CC Tigers: Gooch, Copeland Nab Monthly NCHC Awards

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Colorado College captured two of the three monthly awards for December by the NCHC as senior Trevor Gooch and freshman Ben Copeland were named Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month, respectively.

Gooch closed out 2018 in strong fashion, leading the NCHC with both five goals and seven points in December to help the Tigers to a 3-3-0 record during the month. His five tallies, including one game-winner, also tied for fifth nationally in December, one off the NCAA lead. Gooch recorded two multi-point games and fired 25 shots on goal in the final month of 2018, which also led all NCHC skaters, while he posted a +3 plus/minus.

Gooch started December on fire, racking up six of his seven points in the first three games after going pointless in the six games prior to December. He opened the month with a career-high three points in a 6-3 win at Omaha on Dec. 1, tallying two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist to earn First Star of the Game. The following weekend, the Mantua, N.J., native compiled three more points against Vermont with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win on Dec. 7, while extending his goal-scoring streak to three games with CC’s only tally in a 2-1 loss in the series finale. Gooch then wrapped up the year by scoring another goal in a 5-1 win at Merrimack on New Year’s Eve.

Along with his scoring, Gooch also blocked six shots and won nine faceoffs in December. He now has seven goals and 12 points on the season after only two goals and four points prior to December. Gooch is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Player of the Month, which will be announced on Friday.

Copeland, meanwhile, more than doubled his season points total in December, racking up five points in six games to lead all NCHC rookies in scoring during the month. He notched two goals, one of only two NCHC rookies to do so in December (along with teammate Grant Cruikshank), while adding three assists. Copeland’s 0.83 points per game also led all NCHC rookies with more than one game in December, while his five points tied for third among all NCHC skaters in the final month of 2018 and tied for fourth nationally among rookies.

After notching only four points in the first two months of the season, Copeland rattled off all five of his December points in CC’s first four games of the month. He opened the month with his second career multi-point game, tallying a goal and an assist in a 6-3 win at Omaha on Dec. 1 to earn Third Star of the Game. The following weekend, Copeland dished out an assist in each game of a split with Vermont. The draft-eligible forward then finished his scoring and extended his point streak to a career-long five games with the Tigers’ second goal in a 4-2 loss at Arizona State on Dec. 14.

Copeland, who now has nine points on the season (4g, 5a), finished December with nine shots on goal and a +2 plus/minus.

Both players are now candidates for HCA National Monthly awards, which will be announced on Friday, Jan. 4.

The Tigers travel to Grand Forks, N.D., for a weekend series, Jan. 11-12, against 13th-ranked North Dakota.