- Mavericks, Falcons in Top-10: For the second consecutive week, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) has two teams in the top-10 of the national opinion polls. Defending league regular season champion Minnesota State is ranked third in USCHO.com poll and fourth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ledger, while Bowling Green is No. 10 in both.
- The 7-1-0 Mavericks climbed a spot in the USCHO.com rankings after a nonconference, home-and-home sweep of then-No. 10/8 Minnesota. The Falcons (6-2-1) split their WCHA opener with Northern Michigan.
- Bemidji State (4-1-1), which opened the season 1-0-1 against now-No. 11 North Dakota, and Lake Superior State (5-1-0), which split last weekend with then-No. 12/13 Michigan, are both receiving votes and just outside the polls. By voting points, the Beavers and Lakers are 22nd and 23rd, respectively, in both polls.
- Recent Nonconference Success: WCHA teams are 6-3-1 in their last 10 nonconference games and the league is now 19-25-3 overall, just one win shy of matching its entire 2017-18 inter-conference victory total (20-38-7).
- WCHA teams have posted 11 wins against opponents ranked at the time of puck drop: Boston University (two), Michigan, Minnesota (two), North Dakota (two), Ohio State, Western Michigan (two) and Wisconsin, along with ties against Denver, UND and OSU.
- National Scoring Leaders: The WCHA has six of the top-25 point-scorers in the country entering the weekend.
- A trio of skaters are part of a four-way tie for second with 13 points apiece: Bowling Green sophomores Max Johnson (6g-7a) and Brandon Kruse (3g and a NCAA-best 10a), along with Minnesota State junior Parker Tuomie (5g-8a).
- BGSU senior Stephen Baylis (5g-6a) and MSU junior Marc Michaelis (5g-6a) are tied with 10 others for ninth with 11 points each, while Lake Superior State senior Anthony Nellis is tied for 21st with 10 (5g-5a).
- Among the Best: Four (4) of the nation's top-15 winningest teams since 2013-14 realignment play in the WCHA.
- Minnesota State has gone 134-59-16 (.679) to lead all NCAA Division I men's hockey programs in victories over the last five seasons. Michigan Tech (114-73-26, .596) is tied for 12th, Bowling Green (113-72-26, .597) is tied for 14th and Ferris State (98-92-17, .514) is tied for 20th.
By the Numbers
- 2: Wins for Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels to reach 450 in his illustrious 27-year career, all behind the Bulldogs' bench.
- 10: Shutouts for Northern Michigan senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen, tied for the second-most in program history.
The Week Ahead
- Three WCHA Series: All six WCHA league games will be streamed live and on-demand via FloHockey.tv.
- Michigan Tech and Ferris State, programs that have combined to hoist five WCHA trophies over last five seasons, meet for the only time in the 2018-19 regular season. The Bulldogs have hosting honors.
- No. 10 Bowling Green makes its first of two Alaska trips, traveling to Anchorage for its first WCHA road series. Lake Superior State will look to continue its hot start when the Lakers host the Alaska Nanooks.
- Nonconference vs. the East: Each of the four nonconference games will also be available via FloHockey.tv.
- Bemidji State welcomes Hockey East opponent Merrimack to the Sanford Center for the programs' first meeting since Oct. 2007 (also in Bemidji).
- Northern Michigan hosts No. 17 Cornell from the ECAC -- a series that got its start at the 1980 Frozen Four.
The Week in Review
- Three league series result in a split and two road sweeps, while WCHA teams fashion a 4-2-0 mark against the Big Ten.
at No. 9/10 Bowling Green 3, Northern Michigan 1
Northern Michigan 2, at No. 9/10 Bowling Green 0
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Slater Family Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio)
- Playing at home as a top-10 team for the first time since 2015, the No. 9/10 Falcons split with the Wildcats in a rematch of the 2018 WCHA Semifinals.
- Bowling Green opened league play with a 3-1 win Friday. Freshman Taylor Schneider (1st period) and Sam Craggs (2nd period) gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead, before NMU senior Troy Loggins cut the lead in half with his first goal of the season (at 11:28 of the second period). BGSU's Brandon Kruse netted the lone tally of the third period, while Ryan Bednard made 22 saves in net.
- NMU senior Atte Tolvanen, the reigning WCHA Goaltender of the Year, blanked the nation's leading offense Saturday with a 35-save shutout, the 10th of his career. He made 10 saves in the first period, 15 in the second and 10 more in the third to stymie a BGSU team that entered the weekend averaging 5.14 goals-per-game. Connor Frantti scored 4:27 into the game and Philip Beaulieu added a power-play marker 26 seconds into the third stanza for the Wildcats in a 2-0 victory.
Michigan Tech 2, at Alabama Huntsville 1
Michigan Tech 4, at Alabama Huntsville 1
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Von Braun Center; Huntsville, Ala.)
- The Huskies opened their WCHA schedule with a road sweep at UAH, keeping the host Chargers winless.
- Tech scored twice in the second period Friday and rode Matt Jurusik's 16 saves to the 2-1 win. Justin Misiak opened the scoring 2:05 into the middle frame, while freshman defenseman Colin Swoyer followed 3:15 later with his first collegiate goal. UAH's Brandon Salerno lit the lamp at 11:03 of the third, but that was as close as the Chargers would get.
- After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Huskies scored twice in the second period and twice in the third for a 4-1 win Saturday. Jake Lucchini had a 3-point effort with two goals and an assist. The senior netted a power-play goal at 7:27 of the second for the eventual game-winner, put home an empty-netter and assisted on Keegan Ford's game-opening marker. Madison Dunn was the only Charger to beat Jurusik, who finished with 22 saves.
