February college prospects notebook

By DJ Powers

The final month of the 2009-10 regular season featured some great performances and fantastic finishes. Here is a look back at what happened.

Miami and Denver wrap up league regular season titles

Two of the nation’s top teams claimed their respective league regular season championships in the month.

The Miami University RedHawks dominated the CCHA for much of the season, and in mid-February they captured their third regular season league title in convincing fashion.

Led by senior captain Tommy Wingels (SJ) and the nation’s top goaltending tandem of sophomores Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp (BUF), the RedHawks ended the 2009-10 regular season going undefeated in 25 of their last 26 CCHA games.

Wingels currently leads Miami with 16 goals and is third on the team with 36 points, playing in all 36 games to date.

Reichard, who has gained a lot of NHL interest as a potential free-agent signee, leads the nation with a .841 winning percentage and a 1.48 goals against average. Knapp currently sits fourth in the nation with a 2.02 goals against average.

Over in the hotly contested WCHA, the University of Denver Pioneers captured their 12th regular season title with one week left in the league’s regular season. The title is also their first since 2005.

Led by senior pects/rhett_rakhshani”>Rhett Rakhshani (NYI) and junior netminder Marc Cheverie (FLA), the Pioneers are currently riding a 10-game winning streak heading into their regular season finale showdown with archrival Colorado College.

Rakhshani, who netted the overtime game-winner against Minnesota State-Mankato on Feb. 28 en route to Denver’s WCHA title, leads the team with 26 assists and 45 points playing in all 34 games thus far this season.

Cheverie, a top candidate for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, currently leads the nation with a .938 save percentage and six shutouts. His .833 winning percentage and 1.93 goals against average both rank second in the nation.

Olver wins CCHA scoring title

Northern Michigan junior Mark Olver (COL) became the first Wildcat in nearly a decade to win the CCHA scoring title after posting 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists) in 35 regular-season games. The Burnaby, BC native currently ranks fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 1.31 goals per game. 35 of Olver’s 46 points have come in CCHA play.

In the month of February, he registered at least one point in all eight games en route to being named the CCHA’s Player of the Month.

Boston College wins 2010 Beanpot Tournament

The month began with Boston College defeating archrival Boston University 4-3 to capture their 15th Beanpot championship. Sophomore Barry Almeida netted the game winner at the 4:22 mark of the third period.

After staking out to a 1-0 lead, the Terriers gave up four consecutive goals to the Eagles that included tallies by senior defenseman Carl Sneep (PIT) and freshman Chris Kreider (NYR).

Near the midway point of the third period, sophomore defenseman David Warsofsky (STL) began Boston University’s late rally, posting his co-nation leading fourth shorthanded goal on the season. Junior defenseman Colby Cohen (COL) got the Terriers within one at the 17:14 mark, but it wasn’t enough to get by Boston College.

Boston College junior netminder John Muse made 31 saves en route to earning both the tournament’s MVP honor as well as the Eberly Award for the highest save percentage in the tournament.

Five prospects among the semi-finalists for the 2010 Walter Brown Award

In early February, the semi-finalists for the 58th Walter Brown Award were announced. The award is presented to the top American-born collegiate player playing in New England. Of the 11 semi-finalists, five are current NHL prospects. Four of the five are defensemen. They are: Boston University junior center Nick Bonino (ANA), Providence College senior Mark Fayne (NJ), University of New Hampshire sophomore Blake Kessel (NYI), Boston College senior Carl Sneep (PIT), and Boston University sophomore David Warsofsky (COL).

The finalists for the award will be announced in March prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Four prospects selected to All-ECAC teams

The ECAC recently announced their all-league teams and among them are four current NHL prospects.

Although no current prospect made the All-First team, three made the All-Second team and one made the All-Third team. The All-Second team selections include Cornell senior Colin Greening (OTT), Colgate senior David McIntyre (NJ) and RPI sophomore netminder Allen York (CBJ). Cornell junior Riley Nash (EDM) was the All-Third team selection.

Greening has continued to be a dominant force for the Big Red. He currently ranks second on the team with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games. Greening’s teammate Riley Nash currently sits third on the team with 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists). Nash’s 18 assists also lead the team. Last season, Nash led Cornell in scoring with 35 points in 36 games.

The resurging Colgate offense this season can partly be attributed to McIntyre. The senior currently sits second on the team with 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games. Of McIntyre’s 37 points, 29 points have come in ECAC play and ranks second in the league. The Pefferlaw, Ontario native has posted at least one point in 24 of 33 games to date.

The RPI Engineers come into post-season play as the sixth seed thanks in part to the goaltending of sophomore York. The Wetaskiwin, AB native has a 13-11-4 record that includes one shutout in 30 appearances. York’s 1758:59 minutes between the pipes currently ranks 17th in the nation.

Prospects dominate ECAC All-Rookie Team

Of the six players named to the 2009-10 ECAC All-Rookie team, four are current NHL prospects. They are: RPI forwards Jerry D’Amigo (TOR) and Brandon Pirri (CHI), Harvard center Louis Leblanc (MON) and Cornell defenseman Nick D’Agostino (PIT).

As good as D’Amigo was for Team USA in the recent World Junior Championships, he has been even better for RPI. In 32 games thus far, D’Amigo has posted 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists). He also co-leads the team with three game-winning goals.

Pirri continues to be one of the most impressive rookies playing in the NCAA this season. The Toronto native currently ranks second in the nation in rookie scoring with 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) playing in all 36 games to date. Pirri’s 1.14 points per game currently ranks third.

The 2009-10 season has not been kind to the Harvard Crimson, but one bright spot has been Louis Leblanc. The Montreal native was Harvard’s lone All-League selection this year. Leblanc has played in 27 games to date. His points (21), goals (11) and three game-winners all lead the Crimson. He is also only one of two Harvard players to have posted ten or more goals thus far this season.

D’Agostino has quietly become a reliable presence on the Big Red’s blueline and that has resulted in lots of ice time. He currently ranks second on the team in defenseman scoring with 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 27 games.

Marvin receives three-game suspension by WCHA

St. Cloud State junior and Calgary Flames prospect Aaron Marvin was recently handed a three-game suspension by the WCHA that stemmed from a hit to the head of Wisconsin senior Blake Geoffrion (NSH) on Feb. 20 in Madison. The hit resulted in Geoffrion suffering a concussion.

Marvin was previously suspended for one game following an incident that occurred in a game on Nov. 13 at North Dakota. In that contest, Marvin’s hit also led to a concussion, this time to Fighting Sioux senior defenseman Chay Genoway. Genoway has not played since the incident.