Top Four Seeds Advance: The Semifinals of the WCHA Postseason will feature the league's top four teams as No. 1 seed Minnesota State hosts No. 4 seed Lake Superior State and No. 2 Northern Michigan hosts No. 3 Bowling Green. The pairings mark the third time in the last six seasons that the top four seeds have all won their opening WCHA playoff series (2016, 2017) and just the second time since 2014 that all four opening-round series ended in two-game sweeps (2015).
- The Mavericks, Wildcats, Falcons and Lakers have combined to win 96 games this season and have a collective record of 96-41-11 (.686).
- No. 2/3 and top-seeded Minnesota State hosts No. 20/UR and fourth-seeded Lake Superior State at the Verizon Center in Mankato, Minn. The Lakers handed MSU its only home loss of the season on Jan. 19, posting a 1-0 victory in the second game of their series.
- No. 15/RV and third-seeded Bowling Green visits second-seeded Northern Michigan at the Berry Center in Marquette, Mich., in the weekend's other semifinal. The Falcons were the last visiting team to beat the Wildcats at home, claiming a 3-2 overtime win in Marquette on Feb. 1.
Recent WCHA Postseason History: Three teams have claimed the five WCHA postseason championships since the league went to its current makeup in 2013-14: Minnesota State (2014, 2015), Ferris State (2016) and Michigan Tech (2017, 2018). Minnesota State's 2015 squad is the only No. 1 seed to skate off with the postseason title in that span. MSU's 2014 championship team was the third seed entering the postseason that year. Ferris State was the No. 5 seed in 2016 while Michigan Tech was seeded second and fifth in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Lighting the Lamp: Lake Superior State's Diego Cuglietta leads the NCAA in goal scoring this season with 24 in 36 games. He is joined in the top-10 by Northern Michigan's Troy Loggins (T-2 - 23) and Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis (T-9 - 19).
Special Teams Leaders: The WCHA boasts several of the nation's top special teams scorers this season. Northern Michigan's Troy Loggins shares the national lead in both power play goals (10) and shorthanded goals (3). Bowling Green's Max Johnson is tied for fourth in the NCAA with 22 power play points while Minnesota State's Parker Tuomie is tied for sixth (21). NMU's Philip Beaulieu and BGSU's Brandon Kruse are tied for eighth (20) and Loggins is tied for 13th (18).
The Week Ahead
(4) Lake Superior State at (1) Minnesota State: The Mavericks and Lakers are meeting in the WCHA Playoffs for the third time in six seasons. The two previous meetings occurred in the first round with Minnesota State sweeping LSSU, 2-0, in 2014-15 and taking a 2-1 series win in 2015-16. Both series took place in Mankato. The Mavericks are 19-3-1 all-time against Lake Superior State in a series that dates to LSSU joining the WCHA in 2013-14. MSU enters the weekend on a 15-2-1 run dating to Jan. 1 and leads the NCAA in victories (29), power play goals (42), goal margin (+70) and GAA (1.76). The 29 wins are one shy of the program record of 30, set by the MSU's 1979-80 NCAA Division II national championship squad.
(3) Bowling Green at (2) Northern Michigan: BGSU and NMU split their four meetings this season, with each team winning one game on the other team's ice. The two met in Marquette on Feb. 1-2 with both squads walking away with 3-2 decisions. Bowling Green won the series opener with a come-from-behind victory in overtime while the Wildcats rebounded to win second game in regulation the following night The Falcons are in the semifinals for the sixth-straight season as a WCHA member The two teams are meeting in the WCHA Semifinals for the second season in a row. NMU won last year's Semifinal series, 2-1, in Marquette to advance to the WCHA Championship Game.
The Week in Review
at (1) Minnesota State 3, (8) Alabama Huntsville 1
at (1) Minnesota State 4, (8) Alabama Huntsville 1
(March 8-9 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)
- Top-seeded Minnesota State tallied a goal in each period – including a pair of power play markers by Marc Michaelis – to down No. 8 seed Alabama Huntsville, 3-1, in Game One of their WCHA Quarterfinal in Mankato, Minn.
- Walker Duehr opened the scoring for the Mavericks in the first period with a goal at 5:09 of the period.
- Michaelis upped the lead to 2-0 when he potted his 17th of the year on the man-advantage at 4:48 of the second frame.
- UAH's Connor Markley cut the deficit to 2-1 with a goal at 16:28 of the period but iced the game during a five-minute power play with a goal at 5:26 of the third period.
- Dryden McKay turned away 12 shots in the win. Marc Sinclair stopped 32 shots for the Chargers.
- Minnesota State scored four times in the first period and never looked back in a 4-1 victory over Alabama Huntsville on Saturday.
