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Weekly Top Performers – NCAA Men

A compilation of the previous week’s top performing players representing Minnesota or the state’s various schools as recognized by their respective conferences.

Week of Nov. 10 – 16, 2014

Western Collegiate Hockey Association

WCHA Rookie of the Week

Gordon Defiel  – Freshman, Goaltender (Stillwater, Minn.)
Lake Superior State University

Defiel posted his first collegiate shutout on Friday night, backstopping Lake Superior State to a 1-0 victory at Alabama Huntsville. The freshman from Stillwater, Minn. stopped all 26 shots faced, including nine in the third period as the Lakers clung to a one-goal lead. He added 25 saves on Saturday night in what was a 2-2 game late into the second, before being victimized by a trio of Chargers power plays. Defiel ranks fourth nationally with 309 saves during his rookie campaign.


National Collegiate Hockey Conference

NCHC Rookie of the Week

Patrick Russell – Freshman, Forward (Copenhagen, Denmark)
St. Cloud State University

Russell continued his early season success with a three-point outing in a win and tie at Western Michigan, scoring a goal and adding two assists. In Friday’s 4-3 victory, he scored on the power play in the second period to put SCSU up 3-1 and made it 4-1 with the primary assist on the game-winning goal minutes later. The next night, he had an assist on the Huskies’ only goal of the game, which came in the second period of a 1-1 overtime tie. Russell was +1 in each game for a +2 rating on the weekend and fired five shots on goal in the series.

NCHC Goaltender of the Week

Kasimir Kaskisuo – Freshman, Goaltender (Vantaa, Finland)
University of Minnesota-Duluth

Kaskisuo continued his excellent play of late, backstopping UMD to a sweep of top-ranked Minnesota, its first sweep of UM since 2004, while allowing just one goal all weekend. In the two games, he compiled a .976 save percentage and a 0.50 goals-against average, while making 41 saves on 42 shots against. On Friday, he pitched his first collegiate shutout, stopping all 17 shots that came his way as the Bulldogs won, 3-0. The following night, he totaled 24 saves in a 2-1 victory, while helping kill all four Gopher power plays. Kaskisuo was named the game’s third star Friday and first star Saturday. He kept Minnesota’s power play at bay, denying all five chances in the series, while he has now won five straight starts in net. Kaskisuo has also won NCHC Rookie of the Week this season.


Hockey East

HEA Top Performer

Connor Hurley – Freshman, Forward (Edina, Minn.)
University of Notre Dame

Clinched a 3-2 road win for the Irish with an overtime goal against Merrimack.


Atlantic Hockey 

AHA Hockey Goaltender of the Week

Alex Lyon – Sophomore, Goaltender (Baudette, Minn.)
Yale University

Lyon stopped 59 of 61 shots in picking up two league road wins for the Bulldogs. The Yale goaltender turned in a solid performance with 26 saves against the Big Green on Friday. The following evening he was inaugural recipient of the Tim Taylor Cup presented to the most valuable player of the Yale-Harvard game at Bright-Landry Center. The Bulldogs sophomore goalie stopped 33 of 34 shots to help Yale take a 2-1 win and knock its rival from the ranks of unbeaten.

Atlantic Hockey Honor Roll

Scott Holm – Senior, Forward (Plymouth, Minn.)
Air Force

Three points on two goals and one assist to help lead Air Force to three points over 17th-ranked Robert Morris on the road. Scored a goal on Friday to give Air Force a 1-0 lead as the Falcons never trailed in the 3-3 overtime tie. On Saturday, had a hand in on both of Air Force’s goals in the 2-1 overtime win over RMU. Assisted on the first goal of game and then scored the game winner 29 seconds into overtime. Factored in on three of Air Force’s five goals in the series.

Johno May – Freshman, Forward (Mahtomedi, Minn.)
American International College

May was active in all three zones all weekend for the Yellow Jackets, racking up six blocked shots Friday night before earning a hat trick of assists the following evening by having the primary helper on all three of AIC’s goals against Michigan. His seven helpers is tied for the team’s lead.


Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week

Phil Heinle – Sophomore, Goaltender (York, Pa.)
St. Mary’s University

Saint Mary’s earned a road split last weekend against a pair of talented nonconference foes, beating UW-Superior and taking No. 2-ranked UW-Stevens point to overtime. The Cardinals got great play in goal all weekend, as sophomore goalie Phil Heinle made at least 33 saves in each game, with a total of 72 saves in the two games with a .935 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average. For his performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Heinle Monday with the MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week award.

Heinle was key in Friday’s 5-2 victory at UW-Superior with a career-high 39 saves, with just two goals allowed on 41 shots and a .951 save percentage. He was just as good a day later against an even tougher foe, as No. 2 UW-Stevens Point needed 36 shots and overtime to get a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals. Heinle, despite the loss, nearly helped his team pull off the upset by making 33 saves in 60:46 of ice time. Thus far in 2014, Heinle has been in net for all six games with a .921 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average.


Compiled from weekly conference releases.

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