BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Oct. 29, 2018 – Of a bevy of standout performances, some stellar efforts in nonconference play shone brightest and are honored as the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Oct. 23-27, 2018. The honorees, led by a trio of Falcons, are: Bowling Green State University sophomore Max Johnson (Forward), junior Alec Rauhauser (Defenseman) and junior Ryan Bednard (Goaltender), along with Michigan Technological University freshman forward Brian Halonen (Rookie).
Max Johnson, So., Bowling Green (Lakeville, Minn.)
Johnson had a huge week for now-No. 9 Bowling Green, tallying at least a point all three games and tying for the WCHA scoring lead with five points overall as the Falcons went 2-0-1 against then-No. 19 Western Michigan and then-No. 4 Ohio State. The sophomore from Lakeville, Minn. scored the eventual game-winning goal in BGSU's 4-1 victory over the Broncos, then erupted for his first career hat trick in the Falcons' 8-2 win Friday at Ohio State. Johnson opened the scoring 2:19 into the contest in Columbus, extended the Bowling Green lead to 4-0 at 11:24 of the first period and then gave the Falcons a 7-0 margin late in the second stanza. He then capped the week with the primary assist on Connor Ford's go-ahead, third-period goal Saturday as Bowling Green skated to a 2-2 home tie with the Buckeyes. All four of Johnson's goals came on the power play, tied for most in the NCAA, while his four markers were tops in the WCHA. This is Johnson's first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his second career honor.
Honorable Mention: Darien Craighead, Jr., Northern Michigan (scored a goal both nights, helping the Wildcats to a split with visiting Bemidji State); Liam MacDougall, So., Ferris State (led the Bulldogs with two goals, scoring once each night in a sweep of visiting Alaska Anchorage); Aaron Miller, So., Bemidji State (scored both Beavers' goals in a 2-1 win Saturday at Northern Michigan, including the buzzer-beating, game-winner); Anthony Nellis, Sr., Lake Superior State (posted a four-point weekend with two goals and two assists, helping the Lakers remain unbeaten with a road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Parker Tuomie, Jr., Minnesota State (tied for the WCHA lead with five points, off a league-best five assists, as the now-No. 4 Mavericks swept Alaska).
Alec Rauhauser, Jr., Bowling Green (Bismarck, N.D.)
Rauhauser contributed on both ends of the ice to now-No. 4 Bowling Green's 2-0-1 week vs. ranked nonconference opponents. Offensively, the junior from Bismarck, N.D. led all WCHA defensemen with four points, all coming off assists (one in the Falcons' 4-1 victory over then-No. 19 Western Michigan and three in an 8-2 triumph at then-No. 4 Ohio State). On the defensive side, Rauhauser helped limit the Broncos and Buckeyes to five goals in three games, finishing tied for the WCHA blueliner lead with a +3 rating. This is Rauhauser's first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Philip Beaulieu, Jr., Northern Michigan (tallied three assists on the weekend, including one on Friday's game-winner, as the Wildcats split with visiting Bemidji State); Seamus Donohue, So., Michigan Tech (had three assists, including two in a 6-2 win Friday, as the Huskies earned a road split at then-No. 14 Wisconsin); Lukas Kaelble, So., Lake Superior State (collected a pair of assists and tied for the WCHA defenseman lead with a +3 rating, helping the Lakers to a road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Nate Kallen, Jr., Ferris State (handed out three assists, including one on Friday's game-winner, and added three blocked shots as the Bulldogs swept visiting Alaska Anchorage); Ian Scheid, Jr., Minnesota State (led league blueliners with two goals, including Saturday's game-winner, while adding an assist for a three-point weekend as the now-No. 4 Mavericks swept visiting Alaska).
Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green (Macomb, Mich.)
Bednard complemented Bowling Green's offensive success with stout goaltending, helping the now-No 4 Falcons to an undefeated week. Facing then-No. 19 Western Michigan and then-No. 4 Ohio State (twice), the Florida Panthers product yielded just five goals, posting a 1.62 goals-against average, 73 saves and a .936 save percentage. The junior from Macomb, Mich. turned aside 19-of-20 shots against the Broncos, then stopped 54-of-58 attempts by the Buckeyes. This is Bednard's second WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his fourth career honor.
Honorable Mention: Zach Driscoll, So., Bemidji State (made a season-high 27 stops, including on a penalty shot, to earn a 2-1 road win Saturday at Northern Michigan); Mathias Israelsson, Sr., Minnesota State (made his Mavericks debut and posted a shutout, a 0.50 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage, helping now-No. 4 Minnesota State sweep visiting Alaska); Mareks Mitens, So., Lake Superior State (stopped 29-of-30 shots Saturday to help the Lakers earn a 2-1 win and road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Roni Salmenkangas, Fr., Ferris State (led WCHA goaltenders who made multiple starts with a .960 save percentage, posted his first collegiate shutout and backstopped the Bulldogs to a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage); Atte Tolvanen, Sr., Northern Michigan (posted his ninth career shutout Friday and made 40 saves on the weekend, helping the Wildcats split with visiting Bemidji State).
Brian Halonen, F, Michigan Tech (Delano, Minn.)
Halonen led WCHA rookies with four points, posting back-to-back multi-point efforts to help Michigan Tech earn a road split at then-No. 14 Wisconsin. The freshman from Delano, Minn. had a pair of assists Friday in the Huskies' 6-2 victory, including the primary helper on fellow rookie Alec Broetzman's game-winning goal. Halonen then scored his first career goal Saturday with a power-play tally, while assisting on Tech's other marker. This is Halonen's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Alex Barber, F, Bowling Green (scored his first career goal Friday in Columbus, helping the now-No. 9 Falcons to an 8-2 win at then-No. 4 Ohio State); Darby Gula, D, Bemidji State (picked up his first collegiate point in his second game, assisting on the tying goal in the Beavers' 2-1 road win Saturday at Northern Michigan); Julian Napravnik, F, Minnesota State (scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist for a three-point weekend as the now-No. 4 Mavericks swept visiting Alaska); Roni Salmenkangas, G., Ferris State (led WCHA goaltenders who made multiple starts with a .960 save percentage, posted his first collegiate shutout and backstopped the Bulldogs to a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage).