Trio of Colorado connections make up weekly NCHC awards
Three Colorado connections are represented among the Bauer NCHC Players of the Week for the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 4.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Austin Ortega, Omaha
Ortega totaled five points to power Omaha to a tie and win at Wisconsin last weekend. On Friday, he dished out an assist on UNO’s first goal that tied the game, which ended in a 3-3 overtime tie. The following night, Ortega tied a career high with four points, including recording his first career hat trick, while adding a primary assist in the Mavericks’ come-from-behind 7-4 win. The senior opened the game’s scoring only 55 ticks into the game, then bookended it with two goals in the final three minutes, including an empty-netter to seal the victory and secure the hat trick. Ortega posted a plus-3 rating in Saturday’s win and finished with a plus-2 rating in the series. He also put six shots on goal with three each night, and even blocked three shots.
With the five-point weekend, he moves into a tie for first in scoring in the NCHC for all games played with 22 points and now ranks second in the NCHC with 12 goals.
During his youth career, Ortega skated for the Colorado Thunderbirds.
DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK
Will Butcher, Denver
Sun Prairie, Wis.
For the second straight week, Butcher was a force at both ends of the ice as he again helped Denver pick up a pair of wins in a sweep of Colorado College. On Friday, the Colorado Avalanche pick handed out two assists, earning the lone helper on DU’s first goal, while he also set up the game-winning goal in the 3-1 victory. Butcher logged a plus-1 rating in the win and led a penalty kill that went 4-for-4 en route to Second Star of the Game honors. The next night, he had the primary assist on Denver’s first goal, which tied the game in an eventual 3-1 victory. He also had a plus-2 rating, while helping DU’s penalty kill finish 6-for-6 in the win.
Butcher finished the series with three assists, five shots on goal, a plus-3 rating and a blocked shot, while anchoring a penalty kill unit that was 10-for-10 in the series.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Tyson Jost, North Dakota
St. Albert, Alberta
In UND’s only game of the weekend, Jost powered North Dakota to a 4-3 win over No. 3 Boston College Saturday night in the inaugural College Hockey Showdown at Madison Square Garden. The Colorado Avalanche first-round draft pick broke a scoreless deadlock with two goals in the second period, with the second coming on the power play that put UND in front, 2-0. Jost fired four shots on goal in the win and finished with an even rating, while he also won 15-of-25 faces for a 60 percent win percentage in the circle. He was named First Star of the Game, as well. Jost now leads all NCHC rookies with 17 points (7g, 10a) in 16 games this season.
Ortega photo/Jeff Beiermann/Omaha Athletics; Butcher photo/DU Athletics; Joe Sakic and Tyson Jost photo/Getty Images