Photo: Clint Austin
Files from NCHCHockey.com
Four different teams are represented among the NCHC Players of the Week for the week of Oct. 30 through Nov. 5, 2023, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced Monday. Garnering NCHC honors for Week 5 are:
- Forward – Joe Molenaar, St. Cloud State, Sr.
- Defenseman – Griffin Ludtke, Omaha, So.
- Goaltender – Matthew Thiessen, Minnesota Duluth, 5th-Yr. – Former Steinbach Piston (2017-18)
- Rookie – Freddie Halyk, Denver, goaltender
These are the first career NCHC honors for Molenaar, Ludtke and Halyk, while Thiessen gloved his second career NCHC Goaltender of the Week award and first this season. He’s the second UMD netminder to claim the honor this year, joining Zach Stejskal, who’s won it twice this season.
Thiessen was called into action off the bench last weekend against then-No. 6 Minnesota and delivered with two strong performances. On Friday, he entered for the final 9:51 of the game on the road in Minneapolis after a Zach Stejskal injury, making eight saves and allowing no goals. The next night, Thiessen started and made a career-high 47 saves in a 3-3 overtime tie, including five in overtime and several highlight-reel stops. The Vancouver Canucks draft pick also denied both shots he faced in the ensuing shootout as UMD topped the Gophers in the shootout.
Thiessen finished the series with 55 saves and a .948 save percentage, while posting a 2.40 goals-against average. In doing so, he upped his season save percentage to .891 and lowered his season GAA to 3.44 in four outings (1-1-1 record).