- Mavericks, Falcons in the Top-10: For the third-consecutive week, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) has two teams in the top-10 of the national opinion polls, as Minnesota State is ranked third and Bowling Green is 10th in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.
- Bemidji State (5-2-1) is receiving votes and, by points, is 21st and 20th, respectively. Lake Superior State (23rd) and Michigan Tech (26th) are also receiving USCHO.com votes.
- Jandric Brothers' Hat Trick Boosts Largen: The first win as a NCAA Division I head coach for Alaska bench boss and Fairbanks native Erik Largen was special for many reasons, with the added layer of how it came about. Trailing 3-0 at one point, and 3-1 entering the third period last Saturday at Lake Superior State, the Nanooks' Jandric brothers took over with a final-stanza family hat trick in the 4-3, comeback victory.
- Sophomore forward Steven, an All-WCHA Rookie Team selection last season, scored at 1:12 and 10:55 of the period to tie the score at 3-3. Chris, a freshman defenseman, then potted a power-play goal at 18:47 for the tie-breaking, game-winner.
- The Puck Stops Here: The national goaltending leaderboards have four names in common: the Bemidji State duo of Henry Johnson and Zach Driscoll, Bowling Green's Ryan Bednard and Minnesota State's Mathias Israelsson.
- Israelsson has an NCAA-best 0.75 goals-against average, while Driscoll (0.98) ranks second, Johnson (1.25) is third and Bednard (1.33) is fifth. Driscoll is tops with a .959 save percentage, Israelsson (.950) ranks third, Johnson (.948) is fourth and Bednard (.943) is sixth.
- Accordingly, the Falcons (first at 1.36), Beavers (second at 1.38) and Mavericks (10th at 2.12) are all in the top-10 nationally for scoring defense.
- Lucchini Nabs National Honor: WCHA Forward of the Week Jake Lucchini was named the NCAA 3rd Star following his league-leading, five-point performance in Michigan Tech's road sweep at Ferris State.
- Among the Best: Three (3) 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 in that span, while Michigan Tech (116-73-26, .600) is tied for 11th and Bowling Green (114-72-27, .599) is 14th.
By the Numbers
- 2: NCAA-leading shorthanded goals scored by Bowling Green's Stephen Baylis, Lake Superior State's Brayden Gelsinger and Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis.
- 20: Nonconference wins for WCHA teams this season (20-28-3), matching the league's 2017-18 season total (20-38-7).
The Week Ahead
- Four WCHA Series: All eight WCHA league games this weekend will be streamed live and on-demand via FloHockey.tv.
- Third-ranked Minnesota State returns to action by hosting Ferris State, No. 10 Bowling Green welcomes Lake Superior State in a matchup of longtime league rivals, Alaska Anchorage begins a lengthy road trip with a series at Northern Michigan, while Alabama Huntsville visits Alaska.
- Nonconference Road Tests: The WCHA will look to better its 2017-18 nonconference win total during four road games.
- A Minnesota rivalry series takes place between the WCHA and the NCHC, as Bemidji State visits No. 2 St. Cloud State. Friday's game is available via FloHockey.tv, while Saturday's is televised on FOX Sports North Plus.
- Michigan Tech visits Clarkson for the first meeting between the WCHA and ECAC programs since the 1970 NCAA semifinals. The Huskies' first NCAA title came in 1962 with a 7-1 victory over the Golden Knights.
The Week in Review
- Road teams thrive in WCHA play as Michigan Tech vaults into first place with a sweep, while Bowling Green and Alaska each earn five points apiece. Bemidji State earns a nonconference win over Merrimack from Hockey East.
No. 10 Bowling Green 0, at Alaska Anchorage 0 - OT (BGSU scores in 3v3 OT)
No. 10 Bowling Green 3, at Alaska Anchorage 0
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska)
- The 10th-ranked Falcons used 125:00 of shutout hockey to capture five league points in Anchorage, while the host Seawolves earned their first WCHA point of the season.
- Sixty-five minutes and a combined 60 shots on goal was not enough to solve anything Friday, as UAA battled the Falcons to a scoreless draw. BGSU earned the extra WCHA point in the 3v3 overtime, as Chris Pohlkamp scored 2:20 into the second extra session. Sophomore goaltenders Brody Claeys for UAA (27 saves) and Eric Dop for BGSU (33 stops) each picked up their first collegiate shutouts.
- Florida Panthers prospect Ryan Bednard returned to the BGSU net and continued the shutout streak, making 25 saves in the Falcons' 3-0 victory Saturday (his second clean sheet of the season). Lukas Craggs provided all the scoring Bednard would need, converting on the power play at 13:19 of the first period. Connor Ford did the rest, lighting the lamp 12 seconds before the first intermission and again at 16:05 of the second period.
