Minnesota State Clinches MacNaughton Cup: No. 4/4 Minnesota State clinched its fourth MacNaughton Cup in the last five years with its 6-1 win at Alaska last Friday. The regular season crown gives the Mavericks the No. 1 seed in the upcoming WCHA playoffs, which get underway March 8 at campus sites around the league.
Chasing Home Ice: With one weekend to go in the regular season, only Minnesota State (No. 1) and Alaska (No. 7) have locked down playoff seeds. Bowling Green (52 points), Northern Michigan (50), Lake Superior State (47), Bemidji State (45) and Michigan Tech (43) hold spots two through six, respectively, in the league standings while eighth-place Alabama Huntsville (25) is just four points ahead of Ferris State (21) for the final playoff spot.
- With 52 points, second place Bowling Green is guaranteed home ice in the WCHA Quarterfinals but could finish anywhere from second to fourth pending this weekend's results. Both Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State remain in contention for the No. 2 spot as well.
- Alabama Huntsville needs three points in its series with Bowling Green to secure the eighth and final playoff spot.
#VoteWCHA: Eight Western Collegiate Hockey Association student-athletes are among the candidates for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award. Fan voting for this year's Baker Award is now open. Fans can cast up to one vote per day at https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote. This year's WCHA candidate are: Lukas Craggs (BGSU), Brandon Kruse (BGSU), Corey Mackin (FSU), Diego Cuglietta (LSSU), Anthony Nellis (LSSU), Jake Lucchini (MTU), Marc Michaelis (MSU) and Atte Tolvanen (NMU).
WCHA Pairwise: Minnesota State (5), Bowling Green (15) and Lake Superior State (20) remain in the mix for NCAA playoff berths with the release of the latest Pairwise Rankings.
- Minnesota State remains No. 4 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week. Bowling Green (15) and Lake Superior State (19) join the Mavericks in the USCHO rankings with Northern Michigan and Bemidji State receiving votes this week. Bowling Green also picked up votes in the USA Today/USAHM poll.
By the Numbers
85: Blocked shots by Minnesota State's Edwin Hookenson, which ranks second in the NCAA this season.
24: Assists by Northern Michigan's Philip Beaulieu, the top total in the WCHA.
20: Goals by Lake Superior State's Diego Cuglietta, which leads the WCHA and ranks second nationally.
17: Power play assists by Minnesota State's Parker Tuomie, which is tied for the NCAA lead.
0.98: Goals against average for Minnesota State's Dryden McKay in February, the lowest in the NCAA for the month.
The Week Ahead
Ferris State at (19/RV) Lake Superior State: The Bulldogs remain alive in the chase for the final spot in the WCHA Quarterfinals but need a minimum of five points and some help from Bowling Green to keep their season alive. The Lakers are looking to secure home ice in the opening round.
(RV/UR) Northern Michigan vs. Michigan Tech: The UP rivals meet in a home-and-home battle with playoff positioning at stake, adding to what is already one of college hockey's spiciest rivalries.
Alabama Huntsville at (15/RV) Bowling Green: Homestanding Falcons looking to lock down second place while the Chargers are playing for their postseason lives.
RV/UR Bemidji State at 4/4 Minnesota State: The Beavers visit Mankato with a home ice series in their sights.
Alaska at Alaska Anchorage: With their playoff seed set, the Nanooks look to clinch another Governor's Cup.
The Week in Review
Alabama Huntsville 2, at Ferris State 0
at Ferris State 5, Alabama Huntsville 2
(Feb. 22-23 at Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich.)
- Mark Sinclair stopped 35 shots and Hans Gorowsky and Bauer Neudecker scored early and late as Alabama Huntsville inched closer to securing the final WCHA playoff spot with a 2-0 win at Ferris State on Friday.
- Gorowsky scored the first goal of the night just 6:44 into the contest. Sinclair turned away shot after shot from the Bulldogs to keep UAH in front before Neudecker iced the game with an empty net goal at 19:56.
- Roni Salmankangas made 24 saves for the Bulldogs.
- Ferris State kept its WCHA playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over Alabama Huntsville on Saturday.
- Craig Pefley scored twice and Coale Norris and Corey Mackin each had three assists in the victory.
- Hans Gorowsky put UAH up 1-0 with a goal at 12:25 of the first period before the Bulldogs tallied three times in the second period on goals by Lucas Finner (6:54), Pefley (14:05) and Cooper Zech (PP- 17:55).
- Christian Rajic cut the lead to 3-2 on a UAH power play 29 seconds into the third period but Nate Kallen pushed the lead to 4:12 a power play goal of his own at 4:12.
- Pefley added an empty net tally at 19:08 to end the scoring.
at Michigan Tech 3, Alaska Anchorage 2
at Michigan Tech 3, Alaska Anchorage 1
(Feb. 22-23 at MacInnes Student Ice Arena; Houghton, Mich.)
- Michigan Tech scored twice on the power play and limited Alaska Anchorage to just 14 shots on goal en route to a 3-2 home victory over the Seawolves.
- After a scoreless first period, Jonah Renouf put UAA in front with a goal at 4:43 of the second period.
