Six-for-10: With Bemidji State's series split last weekend, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association boasts an NCAA-best six programs with at least 10 regular season wins - No. 6/7 Minnesota State (16), No. 9/9 Bowling Green (15), No. 18/RV Lake Superior State (14), RV/UR Northern Michigan (13), Michigan Tech (11) and the RV/UR Beavers (10).
Three in the Top-20 Again: Three WCHA teams appear in the USCHO.com top-20 this week - Minnesota State (6), Bowling Green (9) and Lake Superior State (18). In addition to the trio of ranked teams, the WCHA's second-place squad, Northern Michigan and sixth-place team Bemidji State, received votes in this week's poll.
- The Mavericks (seventh) and Falcons (10th) also appear in the top-10 of the PairWise Rankings, while Lake Superior State (19th) and Northern Michigan (25th) are within striking distance of the top-16.
- The Mavericks (7) and Falcons (9) are also ranked in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15 with Lake Superior State receiving votes this week.
WCHA Lands Eight on Hobey Baker List: Eight WCHA student-athletes are among the 81 candidates announced for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award on Jan. 16. Making the list were Lukas Craggs and Brandon Kruse (Bowling Green), Diego Cuglietta and Anthony Nellis (Lake Superior State), Jake Lucchini (Michigan Tech), Corey Mackin (Ferris State), Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State) and Atte Tolvanen (Northern Michigan).
Bemidji State and Michigan Tech to Meet in an Outdoor Game at Lake Bemidji on Friday: Friday night's series opener between Michigan Tech and homestanding Bemidji State will have a bit of a twist as the two teams will meet on an outdoor rink adjacent to Lake Bemidji. The game is a prelude to Saturday's Hockey Day Minnesota festivities going on across the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Puck drop for the contest is slated for 7:07 p.m. CT. The series finale will be played indoors at the Beavers' nearby Sanford Center on Saturday night at 7:37 p.m.
BY THE NUMBERS
300: Faceoff wins for Lake Superior State's Diego Cuglietta, the No. 2 total in the NCAA this season.
63: Blocked shots for Minnesota State defenseman Edwin Hookenson this season, a total that is the second-best in college hockey.
21: Consecutive penalties killed by Alabama Huntsville, dating to Dec. 15. The Chargers' 88.0 kill rate ranks sixth in the NCAA.
9.1: Penalty minutes per game average for Michigan Tech, the lowest average in the WCHA.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Lake Superior State and Minnesota State Face Off in a Matchup of Ranked Teams in Week 15: In addition to Friday's outdoor contest at Bemidji, the week 15 slate will also feature a battle of ranked teams in Mankato as No. 6/7 Minnesota State hosts No. 18/RV Lake Superior State at the Verizon Center.
- Alaska Anchorage travels south to visit Alabama Huntsville for a two-game set at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. UAA leads the all-time series with the Chargers, 21-9-3.
- No. 9/9 Bowling Green faces Alaska in Fairbanks in its second trip to the 49th State. The Falcons are 30-28-9 all-time against the Nanooks and are playing at UA for the first time since 2016.
- Northern Michigan and Ferris State are idle this weekend.
- All of this weekend's action will be available for viewing on FloHockey.tv.
The Week in Review
No. 8/7 Minnesota State 3, at Ferris State 2 (OT)
No. 8/7 Minnesota State 2, at Ferris State 1
(Jan. 11-12 at Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.)
The visiting Mavericks won the series opener, 3-2, in overtime.
MSU jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on the Bulldogs thanks to a pair of goals by Reggie Lutz (12:07) and Jake Jaremko (pp- 13:42).
But Ferris State chipped away at the lead, getting a goal from Zac Tierney at 6:04 of the second period and the equalizer Lucas Finner at 12:24 of the third to send the game into overtime.
Ian Scheid potted the game-winner for Minnesota State at 3:03 of the extra period.
Dryden McKay turned away 17 shots in the victory while Ferris State's Justin Kapelmaster kept the Bulldogs in the game with 38 save on the night.
Minnesota State completed the road sweep with a 2-1 win on Saturday night.
Dallas Gerards opened the scoring for the Mavericks with his ninth goal of the season at 2:26 of the second period. Reggie Lutz extend the margin to 2-0 with his second goal of the weekend at 6:23 of the third period.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 2-1 on a power play goal at 15:19 of the third by Nate Kallen, but could not find the net in the closing minutes.
Dryden McKay stopped 25 shots to secure the win for Minnesota State.
at No. 18/UR Lake Superior State 7, Alabama Huntsville 2
at No. 18/UR Lake Superior State 1, Alabama Huntsville 1 (OT)
(Jan. 11-12 at Taffy Abel Arena, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
No. 18 Lake Superior State poured in six goals in the first period and never looked back in a 7-2 win over visiting Alabama Huntsville in Friday's series opener.
Six different players found the back of the net in the win, with Diego Cuglietta starting the night off with his 16th goal of the season 26 seconds into the first period.
After UAH's Adam Wilcox knotted the score at 1-1 with his second goal of the season at 2:16 of the first, the Lakers responded with five consecutive goals for a 6-1 lead at the first intermission.
