BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Oct. 15, 2018 – Following impressive performances that lifted their respective teams several spots in the national polls, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Oct. 9-14, 2018 are: Bowling Green State University sophomore Cameron Wright (Forward), Minnesota State University sophomore Riese Zmolek (Defenseman), BGSU junior Ryan Bednard (Goaltender) and MSU freshman goaltender Dryden McKay (Rookie).
Cameron Wright, So., Bowling Green (Newmarket, Ontario)
Wright led the WCHA last week with two goals (tied), five points, one game-winning goal (tied) and a +5 rating (tied), helping Bowling Green go 2-1-0 and rise three spots to No. 17 in the USCHO.com poll. The sophomore from Newmarket, Ontario was second in the league by averaging 1.67 points per game, while collecting a point in all three contests. Wright had the game-winning goal and an assist in the Falcons' 6-2 road win last Tuesday at then-No. 18 Western Michigan, scored a goal Friday at Robert Morris and then had two helpers, including on the opening (and game-winning) goal Sunday in BGSU's 6-0 home victory over the Colonials. This is Wright's first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his second career honor.
Honorable Mention: Darien Craighead, Jr., Northern Michigan (capped a three-point weekend with the tie-breaking, third-period game-winning goal Saturday at Michigan State); Brendan Harris, So., Bemidji State (assisted on the Beavers' first goal both games as BSU won a series against then-No. 13/12 North Dakota for the first time ever); Parker Tuomie, Jr., Minnesota State (registered four points, five shots on goal and was +4 as the Mavericks swept then-No. 8/9 Boston University).
Riese Zmolek, So., Minnesota State (Rochester, Minn.)
Zmolek led WCHA blueliners in scoring with three points (1g-2a), blocked five shots and recorded a +3 rating as Minnesota State jumped to No. 7/8 in the national polls following a sweep of then-No. 8/9 Boston University. The sophomore from Rochester, Minn. had a multi-point effort in Saturday's 5-3 victory, scoring the Mavericks' third goal and assisting on Marc Michaelis' empty-net tally that sealed the win and sweep. During Friday's contest, Zmolek set up Dallas Gerads' second-period goal that tied the contest 2-2 en route to a 4-3 Minnesota State triumph. This is Zmolek's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Tony Bretzman, Sr., Northern Michigan (scored the Wildcats' first goal of the season, his first collegiate marker); Alec Rauhauser, Jr., Bowling Green (had a pair of assists in the Falcons' 6-2 win at then-No. 18 Western Michigan, while finishing the week with five blocks and a +3 rating).
Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green (Macomb, Mich.)
Bednard started both of Bowling Green's wins last week, leading WCHA goalies that made multiple starts with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage (49-of-51). The Florida Panthers product was arguably the best player on the ice in the Falcons' 6-2 road win last Tuesday at then-No. 18 Western Michigan, stopping 34-of-36 shots. After not playing Friday, Bednard posted a 15-save shutout Sunday as the now-No. 17 Falcons rolled to a 6-0, home-opener win over Robert Morris. This is the Macomb, Mich. native's first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Henry Johnson, So., Bemidji State (was sensational in his first collegiate start, making 28 saves in the Beavers' season-opening, 2-1 win over then=No. 13/12 North Dakota); Mark Sinclair, So., Alabama Huntsville (stood on his head Friday at Colorado College, stopping 46-of-47 shots as the Chargers fell, 1-0); Atte Tolvanen, Jr., Northern Michigan (made 41 saves Friday and ranked second in the WCHA with 67 stops on the weekend, helping the Wildcats to a season-opening split at Michigan State).
Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State (Downers Grove, Ill.)
McKay became the first freshman goaltender to win a season-opening game in Minnesota State's Division I era, stopping 49-of-55 shots to backstop the Mavericks' sweep of then-No. 8/9 Boston University. The Downers Grove, Ill. native had 21 saves in Friday's 4-3 win, then turned aside 28 shots in Saturday's 5-3 victory as the Mavericks vaulted to No. 7/8 in this week's national polls. While matching Colgate's Mitch Benson for the most wins last week by a NCAA rookie, McKay became the first Minnesota State freshman netminder to triumph in the season's opening contest since Ken Hilgert accomplished the feat in a 12-3 win over UW-Stevens Point in 1984-85.
Honorable Mention: Ty Readman, F, Northern Michigan (first collegiate point came via an assist on the Wildcats' first goal of the season, Friday at Michigan State); Taylor Schneider, F, Bowling Green (collected his first collegiate point by scoring on his only shot in the Falcons' 6-2 win at then-No. 18 Western Michigan); Owen Sillinger, F, Bemidji State (scored his first collegiate goal in dramatic fashion, snapping a 1-1 tie at the 7:13 mark of the third period Friday and giving the Beavers a 2-1 win over then=No. 13/12 North Dakota).