COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After closing the book on 2019, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has announced its monthly award winners for December, with three teams represented. Garnering NCHC Player of the Month honors for the final month of the calendar year is Colorado College senior forward Chris Wilkie, while St. Cloud State freshman forward Jami Krannila nabbed Rookie of the Month and North Dakota sophomore netminder Adam Scheel gloved Goaltender of the Month accolades in the NCHC for the second straight month.
This is Scheel’s second career NCHC monthly honor after capturing NCHC November Goalie of the Month last month. Wilkie and Krannila each picked up their first career NCHC monthly awards with the December honor.
Chris Wilkie, Colorado College
Wilkie led the NCHC and tied for the NCAA lead with nine points in six December games, while his eight goals in the month were two more than any other NCAA player. His 1.33 goals per game were also tops nationally among players with more than two games played in December, while his 1.50 points per game tied for fourth in the NCHC. The Florida Panthers draft pick tallied at least one goal in four of his six games, including two game-winning goals, and had multiple points in half his December contests.
Wilkie opened December with a five-point weekend Dec. 6-7, powering the Tigers to a sweep at Princeton. He tied a season high with three points in the series opener, scoring two goals and assisting on the game-winner, while potting both of CC’s goals, including the game-winner in overtime, in a 2-1 win to cap the sweep. He earned NCHC Forward of the Week and NCAA First Star of the Week for his efforts. After being held pointless against Denver Dec. 13-14, Wilkie rebounded with four goals at the Ledyard Classic Dec. 28-29 to earn All-Tournament Team honors. He scored a goal in a loss to host Dartmouth, then recorded his first career hat trick the next day in a span of 6:29 in the third period of a 7-3 win over St. Lawrence, potting the game-winner and adding two power play goals.
Wilkie finished December with an NCHC-leading 29 shots on goal and posted a +3 plus/minus, helping the Tigers to a 3-3-0 record during the final month of 2019. In 16 games this season, he leads the NCHC with 13 goals and leads the NCAA with 0.81 goals per game, while his 20 points rank fifth in the NCHC.
Wilkie is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Player of the Month, which will be announced later this week. Other nominees for NCHC December Player of the Month included Minnesota Duluth sophomore forward Cole Koepke.
Adam Scheel, North Dakota
Scheel repeated as NCHC Goaltender of the Month after backstopping North Dakota to a 2-0-0 record in December, as he played every minute in UND’s only two NCAA games in December. He allowed just two goals during the month, including only one even strength. Scheel’s .971 save percentage in December led the NCHC and ranked fourth nationally, while his 0.97 goals-against average was second in the conference and seventh in the NCAA.
Scheel’s only action of December came in a sweep at then-No. 17 Western Michigan on Dec. 6-7, as he collected his 11th and 12th career wins over a ranked team. He started the month with perhaps his best game of the season, stopping every shot he faced in the series opener with WMU for a career-high 41 saves in a 1-0 overtime win. It was his second shutout of the season and third of his career as he earned First Star of the Game. The next night, he made 27 more saves in an 8-2 victory, with one of WMU’s goals coming on the power play, as he earned the game’s Third Star. Scheel was named NCHC Goaltender of the Week following the sweep in Kalamazoo.
Scheel totaled 68 saves in December on 70 shots. He’s played every minute in net for UND this season, leading North Dakota to a 16-1-2 record, including a current 15-game unbeaten streak. On the season, Scheel leads the NCHC with both a .922 save percentage and a 1.61 GAA, which ranks third in the NCAA.
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 December Goaltender of the Month included Colorado College senior Ryan Ruck.
Jami Krannila, St. Cloud State
Krannila had a breakout month in December to help St. Cloud State to a 4-2-0 record, racking up six points in six games after totaling only four points in his first 12 games as a Husky. His six points led all NCHC freshmen in December and tied for second in the NCAA, while his four assists tied for first nationally among rookies in the month. His 1.00 points per game led all NCHC rookies with more than two games played in December, while he also potted two goals in the month.
Krannila opened December with his second career goal, tallying the game’s first goal in a 2-1 win at Miami on Dec. 6. He then tallied his second goal of the month on Dec. 14, striking on the power play in the series finale against Omaha. The draft-eligible forward then erupted for a career-high four assists (and points) on Dec. 28, helping lead SCSU to a 7-2 upset win over then-No. 2 Minnesota State in the Mariucci Classic. Krannila set up the game-winning goal, finished the game +5 and earned Second Star of the Game. He was also named to the Mariucci Classic All-Tournament Team.
Krannila fired 10 shots on goal in December, blocked two shots and posted a +1 plus/minus, while going 30-36 in the faceoff circle. On the season, he has three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 18 games.
Krannila is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Month for December, which will be announced later this week.