The 2019-20 college hockey season is quickly coming to an end. Four weeks remain in the regular season. The first round of the NCHC playoffs takes place on March 13-15, 2020. Currently, the Fighting Hawks lead the NCHC with 40 points and have two games in hand on the second-place Bulldogs.
Last week, I mentioned that the NCHC Rookie of the year is going to reside in Denver or Grand Forks. Currently, in conference play, Bobby Brink (5g-10a–15pts) and leads Shane Pinto (8g-5a–13pts) by two points. (Link to stats)
In the last series between DU and UND, neither player recorded a single point. As most of you know, Brink and Pinto were teammates on the 2020 USA WJC team. My sister Holly (Brink) said that they met Pinto’s parents at the World Juniors.
2019 NHL Draft
Both players were drafted in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Pinto was selected in the second round by the Ottawa Senators (No. 32 overall). Brink was selected two picks later by the Philadelphia Flyers (No. 34 overall).
Last weekend, UND and DU were off. Overall, Brink (10g-13a-23pts) leads Pinto (13g-9a–22pts) by a single point. Pinto is tied for the league lead in power play goals with (Kobe Roth, Tanner Laderoute, Noah Coats and teammate Jasper Weatherby).
Both players have had similar seasons. During the last 15 games, both players have 16 points: Brink (6g-10a—16pts), Pinto (11g-5a—16pts). In eight games, during the month of January: Brink won the NCHC player of the month recording (3g-6a—9pts). Pinto recorded (4g-3a—7pts).
Since the beginning of the New Year, in nine games, Brink has scored (3g-7a—10pts), he’s also a plus-four. That’s good for eighth among NCHC skaters. His counterpart, Pinto has scored (5g-3a—8pts), in eight games (Pinto missed a game due to a one-game suspension). He’s also a plus-three. During that same time, Pinto is ranked 21st overall in the NCHC. For comparison sake, UND junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi leads the NCHC with (8g-9a—17pts), he’s also a plus-four. (Link to stats)
Both players are currently on multiple-game point streaks. Brink has a five-game points streak (2g-6a—8pts). Pinto has a six-game point streak (4g-3a—7pts).
Again, there’s is no conflict. Earlier this year I wrote this: For the record, I am an alumnus of the University of North Dakota. I have two degrees (BA/MA) from UND. I bleed green and white. I want to see all of the universities’ sports programs be successful.
Bobby’s Dad Andy Brink
When I first arrived at UND in the fall of 1993, Bobby’s dad Andy was a hockey player for the University of Minnesota. In 136 games with the Gophers, Andy scored (20g-47a–67pts). Brink also played on the 1994 USA WJC team with former Fighting Sioux goalie Toby Kvalevog. I don’t know if we will ever see another WJC team with two players from Bemidji, MN.
This season, I re-upped my league-wide NCHC.TV subscription. With that, I’ve been able to see quite a few of the Denver games. I’ve also been able to watch quite a few games on Altitude this season, thanks to DirecTV. Watching both players, I believe that they’re the best two rookies in the NCHC.