Jr. Blues Alumni Report: the 2019-20 NCHA Season

Springfield, Illinois – Our adventure through our alumni’s seasons has seen us review all of the Division 1 conferences and last week saw our initial stops in Division 3. We continue today with a pit stop in the heart of D3 hockey: here is our Alumni Report on the 2019-20 NCHA season!

Our first stop in the NCHA is at St. Norbert College where four Jr. Blues alumni are currently playing. Brendan Aird, a freshman blue liner from Orland Park, IL, appeared in 28 games for the Green Knights and recorded 5 goals and 7 assists. Aird scored his first NCAA goal on November 2nd to open up the season and finished the campaign being named to the 2019-20 NCHA All-Freshman Team. 

Aird’s teammate and fellow defenseman Chase Mickelson wrapped up his second season at St. Norbert’s by appearing in 26 games and scoring 1 goal and 6 assists. Mickelson, a native of Rice Lake, WI, has now appeared in 56 career games for the Green Knights with 3 goals and 13 assists to his credit. 

The next spotlight is on freshman forward Max Brainin, a native of Buffalo Grove, IL, who appeared in 28 games for St. Norbert this year. After recording his first assist on November 30th and first goal on January 4th, Brainin finished with 13 points total on 4 goals and 9 assists. 

The final alumni at St. Norbert is Hockessin, DE native Ben Schmidling. Schmidling, also a freshman forward, finished 6th on the team in points with 12 goals and 8 assists. He picked up his first assist on November 2nd and then scored his first goal on November 30th when he recorded a hat trick, his first of six multi-point games this year. 

From St. Norbert’s to Lake Forest, our next alumni up for review is junior forward Joey Sardina. Sardina, who is from Red Oak, TX, appeared in 27 games for the Foresters and posted 6 goals, 15 assists, and a +3 rating. He finished 5th on the team in points and has now played in 82 games for Lake Forest with 25 goals and 32 assists. Sardina had an impressive 8 game point streak from November 30th to January 11th in which he compiled 4 goals and 9 assists. 

Lake Forest, who earned an at-large bid to the National Tournament before it was canceled, lost in the NCHA tournament to Trine University, where defenseman Blake Robertson recently finished up his junior season. In 28 games played, the South Lyon, MI native recorded 3 goals and 8 assists to give him 15 goals and 20 assists in 78 career games. Robertson is a two-time NCHA All-Academic Team member including earning the honor this season.

From Trine to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), we now shift our focus to sophomore defenseman Jack Nickels. The Carol Stream, IL native played 22 games this season for the Raiders and scored 2 goals and 8 assists. Nickels has appeared in 47 career games with 3 goals and 12 assists on his resume. 

Nickels was named to the 2019-20 NCHA All-Academic Team, his first time with the honor, alongside fellow teammate and senior forward Kevin Shand. Shand, a native of Saline, MI, appeared in just 12 games this year but managed to post 3 goals, 4 assists, and a +7 rating while in the lineup. The two-time NCHA All-Academic Team member has appeared in 52 career games with 7 goals and 11 assists. 

Our final spotlight at MSOE is on freshman forward Nigel Nelson. Nelson, a native of Crystal Lake, IL, appeared in 22 games for the Raiders, scoring 4 goals and  adding 4 assists. He recorded his first assist on November 8th and then scored his first goal on November 9th, both against Northland. 

The next stop is at Aurora University, where three sophomore forwards helped lead the Spartans into the NCHA playoffs. Riley Doyon, a native of Carmel, IN, helped pace the Aurora offense by compiling 13 goals and 12 assists in 24 games played. The 2019-20 NCHA All-Academic Team member has now played in 51 games for Aurora with 20 goals and 17 assists.

Doyon’s teammate and fellow alum Dylan Rauh appeared in 20 games this season and scored 3 goals. The Aurora, CO native and 2019-20 NCHA All-Academic Team member has played in 47 career NCAA games and has 8 goals and 8 assists. 

Anthony Tzveyn, a native of Skokie, IL, is our final spotlight today in the NCHA. He appeared in 16 games and recorded 2 goals and 7 assists to push his career totals to 43 games, 7 goals, and 20 assists. Tzveyn rounds out our alumni at Aurora as he too was named to the 2019-20 NCHA All-Academic team. 

We would like to congratulate all 12 of our alumni who represented the Jr. Blues in the NCHA for a remarkable campaign, both on and off the ice. Best of luck to all next season and beyond!