COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After completing a successful inaugural regular season, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced the 2013-14 NCHC All-Conference and All-Rookie teams Wednesday, as selected by NCHC coaches and student-athletes. North Dakota led all schools with four honorees, including three on the All-Conference teams, while Denver and Penrose Cup champions St. Cloud State each had three players recognized. All eight teams placed at least one player on the All-Conference or All-Rookie squads.
The NCHC All-Conference First Team is comprised of Nebraska Omaha junior Josh Archibald, St. Cloud State senior Nic Dowd and Miami junior Austin Czarnik at forward, North Dakota senior Dillon Simpson and Denver junior Joey LaLeggia on defense, and Denver senior goaltender Sam Brittain. Archibald led all voting with 40 points, including 13 of a possible 14 first-place votes, while Brittain totaled 39 points and also received 13 first-place votes. Dowd earned 37 points, including 12 first-place votes, while Simpson had 32 points and LaLeggia 30 with both defensemen getting 10 first-place votes. Czarnik rounded out first-team voting with 20 points, including six first-place votes.
Archibald captured the NCHC scoring title with 32 points, five more than anyone else, while also leading the conference with 21 goals in 24 NCHC games, eight more than any other player. He was the only NCHC player to record two hat tricks in conference play and scored an NCHC-best five game-winners, as well. Dowd totaled 25 points in 24 games, while ranking second behind Archibald with 13 goals and posting a +12 rating. Czarnik compiled 22 points in conference play and finished second in the NCHC with 17 assists. Simpson tied for the scoring lead among defensemen with 19 points, including six goals, and tied for second with 55 blocked shots. LaLeggia compiled 13 points, with his six goals tying for the most among defensemen, despite playing just 19 conference games due to injury. Brittain started 22 of 24 conference games and led the league with a .931 save percentage, 686 saves and two shutouts, while his 2.30 goals-against average was third.
Landing on the NCHC All-Conference Second Team is Western Michigan senior Chase Balisy, Miami sophomore Riley Barber and North Dakota junior Michael Parks at forward, Colorado College freshman Jaccob Slavin and North Dakota sophomore Jordan Schmaltz on the blue line, and St. Cloud State junior goaltender Ryan Faragher. Balisy, like Czarnik, totaled 20 points, but earned one less first-place vote (5), while Barber also received five first-place votes and had 18 points and Parks earned 11 points and two first-place votes. On defense, Slavin compiled 15 points and four first-place votes while Schmaltz collected 12 points and three first-place votes. Faragher earned two first-place votes and totaled 15 points.
Balisy tied for second in NCHC scoring with 27 points, while his 12 goals and 15 assists both ranked in the top five in the conference. His +16 rating also led the NCHC. Barber finished with 18 points, including 10 goals, while Parks compiled 22 points, including 13 goals, in 24 games. Slavin tied Simpson for the defenseman scoring lead with 19 points, including 14 assists, which led all blueliners, while he was seventh with 46 blocked shots. Schmaltz finished with 15 points in conference play, including four goals. Faragher led the NCHC with 14 wins in conference play, appearing in 23 games, while posting a 2.53 GAA and .915 save percentage with one shutout. His 605 saves were second behind Brittain.
Six players also garnered Honorable Mention, which is made up of the next three highest point totals at forward, next two at defensemen and the third overall point finisher at goaltender. Earning Honorable Mention All-Conference is St. Cloud State sophomore forward Jonny Brodzinski, North Dakota sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi, Nebraska Omaha senior forward Ryan Walters, SCSU junior defenseman Andrew Prochno, Denver senior defenseman David Makowski and North Dakota sophomore goaltender Zane Gothberg.
Composing the NCHC All-Rookie Team is Nebraska Omaha’s Jake Guentzel, Minnesota Duluth’s Alex Iafallo and Denver’s Trevor Moore at forward, CC’s Slavin and North Dakota’s Paul LaDue at defensemen and St. Cloud State goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Guentzel led all freshmen with 38 points and 12 first-place votes, while Iafallo earned 34 points and 11 first-place votes. Moore rounded out the forwards with 32 points and 10 first-place votes. Slavin led rookie blueliners with 11 first-place votes and 33 points while LaDue totaled 25 points and seven first-place votes. Lindgren was the lone rookie nominee at goaltender.
Guentzel led all freshmen with 27 points in conference play, which tied for second in overall scoring, while his 21 assists led the entire NCHC. Iafallo and Moore both finished in the top five among rookie scoring with 16 and 18 points, respectively, with Iafallo’s nine goals second among freshmen. Slavin was third among rookies in scoring with 19 points, tying for first among all NCHC defensemen, while LaDue tallied 12 points and led all freshmen with a +12 rating. Lindgren appeared in four games in net during NCHC play, earning a win in one of his two starts.
Each NCHC head coach and one student-athlete from each school voted on the All-Conference and All-Rookie teams. Coaches and student-athletes voted for six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders for both All-Conference and All-Rookie voting, awarding first-place votes for six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender) and second-place votes for the other six selections. A first-place vote was worth three points while a second-place vote was worth one with the highest point totals earning honors. First-place votes were used to break any ties. Coaches and players could not vote for members of their own team.
The NCHC will announce the finalists for its individual specialty awards on Thursday.
NCHC All-Conference First Team
Josh Archibald, Jr., F, Nebraska Omaha – 40 points (13 first-place votes)
Nic Dowd, Sr., F, St. Cloud State – 37 (12)
Austin Czarnik, Jr., F, Miami – 20 (6)
Dillon Simpson, Sr., D, North Dakota – 32 (10)
Joey LaLeggia, Jr., D, Denver – 30 (10)
Sam Brittain, Sr., G, Denver – 39 (13)
NCHC All-Conference Second Team
Chase Balisy, Sr., F, Western Michigan – 20 (5)
Riley Barber, So., F, Miami – 18 (5)
Michael Parks, Jr., F, North Dakota – 11 (2)
Jaccob Slavin, Fr., D, Colorado College – 15 (4)
Jordan Schmaltz, So., D, North Dakota – 12 (3)
Ryan Faragher, Jr., G, St. Cloud State – 15 (2)
NCHC All-Rookie Team
Jake Guentzel, F, Nebraska Omaha – 38 (12)
Alex Iafallo, F, Minnesota Duluth – 34 (11)
Trevor Moore, F, Denver – 32 (10)
Jaccob Slavin, D, Colorado College – 33 (11)
Paul LaDue, D, North Dakota – 25 (7)
Charlie Lindgren, G, St. Cloud State - unopposed