COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Leading each of their teams to road wins in conference play last weekend, the Bauer National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Players of the Week for the week of Nov. 11-17, 2019 (week 7) are Omaha junior Kevin Conley for Forward of the Week, Minnesota Duluth junior Scott Perunovich for Defenseman of the Week, Colorado College netminder Matt Vernon for Rookie of the Week and North Dakota sophomore Adam Scheel for Goaltender of the Week.
Perunovich and Scheel each picked up their second NCHC weekly honor of the season. Perunovich nabbed his eighth career NCHC weekly award, including fifth Defenseman of the Week nod, while Scheel is now a three-time Goaltender of the Week in his career and four-time NCHC weekly award winner. These are the first career NCHC weekly honors for both Conley and Vernon.
Kevin Conley, Omaha
Conley had a monster game on Saturday to guide Omaha to a win and weekend split at No. 20 Western Michigan. Despite being held off the scoresheet in Friday’s conference-opening loss at WMU, the assistant captain blocked two shots and fired a shot on goal. The next night, Conley exploded for a career-high four points, including his first career hat trick, in a 6-3 win over the Broncos. He scored Omaha’s first two goals in the first period to put UNO up 2-0, with the first coming on the power play, while he capped his hat trick with the game-winning goal late in the second period to break a 3-3 tie. He also handed out the primary assist on the final goal of the game, an empty-netter to seal Omaha’s first NCHC win of the season. Conley was +3 on Saturday with four shots on goal and earned First Star of the Game. He finished the series with three goals, an assist, five shots on goal, a +2 plus/minus and two blocked shots. Conley moved into the team scoring lead on the season with five goals and 11 points, just two points from tying his career high for a season.
Scott Perunovich, Minnesota Duluth
Perunovich played a key role on both special teams units for Minnesota Duluth to help the Bulldogs earn a split at Miami, while having a hand in all four UMD goals in the series. In Friday’s 3-1 loss, the St. Louis Blues draft pick handed out the primary assist on UMD’s lone goal, which came on the power play, while he fired three shots on goal. He also helped kill all three Miami power plays with a UMD goalie in net on Friday. On Saturday, Perunovich set up all three goals in a 3-2 victory over the RedHawks. He assisted on an early goal to put UMD in front, then added a pair of helpers on the power play in the second period, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal. He also blocked six shots on Saturday, put five shots on goal in the win and finished +1, while earning First Star of the Game. Perunovich finished the series with four assists, including three on the power play, while leading the NCHC with seven blocked shots, firing eight shots on goal and posting an even plus/minus. On the season, he now leads UMD with 11 assists and 13 points, while pushing his assist streak to four games.
Matt Vernon, Colorado College
Vernon backstopped Colorado College to a sweep at St. Cloud State, CC’s first sweep of the Huskies in nearly nine years (since Dec. 10-11, 2010). In Friday’s 4-2 victory, the Calgary native made 20 saves, including two short-handed, to kill both SCSU power plays and give the Tigers their first conference win of the season. A night later, Vernon made 27 more stops, including 10 short-handed saves, to help kill off three of five Husky man advantages in the 5-2, sweep-clinching win. The 27 saves were his second-most in five career starts so far. Vernon finished the series with 47 saves on 51 shots for a .922 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average. He upped his season save percentage to .904 and lowered his GAA to 3.04 on the year, while improving to 3-1-1 on the season with the pair of wins in net.
Adam Scheel, North Dakota
Scheel backstopped North Dakota to a tie and win at then-No. 2/1 Denver by allowing only two goals all weekend, marking UND’s first series win at DU since 2003. On Friday, he made a season-high 30 saves in a 1-1 overtime tie, including four short-handed saves to help kill all four Denver power plays. He was named Second Star of the Game on Friday. The next night, Scheel stopped 27 shots in a 4-1 win, again allowing only a single goal. Of his 27 saves Saturday, 13 came short-handed, including seven during a 5-on-3 DU power play, as he helped kill all six Pioneer power plays in the victory. Scheel was named First Star on Saturday and was credited with his second career assist on the game-winning goal. Scheel finished the series with a .966 save percentage, totaling 57 saves on 59 shots, and a 0.96 goals-against average, both of which led the NCHC last weekend. Going 1-0-1 at DU, he stretched his unbeaten streak to seven games (8-1-2 on the season) and has allowed one or fewer goals in eight of 11 starts this season. Scheel dropped his season GAA to 1.53 and upped his save percentage on the year to .924, both of which lead the NCHC in 2019-20.
Forward of the Week
Tanner Laderoute, So., UMD – Scored a pair of power play goals in a split at Miami, with one goal each night, while putting five shots on goal.
Cole Smith, Sr., UND – Tallied a pair of goals in Saturday’s win at Denver, scoring on the power play and short-handed, while putting six shots on goal in the series.
Christiano Versich, Jr., CC – Tallied a trio of goals in a sweep at SCSU, scoring twice on the power play in Friday’s win, including the game-winner, while adding an empty-netter on Saturday.
Defenseman of the Week
Derek Daschke, So., Miami – Scored the game-winning goal in Friday’s win over UMD, while assisting on a goal in Saturday’s loss.
Colton Poolman, Sr., UND – Scored in 3-on-3 overtime Saturday at DU to give UND an extra point, while blocking four shots in the series and helping kill all 10 Denver power plays on the weekend.
Bryan Yoon, So., CC – Dished out a pair of assists, with one each night, in a sweep at SCSU, while posting a +1 plus/minus with four shots on goal in the series.
Rookie of the Week
Josiah Slavin, Fr., F, CC – Scored his first career goal, an empty-netter, in Friday’s win at SCSU, while also assisting on the game-winning goal and finishing +1.
Goaltender of the Week
Ryan Larkin, Sr., Miami – Went 1-1-0 in a split with UMD, leading the NCHC with 67 saves, while posting a .944 save percentage and a 2.03 GAA, surrendering only one even-strength goal.
Hunter Shepard, Sr., UMD – Totaled 30 saves in a split at Miami with an .882 save percentage and a 2.03 GAA, while allowing only one even-strength goal in the series.