- Tech responded with its first power play goal of the night just 4:06 later when Hobey Baker candidate Jake Lucchini lit the lamp tie the game.
- The Huskies took their first lead of the night at 4:21 of the third on a goal by Brian Halonen, but Anchorage tied things up a little over a minute later on a goal by Drayson Pears at 5:31.
- Jake Jackson then tallied the game winner on a Tech power play at 9:00 of the period.
- Michigan Tech completed a two-game home sweep of Alaska Anchorage with a 3-1 win on Saturday in Houghton.
- MTU jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Brian Halonen scored 12:58 into the game.
- Alex Broetzman put Tech up 2-0 with a power-play goal 8:49 into the second.
- Justin Misiak made it a three-goal lead 2:10 into the third, scoring his sixth of the season.
- Jeremiah Luedtke scored UAA's lone goal of the night on a power play at 14:54 of the third period.
- Matt Jurusik stopped 21 shots in the win.
at Northern Michigan 4, No. 18/RV Lake Superior State 2
at Northern Michigan 5, No. 18/RV Lake Superior State 2
(Feb. 22-23 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich.)
- Northern Michigan scored three times in the second period en route to a 4-2 home win over No. 18/RV Lake Superior State on Friday evening.
- Philip Beaulieu put Northern on the board first with a power play goal at 14:55 of the first period.
- Lake Superior State knotted the contest at 1-1 at 17:07 of the period on goal by Gage Torrel.
- Adam Rockwood (5:25) and Joseph Nardi (SH- 8:34) put NMU up 3-1 to start the second period before Brayden Gelsinger lit the lamp for the Lakers at 9:42 but Ty Readman picked up the final goal of the night for NMU at 19:43 of the period to seal the victory for Northern.
- Troy Loggins and Denver Pierce each scored twice to power Northern Michigan to a 5-3 win and a home sweep of Lake Superior State.
- Loggins scored a pair of first-period power play goals at 16:16 and 19:28 to give NMU a 2-1 lead.
- Gage Torrel had opened the scoring with a goal for LSSU at 3:24 of the period.
- After a Garrett Klee goal upped the lead to 3-1 at 2:12 of the second, Lake State scored twice in less than two minutes to knot the game at 3-3.
- Brayden Geisinger (12:26) and Ashton Calder (14:12) found the back of the net for the Lakers.
- But Pierce had the game's final two goals to give NMU the win.
- His game-winner came at 2:05 of the third and he added a power play marker at 8:00 of the period to cap the night.
No. 16/UR Bowling Green 3, at RV/UR Bemidji State 1
No. 16/UR Bowling Green 2, at RV/UR Bemidji State 2 (BGSU wins 3-on-3)
(Feb. 22-23 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
- Max Johnson scored 26 seconds into the game and held the lead to the final horn, downing homestanding Bemidji State, 3-1, to open their two-game set on Friday.
- Will Cullen scored on a power play at 2:27 of the second period and Stephen Baylis added an empty-net goal at 18:10 of the third while Alex Ierullo tallied the Beavers' lone goal at 2:46 of final period.
- Ryan Bednard made 20 saves for Bowling Green while Zach Driscoll stopped 19 shots for Bemidji State.
- Sophomore forward Max Johnson scored at 3:53 of the 3-on-3 overtime to earn an extra point for Bowling Green in the WCHA standings after the Falcons skated to a 2-2 tie against Bemidji State on Saturday at Sanford Center.
- The five-point weekend guarantees the Falcons home ice for the WCHA Quarterfinals.
- Johnson's game-ender was his second goal of the night. He staked BGSU to a 2-0 lead with a goal at 11:35 of the second period.
- John Schilling had opened the scoring for Bowling Green when he lit the lamp at 1:13 of the period.
- Bemidji State's Owen Sillinger cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal at 13:41 of the second and Justin Baudry got the game-tying goal 43 seconds into the third period for the Beavers.
No. 4/4 Minnesota State 6, at Alaska 1
at Alaska 1, No. 5/5 Minnesota State 0
(Feb. 22-23 at Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Ak.)
- Minnesota State scored three times on five-minute power play to open the second period and rolled to a 6-1 win at Alaska on Friday.
- With the victory, the Mavericks clinched their fourth WCHA regular season title in the last five seasons.
- Ian Scheid put MSU up, 1-0, with his fifth goal of the season at 6:09 of the first period.
- The Mavericks then seized control of the game with three goals in 1:45 to open the second period. Parker Tuomie (2:29), Reggie Lutz (3:18) and Marc Michaelis (4:14) all found the back of the net on the power play for a commanding 4-0 lead.
- Josh French added a goal at 11:10 for a 5-0 lead at the second intermission.
- Kylar Hope picked up the Nanooks lone goal of the night on the power play 37 second into the final period but Connor Mackey added a sixth goal for MSU at 11:56 to cap the scoring.
- Anton Martinsson stopped 32 shots and Troy Van Tetering broke a scoreless tie with a late second-period goal to give Alaska a 1-0 victory over Minnesota State on Senior Night in Fairbanks on Saturday evening.
- The shutout was the first of the season for Martinsson and the second of his Nanook career.
- Twenty-three of his 32 saves came during the last two periods of the contest.
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.