Caggiula claims NCHC honors

The scoresheet has become a familiar place for Drake Caggiula’s name.

Caggiula tallied six goals and seven assists in eight of nine November games for the UND men’s hockey team to lead all NCHC players in scoring, and was named NCHC Player of the Month, the league announced Wednesday.

“It gives you a small sense of how you’ve been playing,” Caggiula said. “It doesn’t mean too much, obviously. Focus on what the team is doing and what you can do to help the team win. It’s a small reward, but at the same time, you’re thankful for it, and you’ve got to make sure you improve the next month and help the team win.”

The junior forward was the first NCHC player to reach the 20-point mark this season and remains one point away from the national scoring leader.

He also was named the league’s NCHC Offensive Player of the Week following a successful series against Miami, when he notched three goals — one being shorthanded — and two assists

Caggiula’s highlight reel goal in a 3-2 overtime win over Air Force on Nov. 1 may have proven his offensive abilities, but his teammates know his talents stretch further.

“It’s nice to see him gain some of the national accolades,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “Kind of the hidden secret is, everybody in our locker room has always known how good of hockey player he is and how good he is offensively. It’s funny — with some of the spotlight that’s coming now — he’s not getting a lot of credit for how complete of a player he is.

“It’s the credit for the offensive production and the offensive numbers, and that’s a little bit of the way it works. That’s what bring the attention. But most impressive is how complete he is. He’s hard in every area of the game. He’s reliable in every area of the game. Right now, his confidence level and his ability to be able to make plays at any given time is taking the next step.”

Elizabeth Erickson is the sports editor of The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].