Springfield, Illinois – What a week of hockey! In this week’s edition we spotlight some of our former netminders who have stolen the limelight early in the season as well as a rookie performing at a high level for his NCAA squad. All this and much more in this week’s Alumni Report!
We begin today in Mankato, Minnesota as our first spotlight is on netminder Dryden McKay, a senior for the Mavericks and now an NCAA record-holder. McKay, a native of Downers Grove, IL, increased his season numbers to 6-2-0-0 with a 1.64 GAA, .914 SV%, and 2 shutouts after leading his team to a weekend sweep of Northern Michigan. With his 7-0 shutout on Saturday night McKay now has 27 career shutouts, setting an NCAA Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey record for shutouts – surpassing Ryan Miller who had 26 shutouts when he played for Michigan State. So far in his four seasons at Minnesota State McKay has accumulated an 81-17-4 record with a 1.54 GAA, .931 SV%, and 27 shutouts. He is a three-time WCHA Goaltending Champion, two-time WCHA Goaltender of the Year, two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete, two-time WCHA All-Academic selection, and a two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist. McKay played for the Jr. Blues during the 2014-15 season (pictured above), appearing in 37 games and posting a 15-18-0-2 record with a 2.77 GAA, .917 SV%, and 2 SO.
From a netminder who has become the epitome of consistency to a goaltender looking to get to the next level, our next spotlight is on Waterloo Black Hawks crease defender Jack Williams. Williams, a native of St. Louis, MO, is currently in his first season in Waterloo and has a 5-2-1-0 record with a 1.95 GAA, .925 SV%, and 2 SO after leading his team to a weekend sweep of the Fargo Force. He currently ranks in the top ten in almost every statistical category; T-2 in Wins, 3rd in GAA, 4th in SV%, and 3rd in Shots Against (227). Jack leads the USHL in shutouts, minutes played (523), and games played (9). Williams played for the Jr. Blues during the 2018-19 campaign and finished his time here with a 21-13-3-0, 2.85 GAA, .897 SV%, and 4 shutouts.
Our next spotlight takes us across the pond as we pivot to focus on goaltender Sandro Aeschlimann who is currently patrolling the crease for HC Davos in the NL. Aeschlimann, a native of Zaziwil, SUI, is coming off a strong week for Davos that included a 32-save shutout on Saturday in a 8-0 win over Biel as well as a 31-save 3-2 victory over the Langnau Tigers on Tuesday. He now has a 7-1-0 record with a 1.56 GAA, .950 SV%, and 2 shutouts, leading the NL in goals against and save percentage. Aeschlimann played for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season and appeared in 10 games, recording a 4-5-0 record with a 3.42 GAA and .889 SV%.
From Switzerland to Wheeling, West Virginia, our next spotlight is on netminder Tommy Nappier who is currently playing for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. In three appearances this week Nappier posted a 2-1-0 record including relieving the starter on Saturday in the Nailers come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Wichita. Nappier now has a 2-1-0 record with a 2.13 GAA and .895 SV% in Wheeling since starting the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Since graduating from Ohio State at the end of the 2020-21 season, the St. Louis, MO native has played in 10 ECHL games for Wheeling (4-6-0, 2.37 GAA, .914 SV%) and 4 AHL games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1-3-0, 3.82 GAA, .851 SV%). Nappier played for the Jr. Blues during the 2015-16 season and finished with a 18-17-0-4 record with a 2.45 GAA, .919 SV%, and 3 SO in 39 appearances. He also was selected and played at the NAHL’s Top Prospect Tournament in 2016.
Our final spotlight of the week resides in Big Rapids, Michigan as forward Bradley Marek had another breakthrough performance over the weekend for the Ferris State Bulldogs. Marek, a native of Big Rapids, earned his second CCHA Rookie of the Week honor after netting two goals over the weekend as the Bulldogs earned a split against Canisius. He opened the scoring for Ferris on Friday in their 4-3 loss to the Griffins and put the Bulldogs in the lead on Saturday in their 4-2 victory. On the season Marek now has 3 goals and 2 assists in 8 games played, 3rd most points by a freshmen in the CCHA and 4th most points on his team overall. Marek played for the Jr. Blues during the 2017-18 season where he recorded 8 goals and 9 assists in 31 games including 3 power play goals, 2 game winning goals, and 5 multi-point games.
While these alumni may have made the biggest waves this past week, they weren’t the only alums to represent the shield proudly!
Brady Tomlak 3 A Toledo Walleye ECHL
Kevin Klima 1 G HK Hradec Kralove Czech
Kelly Klima 1 A HK Hradec Kralove Czech
Josh Lammon 1 A Cardiff Devils EIHL
Ricards Bernhards 3 A Kiruna AIF HockeyEtten
Radim Matus 1 A Orli Znojmo ICEHL
Les Lancaster 1 G Ilves Liiga
Janis Voris 1-0-0 Donbass Donetsk Ukraine
Brandon Puricelli 1 A Lake Superior State NCAA
Sam Craggs 1 A Bowling Green NCAA
Coale Norris 1 G Bowling Green NCAA
TJ Friedmann 1 A Quinnipiac NCAA
Will Gavin 3 G Air Force NCAA
Riley Doyon 1 A Aurora NCAA DIII
Ben Schmidling 1 A St. Norbert NCAA DIII
Andrew Erwin 1 G Hamline NCAA DIII (First NCAA Goal)*
Josh Norman 2 G Lake Forest NCAA DIII (First NCAA Goal)*
Nikita Kozyrev 2 A Buffalo State NCAA DIII
Caydon Meyer 1 A Bethel Univ. NCAA DIII (First NCAA Assist)*
Braden Stewart 2 A Univ. of Illinois ACHA
Darren Johnson 1 G, 1 A Aquinas ACHA
Blake Finley 1 G, 3 A Lindenwood ACHA
Mason McCormick 1 G Waterloo Black Hawks USHL
Congratulations to these young men for their hard work and dedication to the game of hockey! We also want to wish good luck to all of alumni this weekend and moving forward!