COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Each of the Bauer National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Players of the Week for the week of Feb. 17-23, 2020 led their teams to big home wins last weekend, and all four happen to be NHL draft picks, as well. Garnering Bauer NCHC week 20 honors are Denver sophomore Cole Guttman for Forward of the Week, DU junior Ian Mitchell for Defenseman of the Week, St. Cloud State junior David Hrenak for Goaltender of the Week and Omaha goaltender Isaiah Saville for Rookie of the Week.
This is Guttman’s first NCHC Forward of the Week honor, but third career NCHC weekly award, twice earning Rookie of the Week last season. Mitchell picked up his third Defenseman of the Week nod this season and fifth of his career. Hrenak gloved his second Goalie of the Week honor this season and fourth of his career, while it was his seventh career NCHC weekly award. Saville snagged his third NCHC weekly honor of the season, including second Rookie nod after earning Goaltender of the Week in October.
Cole Guttman, Denver
Los Angeles, Calif.
Guttman had a monster, six-point weekend to lead Denver to a home sweep of Miami. The Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick tallied three points in both wins, his first three-point games of the season, while it tied his career high each night, his third and fourth career three-point games. He was also named Second Star of the Game both nights and was +2 in each contest.
Guttman scored two goals and added an assist in a 7-3 win on Friday. He scored DU’s go-ahead goal to break a 1-1 tie on the power play in the first period, then scored Denver’s fifth goal to make it 5-2 and had the primary assist on the final tally, also on the man advantage. The next night, Guttman scored the game’s first goal, again on the power play, which served as the game-winner in a 7-0 shutout. He also assisted on DU’s fourth and fifth goals in the second period.
Guttman finished the series with three goals and three assists, including three power play points, while firing nine shots on goal, including five on Friday, and posting a +4 plus/minus. He also won 61.8 percent of his draws in the sweep, going 21-13 in the faceoff circle. On the season, Guttman now has a team-best 13 goals to go with 13 assists for 26 points, which ties for third on the team.
Ian Mitchell, Denver
Mitchell was instrumental in Denver’s sweep of Miami, playing on both special teams units while getting the job done at both ends of the ice. The Chicago Blackhawks draft pick racked up four points in the two wins, while helping limit the RedHawks to only three goals all weekend, including a shutout on Saturday.
In Friday’s 7-3 victory, Mitchell tied a season high with three points, including two on the power play to help the power play unit go 3-for-6. He set up DU’s second and third goals in the first period to jump in front of Miami, 3-1, while he potted a power play tally to cap the scoring in the final frame. He fired six shots on goal Friday and earned Third Star of the Game. A night later, Mitchell scored the game’s second goal in a 7-0 whitewash, while putting four more shots on goal and posting a +2 plus/minus. He also helped kill all five Miami power plays in the shutout.
Mitchell ended the series with two goals, two assists, 10 shots on goal, a +1 plus/minus and one blocked shot. He also anchored a penalty kill unit that finished the sweep a perfect 7-for-7. Mitchell is now second on the team and among NCHC blue liners with 27 points on eight goals and 19 assists, while his 90 shots on goal lead the team.
David Hrenak, St. Cloud State
Povazska Bystrica, Slovakia
Hrenak backstopped St. Cloud State to a huge five-point weekend against top-ranked North Dakota, picking up a tie and win in net. The L.A. Kings prospect helped limit a UND offense averaging more than four goals per game to only four goals all weekend.
On Friday, Hrenak compiled 32 saves in a 3-3 overtime tie, including 13 in the second period and three short-handed. He also made four stops in 5-on-5 overtime, and two more in 3-on-3 overtime, which aren’t reflected in his 32 saves, while making the only save in the ensuing shootout to give SCSU the extra point in the standings. A night later, he made 29 more saves in a 2-1 victory, including 13 saves in the third period to preserve the win. Hrenak made seven of his 29 stops short-handed to help kill all four UND power plays while he was named Second Star of the Game.
Hrenak finished the weekend 1-0-1, totaling 61 saves on 65 shots faced for a .938 save percentage and a 1.92 goals-against average. He made 10 short-handed saves to help the SCSU penalty kill finish 7-for-8 in the series. On the season, Hrenak is now 11-8-6 while lowering his GAA to 2.67 and upping his season save percentage to .906.
Isaiah Saville, Omaha
Saville played nearly every second in net of Omaha’s split at home with Colorado College last weekend. The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick allowed only three goals all series, while leading the NCHC in goals-against average and save percentage among goalies with at least two games played on the week.
On Friday, Saville turned aside all 22 shots he faced for his first career shutout in a 5-0 victory. He made five of his saves short-handed to help UNO go 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, while he earned First Star of the Game. The next night, he compiled 30 saves in a 3-2 defeat, with one of the Tigers’ goals coming on the power play.
Saville ended the weekend with a 1-1-0 record, while totaling 52 saves on 55 shots for a 1.52 GAA and a .945 save percentage. With the results, he improved to 10-9-4 on the season, while lowering his GAA to 2.83 and upping his season save percentage to .905.
Forward of the Week
Kevin Conley, Jr., F, Omaha – Tallied a goal and was +1 each night in a split with CC, while also setting up the game-winning goal on Friday.
Grant Cruikshank, So., F, CC – Recorded his first career hat trick in last Monday’s win outdoors over Air Force, while putting 11 shots on goal in three games.
Jack Poehling, Sr., F, SCSU – Tallied two goals and an assist in Friday’s 3-3 tie with UND, while scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday and finishing the series +3.
Defenseman of the Week
Zach Berzolla, Jr., D, CC – Helped CC go 2-1-0 on the week, while blocking four shots and scoring the game-winning goal Saturday at Omaha.
Goaltender of the Week
Rookie of the Week
Justin Lee, Fr., D, Denver – Assisted on the game-winning goal Friday and scored a goal Saturday in a sweep of Miami.