WCHA Press Releases

Michigan Tech is hosting a Copper Country Strong game on Friday against Alaska to support victims of devastating local flooding on Father's Day weekend
WCHA Week 8: Copper Country Strong Weekend Includes Intrastate Rivalries
MICHIGAN TECH TO HOST 'COPPER COUNTRY STRONG' GAME FRIDAY TO AID THOSE AFFECTED BY FATHERS' DAY FLOOD IN HOUGHTON, WHILE CAPPO CUP GETS UNDERWAY AND WCHA MINNESOTA BRAGGING RIGHTS ARE ON THE LINE

Opening Faceoff

- Season-High Three in the Top-20: The men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Thanksgiving week with three teams in the top-20 of the USCHO.com poll (along with two in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ledger).

  • Minnesota State, which has a six-game winning streak and is 9-1-0 overall, is ranked third for the third-consecutive week (and received three first-place nods by USCHO.com voters).
  • Bowling Green (8-3-2) is No. 12 in the USCHO.com poll and is ranked 11th by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.
  • Lake Superior State (6-3-1) is ranked for the first time since Nov. 7, 2016, debuting at No. 20 in the USCHO.com poll. The Lakers have victories this month over now-No. 14 Michigan (Nov. 2) and Bowling Green (Nov. 16).

- Believe In Blue: Lake Superior State has surged back into the national top-20 thanks to improved offensive output, some big wins and a road-warrior mentality.

  • The Lakers are third in the WCHA and 17th nationally by averaging 3.30 goals-per-game, more than a goal better than their final 2017-18 mark (2.11 per contest).
  • After going 0-6-2 against ranked teams in 2017-18, LSSU is off to a 2-2-0 start this season, with the aforementioned wins against top-15 opponents Michigan (then-No. 12) and Bowling Green (then-No. 10).
  • The Lakers are 5-1-0 (.833) away from home this season, the second-most road victories in the country and the second-best winning percentage among teams that have played at least three road games.

- 200-foot Game: Minnesota State is one of five NCAA teams to rank in the top-10 for both scoring offense and defense.

  • The Mavericks are second nationally with a WCHA-best 4.50 goals-per-game, while they are tied for eighth by allowing just 2.00 per contest. St. Cloud State (third and tied for third), Massachusetts (fourth and second), Providence (sixth and sixth) and Quinnipiac (10th and tied for eighth) are the others.
  • Bowling Green is just outside this group, as the Falcons have played the nation's stingiest defense to date by allowing just 1.69 goals-per-game, while scoring 3.62 per skate to rank 11th.

- Copper Country Strong: This Friday's game at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena will have extra meaning, as Michigan Tech will wear special Copper Country Strong jerseys. The Huskies are hosting an in-game silent auction for the jerseys, with all proceeds going to the Portage Health Foundation's Flood with Love initiative benefitting families impacted by the Father's Day flood in Houghton, Mich.


By the Numbers

- 8: Game-winning goals the last two seasons by Northern Michigan junior Darien Craighead. After topping the NCAA with six deciding markers in 2017-18, he is tied for the WCHA lead with two in 2018-19 (including last Saturday, as he snapped a 1-1 tie with 1:15 remaining in the Wildcats' 2-1 victory over Alaska Anchorage).


The Week Ahead

- Three WCHA Series: All six WCHA league games this weekend, including a pair of intrastate rivalry sets, will be streamed live and on-demand via FloHockey.tv.

  • The annual Cappo Cup series gets started in the UP, with Lake Superior State putting its newly-acquired No. 20 ranking on the line against visiting Northern Michigan. Elsewhere, Bemidji State hosts No. 3 Minnesota State for in-state WCHA bragging rights, while Michigan Tech welcomes Alaska.

- Exhibition and Nonconference Road Tests: Bowling Green will get in a pre-Thanksgiving skate with Wednesday's exhibition contest in Plymouth, Mich. against the U.S. Under-18 Team. Alaska Anchorage continues its road trip with a weekend set in Grand Forks against No. 17 North Dakota.


The Week in Review

- Third-ranked Minnesota State and Northern Michigan moved into a tie with Michigan Tech atop the WCHA standings following sweeps, Alabama Huntsville split with Alaska for its first win of the season and Lake Superior State earned a road split at No. 10 Bowling Green.


Alabama Huntsville 3, at Alaska 1
at Alaska 2, Alabama Huntsville 1
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Alaska)

- The Chargers and host Nanooks played to a split, with the visitors winning Friday for their first victory of the season.

- After suffering five one-goal losses during its winless 10-game start to the season, UAH finally broke through with its first victory, 3-1 in Friday's series opener. The Chargers were outshot by a 45-20 margin, but received 44 stops from WCHA Goaltender of the Week Mark Sinclair, who earned his first collegiate win. Freshmen Jack Jeffers (first period) and Bauer Neudecker (second period) scored for UAH, with Neudecker's first collegiate goal standing as the game-winner.

- Steven Jandric's one-timer goal with 1:18 remaining in regulation snapped a 1-1 tie Saturday and gave the host Nanooks a 2-1 win and split. UAF freshman goaltender Gustavs Grigals made 30 saves for the win, outdueling UAH's Jake Theut (43 stops). UAF's Tristan Thompson and UAH's Connor James traded first-period goals.


Lake Superior State 5, at No. 10 Bowling Green 0
at No. 10 Bowling Green 5, Lake Superior State 2
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Slater Family Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio)

- The visiting Lakers defeated their second top-15 opponent of the month in Friday's series opener, before the 10th-ranked Falcons bounced back to earn the split Saturday.

