NYR Prospect Watch: Brett Berard, Hugo Ollas, and more
Hugo Ollas (2020 7th Round – 197th Overall) was named to the Hockey East All-Star Third Team. The sophomore goalie for Merrimack College from Linkoping, Sweden showed why he earned the honor Saturday night, backstopping the Warriors to a 1-0 double overtime win against the Boston College Eagles. Ollas stopped 36 shots on the night to pick up his fourth shutout of the season. A trip to TD Garden in the Semi-Finals of the Hockey East tournament awaits the #14 ranked team in the nation, where they will face the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks.
NYR Prospect Watch
In other Hockey East action, Brett Berard (2020 5th Round – 134th Overall) and Jaroslav Chmelar (2021 5th Round – 144th Overall) of the Providence College Friars knocked off Riley Hughes (2018 7th Round – 216th Overall) and the Northeastern Huskies by a final score of 2-1 in overtime. Brett Berard and Jaroslav Chmelar each had four shots on goal during the game, but were held scoreless. Brett’s younger brother Brady, who attended Ranger’s development camp in the summer, scored his first collegiate goal 4:00 into overtime. For his play, Brady Berard was named Pro Ambitions Hockey East Rookie of the Week on Monday, March 13th. The Friars will face-off against top-seeded Boston University Terriers in the Hockey East Semifinals on Friday, March 17th at TD Garden in Boston.
As for Riley Hughes, he finished the season with a stat line of two goals and four assists for six points. In 117 career games at Northeastern, the elder son of Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes had eleven goals and twenty one assists for thirty two points.
Zakary Karpa (2022 6th Round – 191st Overall) returned to the lineup for Harvard Crimson after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. Karpa centered the first line during the ECAC quarterfinal playoff series against the Princeton Tigers. He was +2 Friday night with one shot, while going 6-6 on faceoffs. Karpa would give Harvard a 3-0 lead Saturday night, deflecting a shot to score his fifth goal of the season in the second period. Harvard earns the 7th trip to Lake Placid in the last seven completed seasons, where they will take on Hank Kempf (2021 7th Round – 208th Overall) and the Cornell Big Red Friday night after Cornell knocked off Clarkson.
Out west, Simon Kjellberg (2018 6th Round – 163rd Overall) scored an empty net goal in Northern Michigan Wildcats’s 4-0 upset of Michigan Tech during the CCHA semifinal. Kjellberg improved his totals to four goals and ten assists on the season, as Northern Michigan won their seventh straight game, and will play for a championship on Saturday against the Minnesota State Mavericks. Eric Ciccolini (2019 7th Round – 205th Overall) will also skate for a championship on Saturday as his Michigan Wolverines meet the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday for the Big Ten Title.
The Colorado College Tigers pulled off an upset over the ninth ranked Western Michigan Broncos. Noah Laba (2022 4th Round – 111th Overall) earned the primary assist on the eventual game-winning goal Friday night of the NCHC quarter-final series, backhanding a pass to linemate Tyler Coffey to take a 2-1 lead in the third period. Laba did well on the face-off dot, winning ten of fourteen draws during his first college playoff game. On Saturday, Laba had three shots, scoring his 11th goal of the season. The Tigers won 3-2 in overtime to complete the series sweep and will look for another upset against defending champion Denver Pioneers.
Defenseman Victor Mancini (2022 5th Round – 159th Overall) saw his season come to an end Sunday when his Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks lost game three of their NCHC quarterfinal series by a score of 5-2 to North Dakota. The sophomore was -2 on the night with one blocked shot. He finishes the year with a stat line of zero goals and eight assists in 32 games. After two seasons, Mancini is still searching for his first NCAA goal with 70 games played.