Scoring for the Lakers in that run were Max Humitz, Gage Torrel, Melvin Karlsson, Jacob Nordqvist and Steve Ruggiero.
Huntsville's Adam Beaulieu scored on a power play at 8:06 of the third before Humitz ended the scoring with his second goal of the night at 14:41 of the period.
Nick Kossoff stopped 22-of-24 shots in the win.
The Lakers and Chargers battled to a 1-1 tie in the series finale.
UAH picked up the extra WCHA point in a shootout after neither team scored in two overtime periods.
The game was scoreless until the third period when UAH's Madison Dunn scored on a power play at 10:28 to give the Chargers a 1-0 lead. Brendan McKay knotted the score late in the period with his second goal of the season at 18:03 to send the game into overtime.
Mark Sinclair stopped 26 shots for the Chargers while Nick Kossoff turned away 25 for the Lakers.
With the tie, Lake Superior State extended its unbeaten streak, which began with a 4-1 win at Alaska on Dec. 7, to eight games.
The streak is the longest for the Lakers since the 2009-10 campaign.
at Michigan Tech 2, No. 10/12 Bowling Green 0
No. 10/12 Bowling Green 3, at Michigan Tech 2
(Jan. 11-12 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Center, Houghton, Mich.)
Michigan Tech scored a pair of third-period goals and went on to shut out No. 10/12 Bowling Green, 2-0, in the series opener between the two teams at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Scoreless early in the third period, the Huskies found the net after killing off a penalty. Tyler Rockwell held the puck in the zone and flipped it towards the net. A Bowling Green defenseman deflected it but Gavin Gould was there at the doorstep to sweep the puck into the open net 6:47 into the period. It was Gould's sixth of the season.
Justin Misiak picked up an insurance goal at 10:13 for the final score.
Goaltender Robbie Beydoun made 27 saves in his first shutout of the season. Ryan Bednard made 28 saves for Bowling Green.
Bowling Green jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead before surviving a furious third period rally by Michigan Tech to earn a split of their series with a 3-2 win in the final game of the set on Saturday.
John Schilling (6:55) and Alex Barber (15:52) staked the Falcons to that 2-0 lead with first-period goals. BGSU held the lead into the third period before the Huskies got on the board on a goal from Tyler Rockwell at 7:55. Teammate Thomas Beretta then tied the game 17 seconds later. But Bowling Green responded a little over three minutes later as Barber picked up a power play goal.
Eric Dop made 34 saves for the Falcons to backstop the win.
at Bemidji State 3, Alaska 0
Alaska 2, at Bemidji State 1 (OT)
(Jan. 11-12 at the Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
Zach Driscoll stopped 25 shots en route to a shutout and Owen Sillinger collected an assist to go with his team-leading third game-winning goal as Bemidji State skated to a 3-0 win over the Alaska Nanooks in the series opener between the two teams at the Sanford Center.
After a scoreless first period, Sillinger opened the scoring for the Beavers with his sixth goal of the season at 1:51 of the second.
Tyler Vold added his second goal of the at 15:39 to give BSU a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.
Ethan Somoza added an empty-netter at 17:58 for the final margin.
The visiting Nanooks salvaged a split of their two-game set at Bemidji State with a 2-1 overtime win on Saturday.
Justin Young scored his first goal of the season just 52 seconds into the extra frame to give Alaska the victory.
Ryker Leer opened the scoring for the 'Nooks with his fourth of the season at 7:44 of the first.
The lead stood up until BSU's Justin Baudry tallied on a power play at 17:51 of the third period to send the game into overtime and set up Young's heroics for UAF.
Anton Martinsson stopped 29-of-30 shots for the Nanooks to secure the win.
RV/UR Northern Michigan 5, at Alaska Anchorage 1
RV/UR Northern Michigan 4, Alaska Anchorage 1
(Jan. 11-12 at at Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Ak.)
Joseph Nardi scored twice to lead Northern Michigan to a 5-1 win over Alaska Anchorage in the series opener between the two teams.
Nardi (18:19) and Denver Pierce (19:31) staked the Wildcats to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals late in the first period.
Jeremiah Luedtke (13:45) picked up the lone goal of the night for the Seawolves midway through the second period.
Garrett Klee extended the lead to 3-1 late in the period on a goal at 18:57 before Nardi (11:22) and Adam Rockwood (pp- 13:38) put the game away in the final frame.
Atte Tolvanen stopped 20-of-21 shots in the win.
Northern Michigan exploded for four third-period goals to erase a 1-0 deficit and clinch a sweep of their road series at Alaska Anchorage with a 4-1 win on Saturday.
Andrew Lane staked Alaska Anchorage to a 1-0 lead first period on Saturday with his first goal of the season at 10:33.
The lead held until 12:50 of the third when NMU's Jarrett Lee tied the contest with his first goal of 2018-19. Joseph Nardi gave the Wildcats the lead 46 seconds later with his third goal of the weekend. Adam Rockwood followed with his fifth of the year at 14:06 and Troy Loggins picked up an empty-net goal at 17:59 for the final margin. Atte Tolvanen turned away 17 shots in the win while UAA's Kris Carlson made 27 saves for the Seawolves.
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.