Springfield, Illinois – We opened up our second full week without hockey yesterday by recapping the 2019-20 WCHA regular season and our alumni who represented the Jr. Blues well both on and off the ice. Today, we continue our journey through another NCAA Division 1 conference as we look to shine a spotlight on what our former players were up to this year in the NCHC.
We currently have three alumni playing in the NCHC – and they are all playing for Denver. To begin our recap of the 2019-20 regular season for the Pioneers, it’s important to focus first on netminder Michael Corson. Corson, a native of Darrien, IL, only appeared in one game this season for DU, but he stopped all 16 shots that he faced to pick up his first NCAA win and shutout. For his play he was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Week on November 4th, 2019, one of seven alumni netminders to earn a weekly award in their NCAA conference.
Although he stopped all 10 shots he faced in his lone appearance the year prior, it was in relief and he did not pick up the win. The sophomore holds a 1-0-0 record with a .00 GAA and 1.000% in two appearances. He is a two-time NCHC All-Conference Academic Team selection and was named an NCHC DIstinguished Scholar Award winner in 2019.
From one goaltender to another, we shift our gaze towards Los Gatos, CA native Devin Cooley. The junior backstop missed a significant portion of the 2019-20 season with a lower body injury, but did wind up appearing in nine games for the Pioneers. He finished the campaign with a 4-3-2 record, 2.08 GAA, .908 SV%, and two shutouts. Cooley picked up his third career NCHC weekly award on December 16th when he won Goalie of the Week after blanking Colorado College 3-0.
Cooley has played in 32 career games at Denver and currently holds a 15-9-4 record, 1.93 GAA, .927 SV%, and six shutouts. He was named as a player to watch for the 2020 Mike Richter Award and earned his third selection to the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team this season. Cooley also earned his first NCHC Distinguished Scholar Award this year. Last summer, Cooley participated in both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks development camps, one of seven alumni to do so.
Sometimes the most important stories are at the top of the page, and other times we save the best for last. Our final spotlight into the 2019-20 NCHC season is on senior defenseman Erich Fear. Fear, a native of Winnetka, IL, played 20 games this season for the Pioneers, scoring two assists and finishing with a +1 rating. All in all the big man on the blue line appeared in 84 games for DU and notched 2 goals and 5 assists, finishing up with a +8 rating.
And while we normally focus on the athletics part of Student Athletes, Fear stands out just as much for his work inside the classroom. A four-time NCHC Academic All-Conference Team Member and Distinguished Scholar Award Winner, he was recently awarded with the 2020 NCHC Postgraduate Scholarship as he finishes working towards his Master’s Degree in Accounting. He is set to graduate in Fall 2020.
In addition to his NCHC honors for academics, Fear is also a two-time Dr. Art Mason Memorial Award winner which is given annually to the top scholar athlete at DU. He is also a two-time AHCA All-American Scholar, a NCAA Elite 90’s Award winner (given to the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at the 2019 Frozen Four), and was named to the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Team. He was vital in leading the Pioneers to three Gold Pans, the 2017 Penrose Cup, the 2018 Frozen Four Faceoff title, and the 2018 NCAA Championship.
While the end of the year may have come much earlier for the Pioneers than they anticipated, they’re work on and off the ice leaves us with one emotion: proud. Congratulations to each of these young men for all of their hard work this past season, you have made our organization and community proud!