NMU has four players makes All-WCHA Teams
Four members of the 2019-20 Northern Michigan University hockey program earned All-WCHA honors as announced by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Monday, March 16. The league's leading scorer and second in the nation in goals, Griffin Loughran was named second team along with captain Philip Beaulieu. January's WCHA Player of the Month Darien Craighead was named to the third team while freshman netminder John Hawthorne has been named to the all-rookie team.
Named a Hobey Baker Memorial Award nominee in early January, Loughran's goal total led the nation through the majority of the season. Wrapping up the regular season with 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points, his goal total currently ranks second in the country. Accumulating 32 points in league play, including 20 goals, Loughran led the WCHA in both goals and points. His 20 league goals was five more than the next highest while his 0.71 goals per game average ranked best in the conference. He also recorded one hat trick and scored on 26 percent of his shots on net. Named forward of the week once last season, this is Loughran's first All-WCHA recognition.
The nation's active leading defensive scorer until the final day of the regular season, senior captain Beaulieu joined teammate Loughran on the All-WCHA Second Team following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. With 25 points off six goals and 19 assists, Beaulieu ended his career with the Wildcats with 121 points. Adding 41 blocked shots, including 32 in league play, Beaulieu ranked 13th among all WCHA players. He was also named a nominee for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as well as a Senior CLASS Candidate, awarded to a student-athlete who has made the biggest impression both on and off the ice. This is his third All-WCHA recognition having been named to the All-WCHA first team in 2018-19 and second team the year prior.
Craighead led the league in points through the first month of the year, amassing 13 points including a hat trick at home against Ferris State, to earn WCHA Forward of the Month honors in January. He also picked up two forward of the week awards for his play throughout the opening month of 2020, the first of his career. Craighead proved invaluable in many close situations, recording three game winners as a senior including an overtime goal at then-No. 10 Bowling Green to earn the weekend sweep and again in the final 63 seconds of their final regular season game when he scored at Michigan Tech to secure home ice through the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. His 13 career game-winning goals ranks best among all active players in 2019-20. The senior out of Surrey, British Columbia ended his career with 110 career points, eighth-best among WCHA players since the 2012-13 realignment. This is Craighead's second career third team honor, having previously been named All-WCHA in 201 7-18.
Posting a shutout in his collegiate debut, a 2-0 victory over Michigan State, John Hawthorne was named the goaltender of the WCHA All-Rookie team. Hawthorne went on to post five wins in his freshman season and a 3.10 goals against average while making 306 saves between the pipes.