Recap: The 2020-21 regular season

The 2020-21 Aberdeen Wings’ regular season is in the books.

The record books, that is.

After an unprecedented season, the Wings finished the regular season at the top of the Central Division and the entire North American Hockey League, claiming NAHL records for their 51 wins and 103 overall points. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that it was accomplished in a shortened season; instead of the usual 60 games, the Wings broke the record in just 56 games. That’s a .920 win percentage.

But those weren’t the only records that were broken this season.

NAHL League Records

Wings star goalie Jake Sibell had a banner year, cruising to a 43-2-0-1 record in 47 games played. His 43 wins set an NAHL record for most wins in a season. His name is now also in the NAHL record books after posting a 1.19 goals-against average and .952 save percentage, the best by an NAHL goal — ever. He also earned a spot among two other past goaltenders, tying the top spot for most shutouts in a season with eleven.

Single Season Records

Payton Matsui, the NAHL’s top points leader, snagged a Wings single-season record for most game-winning goals, tallying ten. Fellow forward and Wings captain Clayton Cosentino demolished the record for most assists in a single season, grabbing 48.

Sibiell’s 43 wins set a single season record for most wins in a season. He also set the record for most shutouts with eleven. His league-leading stats also set single-season records for the Wings.

Wings Franchise Records

Defenseman Nico deVita had an astounding year on the ice, claiming the league’s top +/- spot with 49. Four more Wings followed suit right behind him: Matsui (44), Trevor Russell (43), Christian Abrams (42) and Natan Vertes (39). deVita’s efforts, combined with last year’s score, placed him at the top of the Aberdeen Wings’ all-time leaderboard with an incredible +67.

During Sibell’s two years in Aberdeen, he combined for three additional records: All-time shutouts (12), all-time goals-against (1.63) and all-time goaltender penalty minutes (16).

Head Coach Scott Langer’s Records

Not only did Langer become the most winningest coach in NAHL history with 603 wins, he also claimed several other personal records:

  • Most points in a single season: 103
  • Most wins in a single season: 51
  • Fewest losses in a single season: 4
  • Highest win percentage: .920
  • Highest goal differential: 176

Let’s talk about that last stat — the goal differential. Aberdeen scored 251 goals and only allowed 75. That 176 goal difference is jaw-dropping. For comparison, that’s 100 more than the team closest to them, the East Division’s Johnstown Tomahawks, who had a differential of 76. In the Central Division, the Bismarck Bobcats were the next closest team to the Wings with a goal differential of just 22.

NAHL Overall Point Leaders

  • First: Payton Matsui: 65
  • Fourth: Clayton Cosentino: 60
  • Ninth: Thomas Manty: 53
  • Fourteenth: Natan Vertes: 47
  • Twentieth: Cade Neilson: 45

After Trevor Russell’s goal against the St. Cloud Norsemen back on May 1, every single player on the Wings roster had a goal to their name.

NAHL Goal Leaders

  • Second: Natan Vertes: 28
  • Third: Payton Matsui: 27
  • Fifth: Spencer Schneider: 26
  • Sixth: Thomas Manty: 25

Matsui and Schneider tied the top spot for most power-play goals, each scoring ten. Matsui also recorded the most game-winning goals in the league, racking up ten.

NAHL Assist Leaders

  • First: Clayton Cosentino: 48
  • Fourth: Payton Matsui: 38
  • Ninth: Trevor Russell: 34
  • Tenth: Cade Neilson: 33
  • Thirteenth: Nico deVita: 31
  • Nineteenth: Thomas Manty: 28

Cosentino and Russell each notched 16 power-play assists, good for a first place tie in the league. Overall, Matsui came in second place for most overall power-play points with 22.

Defense Leaders

deVita finished the regular season as the league’s top defensive points earner, tallying 39 points in 54 games played. Russell was right behind him in third place with 35 points in 56 games played. Russell has the most assists for a defenseman with 34 and deVita was second with 31 — they also came in first and second in the power-play assist column, with Russell recording 16 and deVita tallying 14. In total, deVita had the most overall power-play points for a defenseman with 18 and Russell was right behind him with 16.

Not only did five Wings players lead the entire league for +/-, but five Wings defensemen also lead in their position: deVita (49), Russell (43), Abrams (42), Jakob Stender (35) and Cullen Ferguson (33).