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Omaha's Ward Selected HCA October Men's National Player of the Month

By NCHC, 11/03/21, 2:30PM EDT

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Senior Taylor Ward honored after leading NCAA with 10 goals in opening month of season

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After being named National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Forward of the Week on Monday and NCHC Player of the Month on Tuesday, Omaha senior forward Taylor Ward made it three straight days garnering awards, earning HCA Men’s National Player of the Month for October on Wednesday, the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) announced.

Ward tallied a point in all eight games Omaha played in October, leading the Mavericks to a 7-1-0 record. The assistant captain scored an NCAA-best 10 goals in the month and totaled 16 points, which leads the NCHC and ties for second nationally. His eight power play goals are also tops in the NCAA, including one game-winner, while he also dished out six assists in the month. Ward averaged 2.00 points per game in October, which tied for the NCAA lead among players with more than two games played, though Ward is the only one to have played eight games.

Ward opened his season with an assist and a goal in a split with Lake Superior State, Oct. 2-3. He then scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win over Maine Oct. 8, before adding an assist in the sweep-clincher Oct. 9. Ward really turned it on over the final four games of the month, potting eight goals and tallying 12 points. He compiled three goals and four points in a sweep of Alaska on Oct. 15-17, then erupted for a career-high-tying four points both nights in a sweep of Long Island Oct. 29-30. In the series finale, Ward recorded his second career hat trick in a 7-1 victory to earn NCHC Forward of the Week honors.

Ward finished October with three multi-point outings and three multi-goal games, while scoring a goal in six of Omaha’s eight games. He fired 24 shots on goal during the month, while posting a +6 plus/minus and blocked three shots.

Army sophomore Gavin Abric was tabbed HCA Men’s National Goaltender of the Month, while Ohio State freshman goalie Jakub Dobes earned Men’s National Rookie of the Month for October. St. Cloud State graduate student goaltender David Hrenak and Denver freshman forward Massimo Rizzo were each runners-up for those awards, respectively.

The NCHC earned two HCA national monthly honors to close last season as former North Dakota goaltender Adam Scheel was the National Goaltender of the Month for March/April, while current UND sophomore forward Riese Gaber was the National Rookie of the Month. The last NCHC player to earn HCA National Player of the Month was former Colorado College forward Chris Wilkie in December of 2019.

Ward and the Mavericks open NCHC play this weekend hosting Miami.

--#NCHChockey--

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