Not only did the Bulldogs sweep Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, and somehow fly a commercial airline and still get back in Duluth ahead of schedule, but four UMD players have been honored by the NCHC this week.
On Monday, three guys received weekly recognition from the league. Here is that info.
DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK
Willie Corrin, Minnesota Duluth
International Falls, Minn.
Corrin had arguably the best weekend of his career, helping the Bulldogs to a sweep at No. 20 Western Michigan. The sophomore dished out three assists in the series while posting a +3 rating and blocking two shots. In Friday’s 5-2 victory, he handed out a pair of helpers for his first career multi-point game with both coming in the third period, the first of which set up the game-winning goal. The next night, he had an assist on UMD’s final goal to help seal the 3-1 win, while logging a +2 rating. Corrin helped limit the Broncos to three goals all weekend while playing on a penalty kill that was 12-for-13 in the series, including 6-for-6 on Saturday. He blocked a shot in each game as well.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Kyle Osterberg, Minnesota Duluth
Osterberg led UMD to a sweep at No. 20 Western Michigan behind a four-point weekend. All four of his points came in a 5-2 win Friday, marking a career high for points, as he had a hand in four of the Bulldogs’ five goals. Osterberg scored two goals for his first career multi-goal game, while adding a pair of assists. He scored his first goal on the power play to open the scoring and added his second in the third period to add to UMD’s lead. Both of his assists were primary helpers in the second and third periods, while he posted a +3 rating for the contest and was named the first star of the game. Saturday, he put two shots on goal in a 3-1 victory to complete the sweep. Osterberg totaled seven shots on goal and finished with a +3 rating in the series. He has now earned NCHC Rookie of the Week twice this season.
GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Aaron Crandall, Minnesota Duluth
Crandall continued his strong play of late, backstopping the Bulldogs to a sweep at No. 20 Western Michigan. In the series he recorded a 1.50 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage, allowing just three goals all weekend while totaling 49 saves to pick up both wins in net. In the series opener, Crandall made 17 saves while giving up two goals (only one even strength) in a 5-2 victory that snapped WMU’s six-game unbeaten streak. On Saturday, the senior collected his 10th win of the year by allowing just one goal while making 32 saves to earn first star of the game honors. In that contest, he stopped 13 shots in each of the first two periods and helped kill all six WMU power plays. Crandall anchored a UMD penalty kill that finished 12-for-13 on the weekend as he has now started a career-best nine straight games in goal. He has now earned NCHC Goaltender of the Week twice this year.
Not honored by the league for his strip-score against Western on Saturday, freshman forward Alex Iafallo had to wait a few days. He was recognized by the league for his exploits throughout January.
NCHC January Rookie of the MonthUMD's Kyle Osterberg won the rookie honor in October.
Iafallo led all NCHC rookies with seven points in January, two more than any other freshman. He tied for the conference lead among rookies with both three goals and four assists during the month while his 1.00 points per game average in January was tops among NCHC freshmen. His three goals also tied for fourth nationally among rookies this past month. Iafallo, who is the second Bulldog to claim NCHC Rookie of the Month this season, notched all seven of his points in just three games with multiple points in each, including his second career multi-goal game. He played in all seven games during the month though, leading UMD to a 4-1-2 record in January.
Iafallo opened the month by handing out a pair of assists, his first career multi-assist game, in a win at Nebraska Omaha Jan. 10 to earn first star of the game honors, while the Bulldogs completed the road sweep the next night. On Jan. 18, the rookie scored both of UMD’s goals in a 2-2 overtime tie with Denver and scored in the shootout to again garner first star of the game. In his next game Jan. 24, Iafallo led the Bulldogs to a 5-4 win over Minnesota State in the North Star College Cup semifinals with a three-point outing, matching his career high. In that game, the six-foot winger again dished out two assists while also scoring the game-winning goal in overtime on the power play to grab first star of the game for the third time in January. He was also named NCHC Rookie of the Week for his efforts after UMD tied Minnesota in the NSCC championship game.
Iafallo finished January with a +2 rating, while putting 20 shots on goal and blocking six shots. On the season, he is tied for the team lead with both 19 points and 10 goals, while adding nine assists. Iafallo is now a candidate for Hockey Commissioners’ Association National Rookie of the Month, which will be announced Thursday. The other nominees for January NCHC Rookie of the Month were Nebraska Omaha forward Jake Guentzel, Miami forward Anthony Louis and Denver forward Trevor Moore.
The Bulldogs host Colorado College Friday and Saturday.