3 Minnesota State Mavericks recognized with CCHA Player of the Month awards

A total of four players from the Minnesota State Mavericks men's and women's hockey teams earned conference honors for their efforts in December.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:32 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Three Minnesota State Mavericks received recognition from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for their contributions during the month of December.

Junior center Nathan Smith was named CCHA Forward of the Month, sophomore Jake Livingstone was named CCHA Defenseman of the Month, and senior goaltender Dryden McKay was named CCHA Goaltender of the Month. The only conference award not won by a Mavericks player was the CCHA Rookie of the Month award, which went to Rusten Swankler of Bowling Green.

Smith tallied two goals and three assists in four games for the Mavericks last month. He also had a +/- rating of +3 and had 11 total shots on goal. Smith was also named CCHA Player of the Week after the series against Michigan Tech on Dec. 3-4, where he totaled four points over the series, including scoring an overtime game-winning goal in the first game and finishing with a goal and two assists the next night.

Livingstone finished December with two goals and one assist in five games for the Mavericks. Like Smith, Livingstone had a +/- rating of +3. This isn’t the first CCHA Player of the Month award for Livingstone, who was also the CCHA Defenseman of the Month for November.

McKay, who was won his third consecutive CCHA Goaltender of the Month award on Tuesday, went 5-0-0 in five starts in December. He posted a 0.99 goals-against average and had a .946 save percentage for the month. McKay’s best performances came at the end of December, when he stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced against No. 6 Minnesota Duluth and was credited with an assist on Cade Borchardt’s overtime goal that gave No. 1 Minnesota State the victory in overtime.

The Mavericks were the top-ranked team in the nation again in this week’s USCHO rankings. MSU will host Ferris State on Friday and Saturday at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.

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