- LSSU was outshot 30-17 on Friday, but connected five times, while Nick Kossoff made 30 stops, for a 5-0 win. WCHA Co-Rookie of the Week Ashton Calder, a Sault Ste. Marie native, lit the lamp at 15:29 of the first period for his first collegiate point, goal and game-winner, Will Riedell scored in the second period and the Lakers put the game away with three in the final stanza (from Lukas Kaelble, Anthony Nellis and Collin Saccoman).

- BGSU snapped a 2-2 tie Saturday with three goals in the third period, salvaging the split with a 5-2 victory. In his first game back from an injury, WCHA Co-Rookie of the Week Will Cullen broke the tie at 8:44 of the final stanza with his first collegiate goal. Fellow freshman Taylor Schneider gave the Falcons breathing room at 16:15, before an empty-netter sealed the outcome. The teams traded the night's first four goals, with All-American Alec Rauhauser scoring twice for BGSU in the first period, and Diego Cuglietta and Steven Ruggiero answering back for LSSU.


No. 3 Minnesota State 7, Ferris State 1
No. 3 Minnesota State 5, Ferris State 2
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)

- The third-ranked Mavericks came back from their bye week firing on all cylinders, scoring 12 goals en route to a sweep of the visiting Bulldogs.

- Minnesota State got three-point nights from three different skaters, scored three goals in the first period and never looked back for the 7-1 win in Friday's series opener. Parker Tuomie (1g-2a), Marc Michaelis (2g-1a) and Connor Mackey (3a) were the trio of Mavericks with three-point efforts, while WCHA Forward of the Week Jared Spooner had a one-goal, one-assist night and Dallas Gerads' first-period, power-play goal stood as the game-winner.

- Three-point nights from Spooner and Max Coatta (2g-1a each), along with 24 saves by Mathias Israelsson, lifted the Mavericks to a 5-2 victory Saturday. Spooner scored twice in the second period to give Minnesota State a 2-0 lead, while Coatta lit the lamp twice in the third period (including the game-winner). Corey Mackin netted his first goal of the season for the Bulldogs, while Frankie Melton also scored.


at Northern Michigan 3, Alaska Anchorage 0
at Northern Michigan 2, Alaska Anchorage 1
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich.)

- The Wildcats picked up their first sweep of the season, allowing just one goal in two victories over the visiting Seawolves.

- Northern Michigan senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen moved into a tie for the NCAA lead with his third shutout of the season (and 11th career clean sheet, the second-most in school history) in Friday night's 3-0 victory. Tolvanen stopped all 18 shots he faced, while the Wildcats received goals from Tony Bretzman in the first period, and Vincent de May (first collegiate strike for the freshman) and Troy Loggins in the second stanza.

- Darien Craighead, who has eight game-winning goals the last two seasons, struck in the clutch again, snapping a 1-1 tie with 1:15 remaining to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win Saturday. Adam Rockwood scored in the first period for NMU, while Jeremiah Luedtke answered in the second for UAA, which also received an impressive 38 saves from sophomore goaltender Kris Carlson.


at No. 2 St. Cloud State 2, Bemidji State 0
at No. 2 St. Cloud State 7, Bemidji State 4
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center; St. Cloud, Minn.)

- The second-ranked Huskies edged the Beavers on Friday and outlasted the visitors Saturday for a nonconference sweep.

- Henry Johnson did all he could for Bemidji State in Friday's series opener, stopping 19-of-20 shots he faced. But, SCSU's Jeff Smith pitched a 32-save shutout and the Huskies added an empty-net goal for the 2-0 win.

- Nine different Beavers recorded a point Saturday, but it was not enough in a 7-4 loss. BSU's Adam Brady and Alex Ierullo scored in a 41-second span of the second period to bring the Beavers within one at 4-3, but by the time Jay Dickman lit the lamp at 9:19 of the third, the visitors trailed, 7-3. Nick Cardelli also scored for BSU.


at No. 2 St. Cloud State 2, Bemidji State 0
at No. 2 St. Cloud State 7, Bemidji State 4
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center; St. Cloud, Minn.)

- The second-ranked Huskies edged the Beavers on Friday and outlasted the visitors Saturday for a nonconference sweep.

- Henry Johnson did all he could for Bemidji State in Friday's series opener, stopping 19-of-20 shots he faced. But, SCSU's Jeff Smith pitched a 32-save shutout and the Huskies added an empty-net goal for the 2-0 win.

- Nine different Beavers recorded a point Saturday, but it was not enough in a 7-4 loss. BSU's Adam Brady and Alex Ierullo scored in a 41-second span of the second period to bring the Beavers within one at 4-3, but by the time Jay Dickman lit the lamp at 9:19 of the third, the visitors trailed, 7-3. Nick Cardelli also scored for BSU.


at Clarkson 3, Michigan Tech 1
at Clarkson 3, Michigan Tech 1
(Nov. 16 and 17 at Cheel Arena; Potsdam, N.Y.)

- The Huskies and Golden Knights faced off for the first time since the 1970 NCAA semifinals, but host Clarkson earned the sweep with consecutive 3-1 victories (both with an empty-net goal).

- Tech enjoyed a 27-21 advantage in shots Friday, but lit the lamp only once in a 3-1 setback. Raymond Brice's goal at 3:56 of the second period brought the Huskies even at 1-1, but Clarkson scored less than three minutes later and never trailed again.

- Saturday was nearly identical, with MTU's Jake Lucchini scoring at 2:12 of the second period to tie the score at 1-1, only to see the Golden Knights retake the lead 35 seconds later, before adding an empty-net tally for the final score. Devin Kero made 22 stops for the Huskies.


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.