Jr. Blues Alumni Report – Jan. 2nd, 2020

Jan 2, 2020

Springfield, Illinois – We have a lot of ground to cover this week as we look to recap the last two weeks of play among our nearly 150 alumni currently active around the world. Here is this week’s Alumni Report!

We begin the new year discussing a familiar topic: alumni goaltenders on NCAA Division 1 rosters. This week, however, we start our conversation out east with University of Vermont senior Stefanos Lekkas. Lekkas earned HockeyEast Defensive Player of the Week honors after posting back-to-back shutouts to lead his team to victory in the Catamount Cup. The Elburn, IL native stopped 26 shots against Union and then stopped 31 shots against Lake Superior to become the first Vermont netminder to post back-to-back shutouts since 2010. The honors are Lekkas’ second of the season as he earned the award at the beginning of the season as well. 

Speaking of big weekends, goaltender Tommy Nappier helped the Ohio State Buckeyes sweep Colgate by going 2-0-0 with a 25 save shutout of his own. Nappier, a junior from St. Louis, MO, is the reigning Big 10 Goaltender of the Year and currently sports a stat line of 10-4-2, 1.78 GAA, and .937 SV%. He ranks 9th in GAA, 8th in SV%, T-8th in shutouts, and T-12th in wins. 

Moving into the professional level we take a look at Tyler Parks, who was returned to the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL after a brief call-up to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL. In his return Parks went 2-0-0 this past week with a 26 save shutout against the Wichita Thunder. After several seasons of bouncing back-and-forth between the SPHL and the ECHL, Parks seems to have found his footing in Rapid City as he has a 10-4-2 record this season with a 2.78 GAA and .919 SV%. 

Our final goaltending spotlight this week is on Janis Voris, who is currently playing for Dinamo Riga in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). In two relief appearances for Riga, Voris has allowed two goals and has a 0-1-0 record with a 1.70 GAA and .938 SV%. Voris has had quite a month as he was also named the Best Goaltender of the World Junior-Division 1A Championship tournament and now has joined one of the top leagues in the world. 

Progressing on to skaters, we keep the international flare going as we spotlight defenseman Philipp Mass. Mass, a native of Heidelberg, GER, is currently representing his home country at the 2020 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. In 5 games played Mass currently has 1 assist in his first taste of WJC action. Mass plays for Red Bull Hockey Juniors in the AlpsHL where he has 1 goal and 2 assists in 16 games. 

Matteson Iacopelli was in the festive spirit over the last week and a half for the Kalamazoo Wings. The Woodhaven, MI native put up 8 points during a 5 game point streak that saw him score two game-winning goals and led the Wings to 5 straight victories. All in all Iacopelli had 3 goals and 5 assists in his point streak to improve his stat line to 7 goals and 10 assists in 27 games. 

Our final spotlight is on Daniel DiGrande, a forward at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) who notched his first career NCAA goal and point this past weekend in a 5-3 loss against the University of Massachusetts. The Macomb, MI native is in his second season at RPI after playing parts of three seasons in the USHL and NAHL. 

Alumni Highlights: