BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – January 1, 2021 – The Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to recognize four student-athletes as its Players of the Month for December. Bowling Green's Cameron Wright (Forward) and Will Cullen (Defenseman); Michigan Tech's Blake Pietila (Goaltender) and Minnesota State's Akito Hirose (Rookie) are this month's honorees. The awards are presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.
Cameron Wright, Sr., Bowling Green (Newmarket, Ont.)
Bowling Green senior forward Cameron Wright led the Falcons in scoring during the month of December, logging nine points over eight games with BGSU going 7-1 over that span. The Newmarket, Ont., native registered two multiple-point efforts in December, scoring two goals in a 6-2 win over Ferris State on Dec. 12, including the game-winner. He also put up four points to begin the month against Robert Morris on Dec. 1, with a power play goal and three assists. Wright notched an assist in two of the final three games in December and finished the month with 40 shots on goal. This is Wright's first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Trenton Bliss, Jr., Michigan Tech: Tallied seven points on three goals and four assists in December. AJ Vanderbeck, So., Northern Michigan: Tallied seven points on five goals and two assists in December. Ranked seventh nationally in goals for the month and is currently second nationally in goals per game (1.25) and third in shots per game (5.25).
Will Cullen, Jr., Bowling Green (Pelham Manor, N.Y.)
Bowling Green junior defensemen Will Cullen totaled eight points in the month of December, second on the team and first among defensemen. The scoring surge now has Cullen ranked 10th in points per game among defenseman nationally. The month started out well for the Pelham Manor, N.Y., native as he logged a career-high four points against Robert Morris on a power play goal and a career-high three assists. He totaled three points over the Falcons' final two games, including the game-winning goal and an assist on the game-tying goal in the December finale against Robert Morris. This is Cullen's first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Colin Swoyer, Jr., Michigan Tech: Contributed five assists from the blueline in six games and blocked 12 shots in December for the Huskies.
Blake Pietila, So., Michigan Tech (Howell, Mich.)
Michigan Tech sophomore Blake Pietila led the WCHA in save percentage during December. The Howell, Mich., native tied for the league wins lead with four and was second in the WCHA in goals-against average over the month at 1.52. Pietila was one of only two WCHA netminders with a shutout after a 31-save effort at Bemidji State on Dec. 13. His 43 saves against Minnesota State on Dec. 6 was the top total for a league goaltender in December and stands as the seventh-most nationally this season. This is Pietila's first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Zack Rose, So., Bowling Green: Finished 3-1-0 with 81 saves on 87 shots for the 9-1-0 Falcons. Allowed just three even-strength goals in December.
Akito Hirose, Fr., D, Minnesota State (Calgary, Alta.)
Minnesota State defenseman Akito Hirose posted three assists, 11 shots on goal and two blocks in four December games for the Mavericks. The Calgary, Alta., native finished with a +2 rating as Minnesota State went 2-1-1 over the month. He was named WCHA Rookie of the Week following a win and tie vs. Bemidji State Dec. 18-19. He had two assists in 5-4 win over the Beavers on Dec. 18. This is Hirose's first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Seth Fyten, Fr., F, Bowling Green: Potted two goals and fired 10 shots on goal for the Falcons in December.
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