COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the fourth consecutive week, a National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) player has earned an NCAA Star of the Week, as Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Scott Perunovich was selected the NCAA First Star of the Week on Tuesday. However, Perunovich is the first NCHC player to nab First Star of the Week honors this season. He was also named NCHC Defenseman of the Week on Monday.
Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn.) led the entire NCAA in scoring last weekend with seven points (all assists) to help the Bulldogs sweep Colorado College at home. He played a key cog on UMD’s power play, dishing out six of his seven assists on the man advantage, while also playing on a penalty kill unit that finished 7-for-8 in the series. The St. Louis Blues draft pick had a hand in all but two of UMD’s nine goals in the sweep of CC.
In Friday’s 4-3 win over the Tigers, Perunovich set up all four UMD goals, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal with only 18 seconds left in regulation to break a 3-3 tie. Three of his assists came on the power play as UMD went 3-for-5 on the man advantage, while he was tabbed First Star of the Game. The four assists marked a career high and the four points tied his career high.
The next night, Perunovich dished out three more helpers, all on the power play, again including on the game-winning goal, to earn Second Star of the Game. UMD’s power play once more went 3-for-5 with Perunovich quarterbacking it, while he also helped shut out the Tigers in Saturday’s 5-0 win, killing all four CC power plays.
Perunovich led the Bulldogs’ power play to go 6-for-10 against the Tigers in the series. He was an even plus/minus on the weekend and put two shots on goal. On the season, Perunovich leads all NCHC skaters with both 18 assists and 20 points, with 14 of those assists coming during his current six-game point streak (all in conference play). The two-time NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year ranks tied for third nationally in scoring and is tops among all NCAA blue liners in both assists and points.
Northeastern sophomore forward Tyler Madden was named NCAA Second Star of the Week on Tuesday, while Niagara sophomore forward Jack Billings was chosen Third Star of the Week.
Each Tuesday during the season, the NCAA announces its Three Stars of the Week in NCAA men’s hockey. Last Tuesday (Nov. 19), North Dakota sophomore goaltender Adam Scheel was tabbed Second Star of the Week, while UND junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi (Third Star on Nov. 12) and Western Michigan junior forward Paul Washe (Second Star on Nov. 5) have also earned NCAA Stars this season.
Perunovich and the No. 8/9 Bulldogs host top-ranked Minnesota State for a top-10 non-conference showdown in Duluth this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30. Both games can be seen on NCHC.tv.
NCAA STARS OF THE WEEK FROM THE NCHC IN 2019-20
Nov. 5: Paul Washe, Jr., F, WMU – Second Star
Nov. 12: Jordan Kawaguchi, Jr., F, UND – Third Star
Nov. 19: Adam Scheel, So., G, UND – Second Star
Nov. 26: Scott Perunovich, Jr., D, UMD - First Star