COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the 2020-21 campaign complete, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) announced its final monthly awards for the season with North Dakota sweeping the honors for March/April. UND senior forward Collin Adams earned NCHC Player of the Month, while teammates Riese Gaber, a freshman forward, and Adam Scheel, a junior netminder, garnered Rookie of the Month and Goaltender of the Month accolades, respectively.
This marks the first time a team has swept all three NCHC monthly honors since the Goaltender of the Month began in 2018-19, while it’s the first time a team has swept all NCHC monthly awards in the same month since Minnesota Duluth won both for March/April of 2017.
Scheel gloved his third straight NCHC Goaltender of the Month honor this season, a first since the award began, while it is his fifth career NCHC Goalie of the Month nod. This is Adams’ first career NCHC monthly honor, while he is the fourth straight and different UND forward to earn Player of the Month this season. This is Gaber’s first NCHC monthly award, as well, while he is the first UND freshman to win it this season.
Collin Adams, North Dakota
Adams led the NCHC and tied for the NCAA lead with 11 points in six games in March, averaging 1.83 points per game with all his points coming even strength. His five goals also led the NCHC, while his six assists tied for the NCHC lead over the final month and a half of the season. The New York Islanders prospect recorded at least a point in five of the six games, including three multi-point games in the postseason. Adams also led the NCHC with a +12 plus/minus in March/April, which was second nationally.
Adams played a key role in leading North Dakota to its first-ever NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship with seven points in the three games, en route to Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team honors. He tied a NCHC record and set a Frozen Faceoff record with a career-high five points in UND’s 6-2 quarterfinal win over Miami on March 12, scoring two goals, including the game-winner, and adding three assists. He then dished out a pair of assists in the championship game against St. Cloud State on March 16 in a 5-3 victory.
In the NCAA Tournament, Adams scored three goals, including two in the 5-1 opening-round win over American International on March 26. He then scored the first of UND’s dramatic extra-attacker goals late in the NCAA Midwest Regional final on March 27 against Minnesota Duluth to set the stage for the historic five-overtime thriller, which UND ultimately lost, 3-2. Adams was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Midwest Regional after his three-goal and +3 showing, with eight shots on goal in the two games. He finished the season on a three-game point streak with five points in that span.
In addition to his offensive work, Adams went 68-66 in the faceoff circle for a .507 win percentage in March. He fired 21 shots on goal in six March games and also blocked six shots in that span.
Adams finishes the season second in the NCHC and tied for sixth nationally with 34 points in 29 games, including 14 goals and 20 assists.
Adams is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) National Player of the Month for March/April, which will be announced later this week.
Adam Scheel, North Dakota
Scheel backstopped North Dakota to its first NCHC Frozen Faceoff title, starting all five postseason games for the Fighting Hawks in March, while posting a 4-1-0 record with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. His GAA ranked third nationally in March/April, while his .937 save percentage led the NCHC among goalies with more than one game played. He totaled 148 saves on 158 shots faced in five starts in the postseason.
Scheel allowed only six goals in three Frozen Faceoff wins from March 12-16 to earn All-Tournament Team honors. He made 26 saves against Miami in the quarterfinals, 17 more in a 2-1 overtime win over Denver in the semifinals and capped his performance with 30 saves in the championship game – a 5-3 win over St. Cloud State.
After compiling 24 saves in a 5-1 win over American International to open the NCAA Tournament on March 26, Scheel played all eight periods of the historic five-overtime NCAA Midwest Regional title game against Minnesota Duluth on March 27. That game saw Scheel play 140:59 in net, stopping a career-high 51 shots before a fifth-overtime goal gave UMD a 3-2 win in the longest NCAA Tournament game ever.
Scheel finishes the season 20-4-1 with four shutouts, while recording a .931 save percentage and a 1.74 GAA in 26 games (25 starts), with his wins, save percentage and GAA all tops in the NCHC. Scheel’s career GAA of 1.95 sets a North Dakota record. Following the season, the NCHC Goaltender of the Year signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Stars organization.
Scheel is now eligible for HCA National Goaltender of the Month for March/April, which will be announced later this week. Scheel earned HCA National Goaltender of the Month honors in February. Other nominees for NCHC Goaltender of the Month included St. Cloud State senior Dávid Hrenák.
Riese Gaber, North Dakota
Gilbert Plains, Manitoba
Gaber paced all NCHC rookies with five points in March on three goals and two assists, while his three goals also tied for the national lead among rookies in March/April. Gaber fired 19 shots on goal, which tied for second nationally among freshmen (behind only teammate Jake Sanderson), and added four blocked shots in six games in March.
Gaber was selected the Most Outstanding Player at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff after scoring three goals and totaling four points in the NCHC Tournament to lead UND to its first Frozen Faceoff title. Gaber first scored a goal in the 6-2 quarterfinal win over Miami on March 12, before potting two goals and adding an assist in the championship game, including scoring the game-winner in the 5-3 victory over SCSU March 16.
Gaber also dished out an assist in the 5-1 win over AIC in UND’s opening-round NCAA Tournament game on March 26 in the Midwest Regional. The NCHC All-Rookie Team member finishes his freshman campaign with 21 points in 29 games on 11 goals and 10 assists.
Gaber is now eligible for HCA National Rookie of the Month for March/April, which will be announced later this week.