COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the second month of the 2019-20 season in the rear-view mirror, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) revealed its Players of the Month for November on Tuesday, with two teams represented. North Dakota collected a pair of monthly honors after an unbeaten month of November, as junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi is the NCHC Player of the Month, while sophomore netminder Adam Scheel is the Goaltender of the Month. Miami forward Ryan Savage earned NCHC Rookie of the Month for November.
These are the first career NCHC monthly honors for all three players and the first monthly honors this season for both Miami and North Dakota.
Jordan Kawaguchi, North Dakota
Kawaguchi helped lead North Dakota to an 8-0-1 record in November, scoring or assisting on seven of UND’s eight game-winning goals in the month. He racked up 16 points during the month to lead the NCHC and rank third nationally, registering at least a point in eight of the nine games, with five multi-point outings. Kawaguchi’s six goals in November also led the NCHC and tied for ninth nationally, four of which were game-winning goals, including the final three games of the month, as he also led the NCAA in game-winners in November. He handed out 10 assists as well (three on game-winners), which rank second in the NCHC and tie for sixth in the country.
Kawaguchi started his month by scoring the game-winning goal in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game win against Michigan Tech on Nov. 2. The next weekend he racked up six points, including five assists, in a sweep of Miami, handing out a helper on both game-winning goals. He was named NCHC Forward of the Week and NCAA Third Star of the Week for his efforts against the RedHawks. Kawaguchi then chipped in an assist on UND’s lone goal in a 1-1 overtime tie at Denver Nov. 15, while his lone pointless game in November came in that series finale.
Kawaguchi closed November on a four-game point streak with eight points over the final four games of the month, including having a hand in all four game-winning goals as UND swept rivals St. Cloud State and Minnesota. He notched four points in the home sweep of the Huskies on Nov. 22-23, with two assists in the opener and two more points the next night, including scoring the game-winner. Kawaguchi then wrapped up his strong November with four more points against Minnesota Nov. 28-29, including three goals and both game-winning goals. He garnered NCHC Forward of the Week for the second time in November after leading UND to its first road sweep of Minnesota since 2006-07.
Kawaguchi averaged 1.78 points per game in November to lead the NCHC and rank second nationally, while his +9 plus/minus during the month was second in the conference behind only teammate Matt Kiersted. Kawaguchi notched five of his 10 assists on the power play, fired 20 shots on goal in November and also blocked four shots. On the season, he leads the NCHC with 22 points and seven goals, while adding 15 assists.
Kawaguchi is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Player of the Month, which will be announced later this week. Other nominees for NCHC November Player of the Month included Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Scott Perunovich, Denver sophomore forward Tyler Ward and Western Michigan junior forward Paul Washe.
Ryan Savage, Miami
After notching only one point in his first month as a RedHawk, Savage erupted in November to lead all NCHC rookies in scoring with seven points during the month in eight games. His 0.88 points per game also led all NCHC newcomers in November. He scored two goals, and also added a 3-on-3 goal in overtime, while his five assists were tops among NCHC freshmen in November, as well. Savage notched a point in four his eight games, including two multi-point games, and also registered multiple points in an exhibition win in November.
Although the points didn’t count, Savage started November with a three-point game in an exhibition win over the U.S. U-18 Team, including a goal and an assist on the game-winner on Nov. 1. He then recorded his first real points of the month at North Dakota on Nov. 9 when he scored his second career goal and added a primary assist in defeat for his first multi-point game. Savage had his biggest weekend at Omaha on Nov. 22-23, helping the RedHawks pick up five points in the series. The draft-eligible forward notched a career-high three points in a 3-3 overtime tie in the series opener, having a hand in each goal, scoring one, and then gave MU the extra conference point with a 3-on-3 overtime goal. The following night he handed out an assist in a 4-1 win as he earned NCHC Rookie of the Week honors. Savage then capped the month with an assist at UConn on Nov. 30.
Savage tallied three of his five assists on the power play in November and fired 15 shots on goal during the month. He finished with a +1 plus/minus in November, blocked four shots and won 31 faceoffs. On the season, he now has eight points on three goals and five assists, tying for the RedHawks rookie scoring lead.
Savage is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Month, which will be announced later this week. Other nominees for NCHC November Rookie of the Month included Denver forward Bobby Brink, North Dakota forward Shane Pinto and Omaha forward Nolan Sullivan.
Adam Scheel, North Dakota
Scheel went undefeated in November, playing every minute in goal for North Dakota to backstop the Fighting Hawks to an 8-0-1 record in the month (also his record in November). The eight wins were three more than any other NCHC netminder in November and ranked second nationally, while his .944 win percentage was third in the country. He led the NCHC with a .918 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average in November, while allowing only one goal in five of his nine games during the month. The 1.75 GAA was 12th nationally in November, as well.
Scheel topped 20 saves four times in November, including a season-high 30 saves in a 1-1 overtime tie at Denver on Nov. 15. He then made 27 more saves the next night in a 4-1 win to help UND record its first series win at Magness Arena since 2003-04. He allowed just two goals against the Pioneers to earn NCHC Goaltender of the Week honors and NCAA Second Star of the Week. Scheel then totaled 28 saves in a sweep of St. Cloud State on Nov. 22-23, giving up only three goals in the series. He finished his month backstopping UND to its first sweep at rival Minnesota since 2006-07, compiling 41 saves in the two wins to capture his second NCHC Goalie of the Week accolade in the month.
Scheel finished November with 180 saves on 196 shots faced. On the season, he is now 12-1-2 with one shutout. He leads the NCHC with a 1.64 GAA and is second in the conference with a .917 save percentage on the season.
Scheel is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Goaltender of the Month, which will be announced later this week. Other nominees for NCHC November Goaltender of the Month included Denver freshman Magnus Chrona.