Bemidji State 2, at Alaska Anchorage 0
Bemidji State 3, at Alaska Anchorage 1
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska)
- The Beavers, who are ranked second nationally by allowing just 1.17 goals-per-game, yielded a single tally in sweeping the host Seawolves.
- Freshman Owen Sillinger scored both BSU goals and sophomore goaltender Henry Johnson made 18 saves for his first collegiate shutout, lifting the Beavers to a 2-0 win in Friday's series opener. Sillinger lit the lamp at 15:34 of the first period and then again on the power-play with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to put the game out of reach. Brody Claeys was solid in the Seawolves' net, making 29 stops.
- BSU goaltender Zach Driscoll made 24 saves and pitched a shutout for the first 59:03 as the Beavers won, 3-1, Saturday to complete the sweep. Charlie Combs and Brendan Harris scored for BSU in the second period, while freshman Alex Ierullo netted his first collegiate goal at 12:08 of the third. UAA sophomore Zac Masson scored his first career goal to avert a weekend shutout for the Seawolves.
No. 4 Minnesota State 5, at No. 10/8 Minnesota 1
(Nov. 2 at 3M Arena at Mariucci; Minneapolis, Minn.)
at No. 4 Minnesota State 2, No. 10/8 Minnesota 1
(Nov. 3 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)
- The fourth-ranked Mavericks improved to 7-1-0 and with a statement, nonconference home-and-home sweep over their in-state rivals, the No. 10/8 Gophers.
- Junior Marc Michaelis, a two-time All-WCHA performer, had two goals and two assists to lead the Mavericks to a 5-1 win Friday at 3M Arena at Mariucci. After the teams traded the first two goals, Minnesota State scored the game's final four markers. Charlie Gerard's goal at 15:41 of the first period was the game-winner, Nick Rivera gave the Mavericks a 3-1 lead in the second and Michaelis scored twice in the final stanza (including a short-handed marker at 16:36. Mathias Israelsson made 24 saves for Minnesota State.
- The host Mavericks scored twice in a 1-minute, 20-second span of the second period Saturday to erase a 1-0 deficit and beat the Gophers, 2-1. Trailing 1-0 after the first 20 minutes, Parker Tuomie tied the score on a power-play goal at 3:46 of the second. On the penalty kill just after, Jake Jaremko – the 2017-18 WCHA Rookie of the Year – scored short-handed for his first goal of the season and the game-winner. Minnesota State completed its first sweep of Minnesota since Dec. 3-4, 2010 and has now beat the Gophers in six of their last eight meetings.
at Lake Superior State 5, No. 12/13 Michigan 2
No. 12/13 Michigan 5, at Lake Superior State 3
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
- Hosting Michigan for the first time since Jan. 18-19, 2013, the Lakers continued their impressive, 5-1-0 start, by splitting with the No. 12/13 Wolverines on Great Lake State Weekend.
- Senior Anthony Nellis turned in a four-point performance with a goal and three assists, LSSU rattled off four-straight goals spanning the first and second periods, and the host Lakers improved to 5-0-0 with a 5-2 win in Friday's series opener. Michigan struck first with a goal at 7:16 of the first period, before Nellis tied the score at 14:06 and Brayden Gelsinger converted on the power play just 43 seconds later. Freshman Jacob Nordqvist scored his first collegiate goal 39 seconds into the second period, while Nick Kossoff had a 28-save effort between the pipes.
- Nellis scored his second goal of the weekend for LSSU on Saturday, fellow senior Diego Cuglietta also lit the lamp, but Michigan earned the split with a 5-3 win. The Wolverines led 2-0 after the first 12 minutes, but Cuglietta's goal with 15 seconds remaining in the opening period got the Lakers back in the game. Nellis then tied the contest with a goal 1:36 into the second, but Michigan scored three more times before the period ended to take command. Collin Saccoman added a third-period tally for LSSU.
at Michigan State 5, Ferris State 3
(Nov. 2 at Munn Ice Arena; East Lansing, Mich.)
at Ferris State 4, Michigan State 1
(Nov. 3 at Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich.)
- Meeting for the 126th and 127th times in series history, the Bulldogs won Saturday before a sellout home crowd to earn the split with their long-time rival.
- Ferris State tried to rally late Friday in East Lansing, but could not overcome Patrick Khodorenko's hat trick as the host Spartans won, 5-3. Michigan State led 3-0 after the first period and 4-0 after 40 minutes, before the Bulldogs' Hunter Wendt scored twice in the first 6:24 of the third period to cut the lead in half. After Khodorenko's third goal, Ferris State's Jason Tackett lit the lamp for the final score.
- The Bulldogs led from start to finish Saturday, treating the sellout crowd of 2,490 to a 4-1 win. Jason Fernsler and Oskar Andren scored in the first period, with Andren's goal – the first as a Bulldog for the Boston University transfer – standing as the game-winner. Liam MacDougall and Jake Transit (first collegiate goal) tallied second-period markers for Ferris State, while freshman goaltender Roni Salmenkangas stopped 27-of-28 shots.
2019 WCHA Postseason Tournament
Once again in 2019, the WCHA will bring the singular intensity and passion of playoff college hockey directly to its member institution fans with an eight-team, three-round tournament hosted on-campus by the highest remaining seeds. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship and the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.