned their second honor of the season, while three schools are represented for the week of Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2019. Garnering Bauer NCHC Player of the Week accolades for week 20 are St. Cloud State sophomore forward Blake Lizotte for Offensive Player of the Week, Minnesota Duluth sophomore blue liner Mikey Anderson for Defenseman of the Week, UMD freshman forward Noah Cates for Rookie of the Week and Colorado College junior netminder Alex Leclerc for Goaltender of the Week.
This is Lizotte’s second Offensive Player of the Week honor this season and of his career, while similarly this is Anderson’s second Defenseman of the Week nod this season and of his career. This is the first career NCHC weekly honor for Cates. Leclerc is now a five-time NCHC Goaltender of the Week, including twice this season, while he now has seven career NCHC weekly honors (two-time Rookie of the Week).
Blake Lizotte, St. Cloud State
Lizotte had a monster six-point weekend to power SCSU to a sweep at then-No. 10 Western Michigan, leading the NCHC in scoring on the weekend. He matched his career high with three points in both victories. On Friday, he dished out a trio of assists in a 5-4 comeback win, handing out the primary helper on the game’s first goal only 1:18 into the contest, while he also had the primary assist on the game-tying goal with 2:52 to go and helped set up the game-winning goal with only 14 ticks remaining in regulation. He fired four shots on goal and was +3 in the stunning victory Friday. The next night, he scored two goals and chipped in another primary assist in an 8-2 rout, tallying the game-winning goal, which was SCSU’s third goal of the first period, while also scoring the fourth goal of the game. Lizotte sent five shots on goal and was +2 to earn First Star of the Game Saturday. He finished the series with two goals, four assists, a +5 plus/minus and nine shots on goal, while also winning 12 faceoffs.
Mikey Anderson, Minnesota Duluth
Anderson contributed at both ends of the ice to help the Bulldogs sweep Miami at home. The Los Angeles Kings draft pick dished out two assists in each win. On Friday, he helped set up UMD’s final two goals, both in the third period, with his first assist coming on the game-winner in a 4-2 victory. Along with his helpers, he put three shots on goal and was +1. On Saturday, Anderson dished out assists on a pair of power play goals, with his second helper tying the game at 5-5 in an eventual 6-5 win, while he was +1 in the contest and blocked three shots. He completed the series with four assists, four blocked shots, three shots on goal and a +2 plus/minus.
Noah Cates, Minnesota Duluth
Cates set career highs for both goals and points to help UMD sweep Miami last weekend. In Friday’s 4-2 victory, the Philadelphia Flyers draft pick had a hand in three of the four goals, while notching his first career multi-goal game. He scored the first two goals of the game four minutes apart to break a scoreless deadlock in the second period, while also handing out the primary assist on UMD’s third goal to start the third period, which served as the game-winner. He finished with a career-high three points, fired four shots on goal and was +3 in the win Friday to earn First Star of the game. The next night in a wild, 6-5 win, Cates put one shot on goal and was even in plus/minus. He ended the series with two goals, an assist, five shots on goal and a +3 plus/minus.
Alex Leclerc, Colorado College
Leclerc was rock solid in net for the Tigers, allowing only four goals in three games during the week, not allowing more than two in any game. He opened his week with a 29-save effort in a narrow, 1-0 defeat to rival No. 6 Denver on Tuesday, including making eight saves to help kill all five DU power plays, as he earned Third Star of the Game. Leclerc then turned aside 34 shots in both games of a split against then-No. 20 North Dakota. On Friday, he gave up only one goal in a 3-1 win, nearly pitching a shutout before UND scored with only 1:03 remaining in the game. Of his 34 saves Friday, 14 came short-handed as he helped kill off all seven North Dakota power plays in the win to nab Second Star of the Game. In Saturday’s series finale, Leclerc surrendered only two first-period goals, including one on the power play, in a 2-1 setback to North Dakota, with 25 of his 34 saves coming over the final 40 minutes of the game. He completed the week with 97 saves on 101 shots faced for a .960 save percentage and a 1.36 goals-against average, all of which led the NCHC, despite posting a 1-2-0 record. Leclerc also helped CC go 15-for-16 on the penalty kill during the week.
Matt Kiersted, So., D, UND – Had an assist on Friday and scored the game-winning goal Saturday, while blocking four shots and putting five shots on goal in a split at CC.
Bryan Yoon, Fr., D, CC – Tallied the game-winning goal and dished out an assist in Friday’s win over UND, while he blocked nine shots in three games during the week.
Devin Cooley, So., G, Denver – Totaled 55 saves on 58 shots faced, while going 1-0-1 with a .948 save percentage and a 1.44 GAA in two starts, including a 24-save shutout Tuesday at CC.
Jeff Smith, Sr., G, SCSU – In his only start of the weekend, made a season-high 38 saves in an 8-2 win at WMU for a .950 save percentage.
Peter Thome, So., G, UND – Compiled 55 saves while allowing only three goals in a split at CC, posting a .948 save percentage and a 1.53 GAA in the series.