Brad Becker was part of two races as the North American 3 Hockey League regular season neared its conclusion.
Becker was chasing the league scoring title at the same time his Binghamton Junior Senators were pursuing the top spot in the league’s overall standings.
Consider both to be a success in what likely was not a coincidence.
“Brad has been a big part of our success this season as well as a positive role model for the guys both on and off the ice,” Binghamton head coach Chris Laganiere said, according to a story on the league’s website.
Becker led the NA3HL in points and plus/minus and the Senators wound up with the 42-team league’s best record.
The 20-year-old from Howell, New Jersey, did not stop there. He completed a weekend of celebration by finalizing his decision to continue playing hockey in college on the NCAA Division III level at Utica College.
“I got it all in one weekend,” Becker said in a phone interview.
Binghamton finished 41-3-0-3, four points ahead of the pack, by sweeping its three-game final weekend to continue a lengthy run of success.
The Senators finished the regular season on a 16-game winning streak and unbeaten in regulation over their last 35 games.
Becker had two hat tricks and 19 points over a five-game, season-ending scoring streak and had points in 15 of the 16 games in the winning streak to win the scoring title a bit more comfortably, by 10 points.
“That was not my main goal,” Becker said. “I just wanted to help my team keep winning games.”
Becker scored 21 goals and assisted on 25 during the 16-game winning streak.
The points were just some of the impressive numbers Becker put up.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound forward finished at plus-99, the highest plus-minus rating in the league over the past four seasons.
In addition to leading the league with 116 points, Becker shared the lead in goals with 53 and ranked second in both assists (63) and game-winning goals (nine). His 18 power-play assists tied for eighth best and his 11 power-play goals tied for 10th best in the league.
“Confidence played a big role,” Becker said. “That helped me so much, but obviously I have to give a lot of credit to my linemates.
“Both of my linemates are top forwards in the league and two of the top two kids in Tier III hockey.”
Left wing Ryan Leiffler scored 90 points in 36 games to rank sixth in the league. Latvian Dominyk Bogdziul played for two teams in the North American Hockey League before joining the Senators around the holidays and scored 71 points in just 23 games.
“It’s obviously not a one-man game,” Becker said. “They’ve given me plenty of help.”
So has Laganiere, who set Becker loose in an attack that scored 60 more goals than every other NA3HL team.
“He’s given me a lot of freedom and kind of let me — not do what I want — but given me freedom to try to produce some points,” Becker said.
While Binghamton waited for Friday’s Silver Cup playoff opener against Oswego, Becker revealed his decision to follow 2016-17 Senators team captain and former teammate Conor Landrigan to Utica.
Becker played in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan. The tournament was scouted by Utica coaches.
Prior to arriving in Binghamton last season, Becker had played most of his hockey in New Jersey with the Junior Titans in the North American Prospects Hockey League for four seasons. He then played with the New Jersey Titans in the 2015-16 NAHL season, scoring 14 points in 42 games before settling in on the NA3HL level.
When he was cut by the NAHL’s Shreveport Mudbugs in September 2016, Becker thought Binghamton would be a temporary spot as he tried to move back up. Instead, he fell in love with the organization and stayed put, scoring 63 points in 44 games and setting himself up for a special second season.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc