Five-for-10: The men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association boasts an NCAA-best five programs with at least 10 regular season wins - No. 8 Minnesota State (16), No. 10 Bowling Green (14), No. 18 Lake Superior State (13), Northern Michigan (11) and Michigan Tech (10). Bemidji State can join the group with a win in its home series against Alaska this weekend.
Three in the Top-20: Three WCHA teams appear in the USCHO.com top-20 this week - Minnesota State (8), Bowling Green (10) and Lake Superior State (18). In addition to the trio of ranked teams, the WCHA's third-place squad, Northern Michigan, received votes in this week's poll.
- The Mavericks (ninth) and Falcons (12th) also appear in the top-12 of the PairWise Rankings, while Lake Superior State (18th) and Northern Michigan (25th) are within striking distance of the top-16.
- The Mavericks (7) and Falcons (12) are also ranked in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15.
Striking Silver: Minnesota State head coach and two-time WCHA Coach of the Year Mike Hastings is back behind the bench in Mankato after leading the U.S. junior team to a silver medal at the recently-completed IIHF World Junior Championships in British Columbia. The United States defeated the Czech Republic, 3-1, in the quarterfinals on Jan. 2 and Russia, 2-1, in the semifinals on Jan. 4 before falling to Finland, 3-2, in the championship game on Jan. 6.
Lake Superior State's Kossoff Among the Nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award: Lake Superior State senior goaltender Nick Kossoff is among the nominees for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award.
- Kossoff is one of 17 NCAA men's and women's players in contention for the honor, which recognizes the male or female hockey student-athlete who makes significant contributions to his or her team and community through leadership in volunteerism.
By the Numbers
160: Career wins for Bowling Green head coach Chris Bergeron, tying him with former Falcons bench boss Ron Mason for the second-most wins in school history.
12: Career shutouts by Northern Michigan senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen, which ties the NMU school record. The Vihti, Finland, native picked up his fourth shutout of the season with a 4-0 blanking of Alaska on Jan. 4 to equal the previous school mark.
6: Consecutive games won by No. 18 Lake Superior State heading into the weekend. The Lakers began their run with a 4-1 win at Alaska on Dec. 7 and have outscored their opponents 27-12 during that stretch.
The Week Ahead
Bowling Green-Michigan Tech Highlights Week 14 Slate: No. 10 Bowling Green will travel to Houghton, Mich., to face off against WCHA rival Michigan Tech in a battle of league's second- and fourth-place squads. The visiting Falcons hold down the conference's No. 2 spot with 31 points, just two points ahead of the Huskies. MTU leads the all-time series, 17-12-4.
- No. 8 and WCHA-leading Minnesota State will visit Big Rapids, Mich., for a two-game set with Ferris State and is riding a five-game winning streak against the homestanding Bulldogs.
- Newly-ranked No. 18 Lake Superior State will host Alabama Huntsville with an eye on closing the standings gap with Michigan Tech. Lake State is currently in fifth place with 25 points, four behind the Huskies.
- The final two series of the weekend see Alaska visiting Bemidji State for the first time since 2015 and Northern Michigan continuing its tour of the 49th state with two games at Alaska Anchorage.
- All of this weekend's action will be available for viewing on FloHockey.tv.
The Week in Review
Bemidji State 3, at No. 8 Bowling Green 2
at No. 8 Bowling Green 3, Bemidji State 2
(Jan. 3-4 at the Slater Family Ice Arena, Bowling Green, Ohio)
The visiting Beavers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period of the series opener on Thursday on the strength of goals by Aaron Miller and Justin Baudry, with the second goal coming during four-on-four action late in the period.
Bowling Green's Lukas Craggs cut the Beaver lead to 2-1 2:54 into the second period, slicing between a pair of BSU defenders and firing from his knees.
Bemidji extended the lead to 3-1 on goal by Nick Cardelli at 5:18 of the period.
BG closed to 3-2 with 1:28 remaining in the game on a tally by Tim Theocharidis but could not get the equalizer before time expired.
Bemidji State's Zach Driscoll turned aside 22 shots for the Beavers. Bowling Green rebounded from Thursday's loss with a 3-1 win in the series finale.
The Falcons tallied twice in the game's first six minutes on goals by Brandon Kruse and Taylor Schneider.
The Beavers answered with a power play goal by Justin Baudry with five second left in the opening frame to cut the lead to 2-1.
The game would not see another goal until 19:22 of the third period when Bowling Green's Connor Ford scored on an empty net to
secure the win for the Falcons.
Ryan Bednard stopped 24-of-25 shots for BG in the win.
at No. 12 Minnesota State 4, Michigan Tech 1
at No. 12 Minnesota State 4, Michigan Tech 2
(Jan. 4-5 at the Verizon Center, Mankato, Minn.)
Minnesota State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 4-1 win over visiting Michigan Tech in the series opener between the Mavericks and Huskies.
Minnesota State outshot Tech, 12-3, in the first period, scoring on goals by Nick Rivera at 59 seconds and Andy Carroll at 18:26.
Michigan Tech cut the lead in half at 14:33 of the second period when Andrew Bellant banged home a rebound past State goalie Dryden McKay.
The Mavericks answered quickly when Dallas Gerads found the back of the net at the 15:30 mark. Walker Duehr capped the scoring for Minnesota State with an empty-netter just under two minutes left in the contest.
McKay got the win with a 24-save night in net for the Mavericks.
On Saturday, Minnesota State scored twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and cruise to a 4-2 win over the Huskies.
Jake Jaremko started things off for the Mavericks with the game's opening goal at 5:34 of the first period. Walker Duehr then lit the lamp 36 seconds later to give State a 2-0 lead that held up into the first intermission.
The Huskies rebounded, tallying twice in the second frame to tie the score at 2-2. Trenton Bliss scored a power play goal at 3:39 of the period and Colin Swoyer got the equalizer with an even-strength marker at 12:05.
The Mavericks regained the lead for good at 14:24 of the third period on a man-advantage goal by Charlie Gerard. Dallas Gerads ended the scoring with an empty-net tally at 19:46 to clinch the victory.
Dryden McKay stopped 21-of-23 shots in net for the Mavericks.
Ferris State 6, at Alabama Huntsville 5 (OT)
at Alabama Huntsville 4, Ferris State 3 (OT)
(Jan. 4-5 at the Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.)
Ferris State rallied from a 5-4 third-period deficit to take a 6-5 overtime win in a see-saw series opener at Alabama Huntsville.
Jacob Hetz gave the Bulldogs with first lead at the 14:45 mark of the first period before UAH tied the matchup at 1-1 when Hans Gorowsky scored unassisted at the 4:43 mark of the second.
Ferris State regained the lead at 7:42 of the second as Nate Kallen scored for the Bulldogs.
The Chargers again knotted the game at 10:38 of the period on a goal by Bauer Neudecker, but the Bulldogs quickly turned the tables for a 3-2 lead with a tally by Coale Norris 16 seconds later.
UAH's Adam Wilcox tied the contest at 3-3 with a successful redirect of a Kurt Gosselin shot from the point at 14:32 of the second, but FSU retook the lead in the final minute when Lutz scored at 19:01.
The Chargers registered back-to-back goals in the third period by Brandon Salerno at 5:39 and Austin Beaulieu at 6:15 to own a 5-4 lead.
Ferris State knotted the contest at 5-5 on a Jake Transit goal at 11:08 of the third, before Dominic Lutz registered the game-winning goal 56 seconds into the overtime period to notch the 6-5 win.
On Saturday, the Charges rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit with two goals in the final two minutes of regulation and a game-winner in overtime to post a 4-3 win over the Bulldogs.
Austin Beaulieu tallied twice, including the game-winner at 3:13 of overtime, and assisted on the tying goal with 11 seconds left in the third period.
Jake Theut stopped 33 shots in win for the Chargers.
Lake Superior State 5, at Alaska Anchorage 2
Lake Superior State 3, at Alaska Anchorage 1
(Jan. 4-5 at at Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Ak.)
The Lake Superior State Lakers came out firing in their series opener at Alaska Anchorage, tallying three times in the game's first 22 minutes on a trio of even-strength goals by William Riedell, Gage Torrel and Pierre-Luc Veillette on their way to a 5-2 win.
Bryan Basilico and Diego Cuglietta added goals for the Lakers, with Basilico's coming on the power play and Cuglietta posting an empty-net marker to ice the game.
Jared Nash and Jeremiah Luedtke found the net for the Seawolves.
Nick Kossoff stopped 29 shots in the victory for the Lakers.
The visiting Lakers got off to a fast start again on Saturday, scoring on first period goals by Diego Cuglietta and Bryan Basilico.
Anchorage answered with a power play marker by Jonah Renouf at 14:01 of the second period. But the Seawolves would not find the next for the remainder of the evening.
Brendan McKay capped the scoring for Lake State with an even-strength goal at 16:57 of the second period.
Goaltender Mareks Mitens stopped 30 shots in net for the Lakers.
Northern Michigan 4, at Alaska 0
Northern Michigan 4, Alaska 2
(Jan. 4-5 at at Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Ak.)
Atte Tolvanen tied the school record with his 12th career shutout to backstop Northern Michigan to a 4-0 win over homestanding Alaska in the series opener between the two teams.
The Wildcats scored twice in the first and third periods in the victory with Joseph Nardi and Grant Loven scoring even-strength goals in the opening period and Ty Readman and Troy Loggins tallying in the third. Loggins' goal came short-handed.
Tolvanen stopped all 20 Nanook shots for his record-tying 12th career whitewash and his fourth shutout this season.
Philip Beaulieu recorded a third period natural hat trick to erase a 1-0 deficit and power Northern Michigan to 4-2 win over Alaska in the series finale in Fairbanks.
The Nanooks scored first on Troy Van Tetering's first period goal.
Beaulieu erased that deficit with a trio of goals in a little over three minutes of play in the third period, scoring all three on power plays at 6:10, 8:54 and 9:13 to give NMU a 3-1 lead.
Van Tetering cut the lead to 3-2 at 14:46 but the 'Cats clinched the contest on an empty-net goal by Denver Pierce at 19:52 to secure the victory.
Tolvanen was again strong between the pipes, turning away 32-of-32 Nanook shots in the win.
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.