Pair of Pioneers players, Tigers goaltender take home weekly NCHC laurels
Three of the four NCHC weekly player awards Jan. 30 went to standout players from Colorado teams.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Liam Finlay, Denver
Finlay doubled his season point total in Denver’s sweep of Omaha, tallying four points in the two wins after entering with four points in 20 games all season.
On Friday, he tallied the game-winning goal late in the second period that put DU in front 4-2 in an eventual 5-3 win. Finlay fired four shots on goal and had a plus-1 rating. The next night, he notched his first career multi-point game by handing out three assists in a 5-0 shutout, which stretched his point streak to four games. Finlay set up two power play goals to book-end the scoring, including on the game’s first goal, which was the game-winner, while also assisting on the fourth goal. He again logged a plus-1 rating and was named Second Star of the Game.
Finlay finished the series with a goal, a trio of assists, a plus-2 rating and five shots on goal. He now has three goals and five assists for eight points this season.
DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK
Will Butcher, Denver
Sun Prairie, Wis.
Butcher led the Pioneers to a sweep of Omaha over the weekend, tallying three points while helping limit the Mavericks to three goals in two games.
On Friday, Butcher asserted himself on the offensive end, handing out an assist on the game-winning goal in the second period, while scoring a power play goal for insurance in a 5-3 victory. The Colorado Avalanche draft pick also fired six shots on goal and had a plus-1 rating en route to Third Star of the Game honors. The next night, Butcher assisted on DU’s second goal, while helping pitch a shutout in a 5-0 win and posting a plus-2 rating. Additionally, the team captain blocked three shots in the series and led a penalty kill unit that finished 8-for-9, including 5-for-6 on Friday.
Butcher ended the weekend with a plus-3 rating and six shots on goal. He has 24 points on the season, including 19 assists, and a team-best plus-19 rating.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Alex Leclerc, Colorado College
Leclerc had a career weekend in backstopping Colorado College to a split at home against North Dakota, posting a .954 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average in the two games.
On Friday, Leclerc totaled 38 saves in a 5-2 loss, while allowing four goals, three of which came in the game’s final five minutes. The next night, he made a career-high 45 saves, including 21 in the second period, to pitch his second shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory. Of his 45 saves, 15 came on UND’s six power plays as he totaled 19 saves in the series on UND man advantages, helping CC’s penalty kill go a perfect 9-for-9. Leclerc was named the game’s First Star on Saturday as the Tigers snapped a 14-game winless streak against the Fighting Hawks.
He finished the series with 83 saves on 87 shots faced, the most saves in a weekend series by a CC goalie since Nov. 23-24, 2012 (87 saves by Joe Howe).
On the season, Leclerc has a 5-14-2 record with a 3.16 GAA and a .900 save percentage.
Photos/DU Athletics, Colorado College Athletics