COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the first month of the 2019-20 season in the books, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) announced its October monthly awards on Wednesday, with underclassmen claiming all three honors. St. Cloud State sophomore forward Sam Hentges earned NCHC Player of the Month for October, while Denver freshman forward Bobby Brink is the Rookie of the Month and DU freshman netminder Magnus Chrona is the NCHC Goaltender of the Month for October.
This is the first career NCHC monthly award for all three players.
Sam Hentges, St. Cloud State
New Brighton, Minn.
Hentges started his sophomore campaign in strong fashion, racking up six points in four games in October on three goals, which tied for third in the NCHC, and three assists, all of which were primary helpers. The Minnesota Wild draft pick recorded at least a point in all four games, including a pair of multi-point outings. His 1.50 points per game in October tied for second in the NCHC, while his 0.75 goals per game tied for the conference lead during the month.
Hentges opened the season with two points in a 4-4 overtime tie at Bemidji State on Oct. 11, setting up a short-handed goal and scoring the game-tying goal unassisted late in the third period to cap a comeback. He was named Second Star of the Game for his efforts. A night later, Hentges dished out another primary assist in a 2-2 tie against the Beavers. The following weekend, Hentges compiled another three points in a split against then-No. 11 Northeastern. He scored SCSU’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss on Oct. 25, then had a hand in both goals the next night to help the Huskies get their first win of the season. He had the primary assist on SCSU’s first goal, then scored the game-winning goal to break a 1-1 tie and was named First Star of the Game.
Of the nine goals St. Cloud State scored in October, Hentges had a hand in six of them. He also put nine shots on goal, posted a +1 plus/minus and blocked three shots over the first month of the season. In addition, the centerman went 20-23 (.465) in the faceoff circle in October. Hentges pushed his point streak to six games and goal streak to four games with five points to start November and now leads the NCHC with 11 points on the season (five goals, six assists).
Hentges is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Player of the Month, which will be announced on Thursday. Other nominees for NCHC October Player of the Month included Miami senior forward Gordie Green and Denver junior defenseman Ian Mitchell.
Bobby Brink, Denver
Brink started his college career with a bang, tallying six points in his first six career games, helping lead Denver to a perfect 6-0-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in October. Brink’s six points and 1.00 points per game led all NCHC freshmen, while his three goals tied for the NCHC rookie lead. His one point-per-game average tied for sixth nationally among freshmen during the month, while his three goals tied for third among all rookies. Brink notched a point in four of his six October games, including two multi-point games.
Brink scored a goal in his first collegiate game on Oct. 5 at Alaska, leading DU to a 4-3 season-opening win. The following weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers prospect compiled three points in a sweep at Lake Superior State. In the series opener Oct. 11, Brink dished out a pair of assists, including the primary helper on the game-winner, for his first career multi-point game. He then scored his second career goal the next night on the power play in a 4-3 win. Brink was named NCHC Rookie of the Week for the first two weekends of the season.
Brink then closed out October with another multi-point game, tallying a goal and an assist, both on the power play, in a 6-4 win over then-No. 6 Boston College on Oct. 19. He fired 17 shots on goal in October and posted a +2 plus/minus with one blocked shot. On the season, Brink leads all NCHC freshmen with four goals and seven points in eight games.
Brink is now eligible for HCA National Rookie of the Month for October, which will be announced on Thursday. Other nominees for NCHC Rookie of the Month included Miami freshman defenseman Jack Clement.
Magnus Chrona, Denver
Chrona was undefeated during the month of October, posting a 6-0-0 record to start his collegiate career while playing every minute of Denver’s games in the first month of the season (all 360 minutes). His six wins led all NCAA netminders in October. He also led the NCHC with a .930 save percentage in October, which ranked 15th nationally, but first among NCAA rookies. He was second in the NCHC with a 1.83 goals-against average (13th in the NCAA) last month. The Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick recorded two shutouts in October, tying for the NCAA lead, making at least 20 saves in all six starts.
Chrona started his career strong with a season-high 30 saves in his collegiate debut, a 4-3 win at Alaska on Oct. 5. He then pitched his first collegiate shutout the next night in the series finale, turning aside all 28 shots the Nanooks fired at him in a 3-0 win. The following weekend, Chrona backstopped DU to a sweep at Lake Superior State, totaling 43 saves on the weekend while allowing only four goals in the two wins. He then capped the month with a sweep of then-No. 6 Boston College, making 23 saves on Oct. 18 for his second shutout of October, earning First Star of the Game. Chrona added 22 saves the following night in a 6-4 win to cap the sweep.
Chrona finished the month with 146 saves, second among NCHC netminders in October, on 157 shots faced. On the season, he is now 7-0-0 with a .925 save percentage and a 1.86 GAA.
Chrona is now eligible for HCA National Goaltender of the Month for October, which will be announced on Thursday.