All-California NCAA Men’s Players of the Year: Troy Loggins & Andrew Oglevie
Individual success vs. team success can be a difficult balance to achieve at times.
Our 2017-18 All-California NCAA Men’s Players of the Year accomplished both.
Junior center Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton) seemed to generate some of his best performances in Notre Dame’s biggest games, and nowhere was that more evident than in the NCAA Tournament, where he had seven points in four games, and played a direct role in the Irish reaching the title game.
Oglevie, who signed with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres last month, initiated the Irish’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit to Michigan in the national semifinals with a power-play goal in the second period and an assist on what proved to be the winning goal in the third. Two nights later against Minnesota Duluth, he again put the Irish back in the game with a second-period goal to halve a 2-0 deficit.
Those developments really were nothing new as six of his 15 goals (in 36 games) were first goals. Another four were game winners and another tied the score. So 11 of the 15 goals won a game, tied the score or jump-started the Notre Dame offense.
And 24 of his 39 points came against ranked teams.
While the Irish were expected to be a title contender, Northern Michigan was hoping to bounce back from a 13-22-4 season. Junior Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach) ensured the Wildcats did.
Northern Michigan improved by 12 wins, going 25-15-3 and reaching the WCHA championship game.
Loggins was a player possessed in the WCHA tournament, scoring six goals among his nine points (in seven games), as the Wildcats twice had to win deciding Game 3s. In those clutch situations, Loggins was also at his best, getting two goals and assist in a clinching 5-2 win against Alabama Huntsville and the overtime winner in a 3-2 Game 3 triumph against Bowling Green.
When all was said and done, Loggins had nearly tripled the 16 points from his sophomore season, finishing with 47 in 43 games. His 23 goals were the most by a California player in Division I hockey this season, and they came in all forms – nine on the power play, five shorthanded and five to win games.
He and Oglevie proved individual excellence need not come at the expense of one’s team.
Meet the rest of the team
Max Becker, Princeton – Of the senior’s 10 points, none was bigger than the OT goal to give the Tigers the ECAC playoff championship.
Jake Durflinger, Denver – Slid into the defending champs’ lineup as a freshman, killed penalties and put up 12 points.
Brett Gervais, Clarkson – The senior assistant captain did a lot of the dirty work to help the Golden Knights to the NCAA Tournament.
Niko Hildenbrand, UMass – The sophomore doubled his goals to eight and his points to 17 for the improving Minutemen.
Robby Jackson, St. Cloud State – The junior led one of D-I’s top-ranked teams with a career-high 42 points. An every-situation threat, seven of his 15 goals came on special teams.
Will Johnson, Wisconsin– The Badgers took a step back, but he kept scoring, getting 18 points in his junior season.
Patrick Khodorenko, Michigan State – The sophomore surged to 32 points as a 19-year-old for the resurgent Spartans.
Ben Lown, Miami – Made a smooth transition to college (15 points) and played on both special teams as a freshman.
Mike McNicholas, New Hampshire – The senior led the Wildcats with 24 points then signed with Indy of the ECHL.
Patrick Newell, St. Cloud State – The steady set-up man improved to 27 points as a junior, the third season in a row he’s had 22 or more.
Nick Rivera, Minnesota State – The tough-as-nails sophomore nearly doubled his points total to 18 while playing a shutdown role.
Jake Slaker, Michigan – The sophomore more than doubled his goals to 15, increased his points to 27 and wore a letter for a Frozen Four team.
Nate Kallen, Ferris State – The sophomore continued to show a good front side to his game, with five goals among his 13 points.
Alec McCrea, Cornell – The junior was an important cog for a highly ranked defensive juggernaut. Had 12 points and 53 blocks.
Matt O’Donnell, Vermont – Really came on in his sophomore season, getting eight goals among his 16 points and blocking 56 shots.
Rourke Russell, Miami – The freshman played a shutdown role, killed penalties and was even for a sub-.500 team.
Arthur Brey, St. Lawrence – The junior’s .906 save percentage was a bright spot for a struggling team.
Merrick Madsen, Harvard – The senior finished his career with a .918 save percentage and a 2.09 GAA for a rebuilding team, then signed with the Coyotes.
Note: This list was compiled in consultation with college coaches and players who were promised anonymity for their input.
Loggins photo/Northern Michigan Athletics
Oglevie photo/Fighting Irish Media
— Chris Bayee
(May 3, 2018)