DULUTH, Minn.--Adrian College center Mathew Thompson (Bolton, Ontario / Trenton Golden Hawks, OJHL) has been named the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season, as announced by the league office today. Thompson leads the Bulldogs into the Harris Cup championship game on Saturday against St. Norbert College, which is a match-up of the tournament's top-two overall seeds as well as the top-two nationally ranked NCAA Division III men's hockey programs.
The NCHA also announced a 13-member all-conference team, six-member all-freshman team, coach of the year and freshman of the year.
Thompson has amassed 32 points on 15 goals and 17 assists in 28 games played this season, including six points in three postseason contests. Four of his goals have been game-winning goals and five of his assists came on game-winning goals, including twice in the postseason. The two-year team captain has been particularly effective on the power play, having scored eight times with the man-advantage--good for first in the conference in that category. He ranks third in the NCHA in game-winning goals, fifth in goals and sixth in points. He surpassed 100-milestones for both total points (126) and games played (103) earlier this season.
"(Thompson) is the player every coach dreams of having," said Adrian fourth-year head coach Adam Krug '12, who also was named the NCHA Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. "From day-one you could tell he was a leader. He is selfless, he's a great teammate and citizen. It's great to see him get this recognition."
Thompson's points have come when it matters most for the Bulldogs, with 25 of his 32 points coming when the teams have been separated by two goals or less. He has been most productive in the third period this year, notching thirteen of his points in the final frame. He has four third-period points in three postseason games this season.
Two of Thompson's game-winning goals stand out, as they came in back-to-back games against top-ranked competition in early January. He scored the difference-maker against then No. 3 Trinity in a 4-1 victory and repeated the feat days later with a third-period game-winner against then No. 10 Utica. Those wins were significant for Adrian, coming at the front-end of a current 16-game winning streak that is currently the best in all NCAA Divisions.
For his part, Krug has lead the Bulldogs to the Harris Cup Championship game this weekend, a 24-4 overall record and the No. 1 ranking in both recognized national polls. Thompson has thrived with Krug's guidance, as have two other All-NCHA selections this year. This is the second Coach of the Year award for Krug, who previously won the award in 2015.
The coaches also voted 13 student-athletes to the All-NCHA team, highlighted by a trio of repeat award-winners on defense that includes Adrian's Cory Dunn (Trenton, Mich. / Austin Bruins, NAHL). The junior was also named All-NCHA in 2016 as a freshman, making him a three-time selection. An assistant team captain, Dunn is the Bulldogs' top playmaker with 27 assists--tied for the most by Division III blueliners--among 30 points. He needs three points to become the third Bulldog this season alone to join the 100-point club for a career.
Both Dunn and Thompson also were named to the academic all-conference team last month.
Making his All-NCHA debut is senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy (Keswick, Ontario / Aurora Tigers, OJHL), who leads the Bulldogs with career highs of 23 goals and 36 total points. In 18 league games, he led the NCHA with 14 goals. Overall, he has six game-winning goals, six power-play goals and three short-handed goals, which are first, tied for fourth and first in the NCHA. So far in the Harris Cup tournament, he has scored eight goals and three assists during Adrian's three postseason games to give him 50 goals and 58 assists for 108 points in his 97-game career.
Reserved-seat tickets for Saturday's conference championship game are sold-out. However, standing-room-only (SRO) tickets will be available for $5 on gameday, with no advanced sales online, and cash-only accepted. SRO sales start on Saturday one-and-a-half hours before game time at the AIA ticket table, and fans may enter the rink one hour before puckdrop. Students are free with valid college ID. The top-ranked Bulldogs (24-4 overall, No. 1 overall seed) will be hosting second-ranked St. Norbert College (23-4-1, No. 2 overall seed) at Arrington Ice Arena, starting at 2:05 p.m.
#GoldStandard #AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB
2017-18 Men's NCHA All-Conference Team
Forward: Lucas DeBenedet, Northland College (Jr./ International Falls, Minn.) 2017 All-NCHA
Forward: Tanner Froese, St. Norbert College (Sr./ Estevan, Saskatchewan) 2017 All-NCHA
Forward: Lane King, Lawrence University (Sr./Waunakee, Wis.)
Forward: Taylor McCloy, Adrian College (Sr./Keswick, Ontario)
Forward: Hunter Stewart, Marian University (Sr./Calgary, Alberta)
Forward: Mathew Thompson, Adrian College (Sr., Bolton, Ontario) 2016 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshmen
Forward: Derek Thorogood, Marian University (Sr., Calgary, Alb.) 2016 All-NCHA
-Additional forward due to tie in voting
Defense: Sean Campbell, St. Norbert College (Sr./ Holt, Mich.) 2016 All-NCHA
Defense: Cory Dunn, Adrian College (Jr., Trenton, Mich.) 2017 All-NCHA | 2016 All-NCHA | 2016 All-Freshman
Defense: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin (Fr./Red Deer, Alberta) 2017 All-Freshman
Defense: Mark Whiteley, College of St. Scholastica (Sr./ Surrey, British Columbia) 2017 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshman
Goalie: T.J. Black, St. Norbert College (Jr./ Wheaton, Ill.) 2017 All-NCHA
Goalie: Louis-Philippe De Courcy, Lake Forest College (Jr./Quebec City, Quebec)
2017-18 Men's NCHA All-Freshman Team
Forward: Peter Bates, St. Norbert College (Evanston, Ill.)
Forward: Keegan Milligan, St. Norbert College (Emerald Park, Saskatchewan)
Forward: Aaron O'Neill, Lake Forest College (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defense: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin (Red Deer, Alberta)
Defense: Luke Davison, St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wis.)
Defense: Tim Faulkner, Aurora University (New Baden, Ill.)
Goalie: Josh Boyko, Aurora University (Mississauga, Ontario)
-Additional defense due to tie in voting
2017-18 NCHA Player of the Year: Mathew Thompson, Adrian College
2017-18 NCHA Freshman of the Year: Braydon Barker, Concordia Wisconsin
2017-18 NCHA Coach of the Year: Adam Krug, Adrian College