COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Three different teams are represented among the Bauer National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Players of the Week for week nine of the 2018-19 season. Earning Bauer NCHC Player of the Week honors for the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2018 are Western Michigan sophomore forward Josh Passolt for Offensive Player of the Week, Minnesota Duluth sophomore blue liner Mikey Anderson for Defenseman of the Week, Omaha freshman forward Taylor Ward for Rookie of the Week and UMD junior netminder Hunter Shepard for Goaltender of the Week.
This is Passolt’s second career NCHC weekly honor and first this season after earning Rookie of the Week to close the 2017-18 season. Anderson picked up his first career NCHC weekly award, while Ward garnered his second Rookie of the Week nod this season. Shepard is now an eight-time NCHC Goaltender of the Week in his career, including twice this season.
Josh Passolt, Western Michigan
Passolt powered Western Michigan to a sweep of Niagara with a four-point weekend. After being held scoreless in Friday’s 3-2 victory, he erupted for a career-high four points in Saturday’s 7-3 win, including his first career hat trick. Passolt tallied his first two goals in the first period, with his second score coming on the power play to make it 4-0 and serving as the game-winner. He then finished his scoring in the third period with a power play assist on WMU’s sixth goal, while he sealed the win and completed his hat trick with an empty-netter. The Wisconsin native also fired four shots on goal Saturday and was named First Star of the Game. He finished the weekend with three goals, an assist, four shots on goal and a +1 plus/minus. Passolt now has six goals in his last four games.
Mikey Anderson, Minnesota Duluth
Anderson was productive at both ends of the ice in helping Minnesota Duluth to a split against North Dakota. On Friday, he anchored a defensive corps that aided in UMD pitching a shutout of the Fighting Hawks, while also chipping in two points. The Los Angeles Kings draft pick handed out a power play assist on UMD’s third goal, while he scored the fourth goal in a 5-0 win, finishing tic-tac-toe passing. Anderson was +3 on Friday with three shots on goal and earned Third Star of the Game. The next night in a 2-1 defeat, he blocked five shots, fired four shots on goal and led a penalty kill that went 7-for-7. Anderson ended the series with a goal, an assist, seven shots on goal and five blocked shots. He was also +2 on the weekend, while UMD’s penalty kill went a perfect 11-for-11 against UND in the series.
Taylor Ward, Omaha
Ward led Omaha’s offensive attack against Colorado College last weekend, compiling four points. On Friday, he had assists on all three Omaha goals in a 3-3 tie and shootout win over the Tigers. He dished out primary helpers on UNO’s first two goals to go up 2-0 in the first period and also set up the game-tying goal late in the third period. The three assists and points were both career highs as he finished +1 for the game and was named Second Star on Friday. The next night, Ward scored his fifth goal of the season in the Mavericks’ 6-3 loss. In that game, he had a team-best five shots on goal, was +1 and had one blocked shot. Ward finished the weekend with a goal, three assists, six shots on goal and a +2 plus/minus. He is now riding a four-game point streak with seven points (2g, 5a) in that span.
Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth
Shepard continued his strong season, backstopping the Bulldogs to a split against North Dakota, while setting history in the process. On Friday, the junior turned aside all 22 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season and a Minnesota Duluth school-record 10th of his career in a 5-0 win. The next night, Shepard made 28 saves, including 15 in the second period, in a 2-1 defeat, with both goals allowed coming in the game’s first five minutes. He was tabbed Second Star of the Game on Saturday. Shepard finished the weekend with 50 saves on 52 shots faced for a .962 save percentage, while going 1-1-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average. He also helped kill all 11 North Dakota power plays in the series, making 12 saves with UMD down a man.
Trevor Gooch, Sr., F, CC – Tallied two goals and an assist in CC’s 6-3 win over Omaha Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal.
Luke Bafia, Jr., D, WMU – Dished out two assists in a sweep of Niagara, with one each night, including on Friday’s game-winner, while posting a +3 plus/minus and blocking 13 shots in the series.
Ben Copeland, Fr., F, CC – Tallied a goal and two assists against Omaha, with an assist each night and a goal in Saturday’s win.
Scott Corbett, Fr., F, Miami – Scored a goal each night in a pair of ties with SCSU while firing eight shots on goal.
Rhett Kingston, Fr., F, WMU – Scored the first two goals of his career in a sweep of Niagara, with one each night, while finishing +1 with six shots on goal.
Trevor Gorsuch, Sr., G, WMU – Backstopped WMU to a sweep of Niagara, totaling 48 saves in the wins for a .906 save percentage and a 2.50 GAA.
Adam Scheel, Fr., G, UND – Entered in relief Friday and played all game Saturday, allowing only one goal in a 2-1 win over UMD Saturday, while stopping 35 of 36 shots for a .972 save percentage and 0.70 GAA in the series.
Jordan Uhelski, Sr., G, Miami – Entered in relief on Friday and played the full game Saturday, backstopping Miami to two ties with SCSU, compiling 59 saves for a .937 save percentage to go with a 1.99 GAA.