- The victory in the WCHA Quarterfinal matchup completed a sweep of the two-game series and advanced MSU to the WCHA Semifinals.
- Reggie Lutz scored the Mavericks' first and third goals on the power play while Parker Tuomie and Marc Michaelis also tallied at even strength for Minnesota State.
- Adam Wilcox had UAH's lone goal of the night in the third period.
at (2) Northern Michigan 5, (7) Alaska 4 (2OT)
at (2) Northern Michigan 4, (7) Alaska 3
(March 8-9 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich.)
- Joseph Nardi scored at 10:30 of the second overtime to complete a 5-4 come-from-behind victory for second-seeded Northern Michigan over No. 7 seed Alaska in Game One of their WCHA Quarterfinal in Marquette, Mich.
- The Wildcats trailed 4-2 after two periods but rallied with a pair of third-period goals by Griffin Loughran on the power play at 5:41 and Adam Rockwood in an extra-attacker situation at 19:46 to send the game to overtime.
- After a scoreless first extra session, Nardi ended the night with his ninth goal of the season.
- Northern Michigan goaltender Atte Tolvanen made 38 saves in the win to set a new NMU career record save record.
- For the second night in a row, Northern Michigan rallied from a two-goal deficit, scoring four times in the second and third periods to defeat Alaska, 4-3, and sweep their two-game WCHA Quarterfinal series.
- Kylar Hope and Kyle Marino potted goals in the first and second periods, respectively for the Nanooks to stake UA to a 2-0 lead but Denver Pierce (12:54) and Vincent de Mey (13:36) scored 42 seconds apart to knot the contest at the second intermission.
- Troy Loggins then put NMU up, 3-2, at 9:59 of the third and Darian Craighead lit the lamp on a power play at 11:58 with what proved to be the game-winner.
- Tyler Cline scored the final goal of the night for Alaska at 17:52 of the third in an extra-attacker situation.
at (3) Bowling Green 3, (6) Michigan Tech 2
at (3) Bowling Green 6, (6) Michigan Tech 2
(Feb. 8-9 at Slater Family Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio)
- WCHA No. 3 seed Bowling Green rallied from a 2-0 third-period deficit to take a 3-2 decision from sixth-seeded Michigan Tech in Game One of their WCHA Quarterfinal.
- Raymond Brice put the Huskies up, 1-0, at 6:56 of the first period and Alec Broetzman upped the advantage to 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 18:18 of the second frame.
- But the Falcons roared back in the third period with three goals in a span of 1:46. Connor Ford scored on a power play at 11:55 to get the Falcons on the board then Frederic Letourneau knotted the contest with an even-strength tally at 12:10.
- Max Johnson then lit the lamp on another power play chance at 13:41 to complete the comeback.
- Ryan Bednard stopped 23 shots for Bowling Green while Matt Jurusik made 38 saves for Michigan Tech.
- Max Johnson recorded two goals and two assists to lead Bowling Green to a 6-2 win over Michigan Tech and as sweep of their two-game WCHA Quarterfinal series.
- Johnson had a goal and two assists in BGSU's three-goal first period and added a power play goal to start the second period.
- Senior Jake Lucchini scored both Michigan Tech goals.
at (4) Lake Superior State 4, (5) Bemidji State 2
at (4) Lake Superior State 3, (5) Bemidji State 1
(March 8-9 at Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
- No. 4 seed Lake Superior State scored twice in the second period en route to a 4-2 win over No. 5 seed Bemidji State in Game One of their WCHA Quarterfinal.
- Diego Cuglietta (5:17) and Lukas Kaelble (PP- 18:29) lit the lamp in the second after Nick Cardelli had staked the Beavers to a 1-0 lead with a goal at 9:19 of the first period.
- Lake State's Anthony Nellis upped the Laker lead to 3-2 at 9:49 of the third period with a power play tally.
- BSU's Brad Johnson cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal in a delayed penalty situation at 10:27 but Max Humitz iced the game with an empty net goal for Lake Superior State at 19:44.
- Nick Kossoff made 29 saves in the win.
- Lake Superior State clinched its first home postseason series victory with a 3-1 win over Bemidji State on Saturday night to sweep its two-game WCHA Quarterfinal with the Beavers.
- Max Humitz scored even-strength in the second period to put the Lakers up 1-0 at 9:29 of the second but BSU's Justin Baudry knotted the score at 12:01.
- Hampus Erickson tallied a power play goal at 6:30 of the third to put the Lakers ahead for good before Collin Saccoman capped the night with an empty-net goal at 19:22 to seal the game.
- Nick Kossoff made 39 saves 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.