Alaska 3, at Lake Superior State 3 - OT (UAF scores in 3v3 OT)
Alaska 4, at Lake Superior State 3
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
- A highly-entertaining series featuring two improbable, third-period rallies, including one Saturday that gave Fairbanks native and UAF head coach Erik Largen his first victory and the Nanooks a five-point series.
- Overtime was the last thing on anyone's mind when UAF freshman Chris Jandric scored on the power-play 5:22 into the third period to give the Nanooks a 3-0 lead Friday. However, the Lakers stormed back with three goals in a span of 5:57 to tie the contest. Collin Saccoman opened the scoring at 10:25 of the final stanza, Jacob Nordqvist brought LSSU within one, before William Riedell tied the score with 3:38 remaining. The teams remained tied through the initial overtime, before Colton Leiter scored in the 3v3 extra stanza to give the Nanooks a second league point.
- Saturday was another night and another furious rally, this time by the visiting Nanooks. Anthony Nellis, Saccoman and Diego Cuglietta scored in a span of 5:26 in the second period, giving LSSU a 3-0 lead. However, the game's final four goals went to UAF, giving the Nanooks a 4-3 victory. Colton Leiter started the rally just before the second intermission, before the Jandric brothers took over in the third period. Sophomore Steven scored his first two goals of the year, then freshman Chris completed the family hat trick and lifted the Nanooks to victory with the tie-breaking, game-winner on the power-play with just 1:13 remaining in regulation. UAF freshman goaltender Gustavs Grigals made 19 saves -- including five in the decisive third period -- to earn his first collegiate victory.
Michigan Tech 5, at Ferris State 4
Michigan Tech 4, at Ferris State 3
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich.)
- A pair of one-goal games went to the Huskies, who improved to 4-0-0 in WCHA play with a sweep over the host Bulldogs.
- Friday was a wild, back-and-forth affair in which Tech took a pair of two-goal leads (2-0 and 4-2), saw Ferris State rally back both times, before Justin Misiak potted the tie-breaking, game-winner with 7:15 remaining in regulation. Trenton Bliss and Raymond Brice scored in the game's first 4:05 to put the Huskies ahead, 2-0, before a pair of Marshall Moise goals tied the game at 2-2. Tech went back ahead on goals by freshmen Tommy Parrottino (first period) and Brian Halonen (second period), but Jason Tackett and Jasen Fernsler brought Ferris State back, with Fernsler's knotting the score at 4-4 with 9:57 remaining in regulation. However, Misiak scored just over two minutes later and the Huskies held on.
- The Bulldogs looked in solid position for a split Saturday, scoring three times in the first 26:22 to chase Tech goaltender Matt Jurusik with a 3-1 lead. However, senior captain Jake Lucchini brought the Huskies back, scoring twice in a 5:05 span of the second period (sandwiched around a Dylan Steman strike) as Tech scored three unanswered goals for the 4-3 win. Robbie Beydoun stopped all eight shots he faced in a relief effort to earn the victory in the Tech net.
at Bemidji State 8, Merrimack 3
Merrimack 1, at Bemidji State 0
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
- The host Beavers had their biggest offensive outburst this decade in the opener, before being stymied Saturday and settling for a nonconference split with the Warriors.
- Facing Merrimack for the first time since 2007, Bemidji State scored eight times -- its most goals in a single game since 2009 -- in an 8-3 victory. The Beavers lit the lamp five times on 12 first-period shots and never looked back, cruising to the win. Aaron Miller scored twice in a 44-second span of the first period, Mike Soucier netted a short-handed marker (second period), while freshman Nick Cardelli (first period) and sophomore Tyler Vold (third period) contributed their first collegiate goals in the rout.
- The Beavers outshot the Warriors by a 38-17 margin Saturday, but it was Merrimack that found the back of the net for the 1-0 win. Craig Pantano was exceptional in the Merrimack net; the Warriors killed all nine of their penalties and Tyler Irvine converted on a second-period power play. Zach Driscoll made 16 stops for BSU.
No. 17 Cornell 3, at Northern Michigan 1
No. 17 Cornell 3, at Northern Michigan 2
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich.)
- The No. 17 Big Red held the host Wildcats to just three goals on the weekend for a nonconference sweep.
- NMU's Mitchell Slattery scored late in the first period Friday to bring the Wildcats even at 1-1, but that was it in a 3-1 loss, as the hosts managed just 13 shots on goal. Cornell scored twice in a 1:15 span of the second period.
- Cornell scored three power-play goals, overcoming two man-advantage markers by NMU senior Troy Loggins for the 3-2 win. The Wildcats outshot the Big Red, 26-21, including 8-4 in the third period, but could not find the equalizer.
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.