COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Three National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) teams went unbeaten last weekend and those three teams are represented among the Bauer NCHC Players of the Week for the week of Oct. 21-27, 2019. Earning Bauer NCHC honors for week four are North Dakota junior Jordan Kawaguchi for Forward of the Week, Minnesota Duluth junior Scott Perunovich for Defenseman of the Week, Miami freshman defenseman Jack Clement for Rookie of the Week and UMD senior Hunter Shepard for Goaltender of the Week.
The honor is Perunovich’s seventh career NCHC weekly award, including fourth Defenseman of the Week nod, but first this season. Shepard collected his 10th career NCHC Goaltender of the Week award, but also his first of 2019-20, while Kawaguchi and Clement each picked up their first career NCHC weekly honor.
Jordan Kawaguchi, North Dakota
Kawaguchi powered North Dakota to a sweep of Bemidji State, racking up three points in the pair of wins. On Friday, the assistant captain scored the game-tying goal, his first of the season and UND’s first of the game, with 5:47 left in regulation to force overtime, which the Fighting Hawks went on to win, 2-1. Kawaguchi was +1 with three shots on goal in the overtime win and earned Second Star of the Game. The next night, he assisted on a pair of UND goals in a 4-1 victory, including the primary assist on the game’s first goal only 36 seconds into the contest. He again fired three shots on goal Saturday and finished +2, while nabbing Third Star of the Game. Kawaguchi finished the sweep with a goal, two assists, six shots on goal and a +3 plus/minus. He now has six points on the season (1g, 5a).
Scott Perunovich, Minnesota Duluth
Perunovich was active at both ends of the ice to help Minnesota Duluth sweep in-state rival Minnesota in a home-and-home series. On Friday in Minneapolis, Perunovich racked up a season-high three points, scoring a power play goal late, while dishing out primary assists on UMD’s first and third goals, with the latter serving as the game-winner in a 5-2 victory. The St. Louis Blues prospect put two shots on goal, blocked two shots and was selected First Star of the Game on Friday. A night later, Perunovich blocked two more shots, finished +1, helped kill all three Gopher power plays and aided in UMD shutting out Minnesota, 2-0. He finished the series with a goal, two assists, a +1 plus/minus, four blocked shots and led the Bulldogs’ penalty kill to finish the weekend 5-for-5 a man down. Perunovich doubled his season point total in the sweep, as he now has six points on the year (2g, 4a).
Jack Clement, Miami
Clement had a breakout weekend for Miami, scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career at Colgate last weekend, while playing on the top defensive pair both nights. On Friday, he scored his first career goal, tying the game at 1-1 in the first period, only 21 ticks after the Raiders had taken the lead. He also put three shots on goal and was +2 in the eventual 3-3 overtime tie. A night later, Clement scored another first-period goal, doubling Miami’s lead to 2-0 late in the frame, while he helped the RedHawks shut out Colgate in a 2-0 victory. He was +1 with two shots on goal Saturday. Clement ended the series with two goals, a +3 plus/minus, five shots on goal and two blocked shots. Along with helping record a shutout, Clement played on a penalty kill unit that went 7-for-7 at Colgate, including 4-for-4 in Saturday’s whitewash. He now has five points on the season (2g, 3a).
Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth
Shepard returned to his All-American ways last weekend, allowing only two goals and backstopping Minnesota Duluth to a home-and-home sweep of in-state rival Minnesota. On Friday, he made 18 saves and gave up his only two goals of the weekend in a 5-2 victory in Minneapolis, also helping UMD kill both Minnesota power plays. The next night in Duluth, Shepard turned aside all 21 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and 16th shutout of his career, extending his NCHC record. He helped kill all three Gopher power plays on Saturday, with three short-handed saves, and landed as the Second Star of the Game. Shepard finished the series 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage, totaling 39 saves on 41 shots faced, while helping kill all five Minnesota power plays in the series, as well. He lowered his season GAA to 2.34 and upped his season save percentage to .899.
Forward of the Week
Jackson Cates, So., UMD – Totaled three points in a sweep of Minnesota, scoring the game-winner and adding an assist on Friday, while sealing Saturday’s win with an empty-netter.
Bailey Conger, R-So., CC – Scored the first two goals of his CC career in Friday’s win over Michigan State, while firing seven shots on goal in the split series.
Gordie Green, Sr., Miami – Dished out a career-high-tying three assists in Friday’s 3-3 overtime tie at Colgate, handing out the primary helper on all three MU goals, while finishing the series +4.
Sam Hentges, So., SCSU – Had a hand in all three SCSU goals in a split with Northeastern, scoring SCSU’s lone goal in Friday’s loss, while tallying the game-winner and setting up the other goal in a 2-1 win on Saturday.
Paul Washe, Jr., WMU – Recorded his first career multi-goal game in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Michigan, striking twice on the power play.
Defenseman of the Week
Kale Bennett, Sr., WMU – Scored his first career goal, which was the game-winning goal, in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Michigan, while finishing the series +1 with two blocked shots.
Rookie of the Week
Quinn Olson, Fr., F, UMD – Tallied his first collegiate point with an assist in Friday’s win at Minnesota, while scoring his first career goal, which held up as the game-winner, in Saturday’s shutout, finishing the sweep +2.
Goaltender of the Week
David Hrenak, Jr., SCSU – Went 1-1 in net against Northeastern, compiling a .922 save percentage on 47 saves and a 2.01 GAA, while earning the win with 17 saves on Saturday.
Ryan Larkin, Sr., Miami – In his only appearance of the weekend, recorded his sixth career shutout and first of the season, stopping all 29 shots he faced Saturday in a 2-0 win at Colgate.
Adam Scheel, So., UND – Backstopped UND to a sweep of Bemidji State, allowing only one goal each night, while totaling 35 saves on 37 shots for a .946 save percentage and a 0.99 GAA.