WCHA Press Releases

WCHA Week 8 Notes: Huskies And Mavericks To Battle In Mankato
Two league heavyweights meet this weekend

Opening Faceoff

- Pietila Named National Goaltender of the Month: Michigan Tech sophomore netminder Blake Pietila earned Hockey Commissioners Association National Goaltender of the Month honors for December, the HCA announced Jan. 5. Pietila led the WCHA in save percentage during December, tied for the league wins lead with four and was second in the WCHA in goals-against average over the month at 1.52. He was one of only two WCHA goaltenders 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 eighth-most nationally this season.

- WCHA Boasts Some of the Top Offensive and Defensive Units in College Hockey: As league play heats up, WCHA squads are among the national leaders on both ends of the ice.

  • No. 7/6 Bowling Green leads the nation in goals (50), assists (84), points (134), shots on goal (476), SOGPG (39.67) and shorthanded goals (three) while No. 4/4 Minnesota State tops the NCAA in power-play percentage at .318 (7-of-22).
  • Defensively, four of the top five teams in goals allowed reside in the WCHA - No. 1 Minnesota State (1.14), No. 3 Bowling Green (1.58), No. 4 Michigan Tech (1.80) and No. 5 Lake Superior State (1.88). The quartet, along with Minnesota (1.30) are the only teams in the NCAA allowing fewer than two goals per game.
  • On special teams, Michigan Tech ranks No. 2 nationally in penalty-kill percentage at .958 (23-of-24).

- Minnesota State Fourth in Latest USCHO Poll: Minnesota State's weekend sweep at Northern Michigan boosted the Mavericks to No. 4 in the in the USCHO poll released Jan. 4. Bowling Green remained at No. 7 after sweeping Ferris State. Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State and Bemidji State were among the teams receiving votes.

  • The Mavericks are also No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings while Bowling Green moves up one spot to No. 6. Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State received votes this week.
  • Minnesota State and Bowling Green also found themselves ranked in the latest College Hockey News Power 16 rankings released Jan. 5. MSU checks in at No. 6 while the Falcons are up to No. 7 this week.

By The Numbers

- 2,042: Career saves for Michigan Tech's Mark Sinclair, which leads all active WCHA goaltenders.

- 74: All-time wins for Northern Michigan against UP rival Lake Superior State. The two teams will face off this weekend in Marquette.

- 46: Career goals for Bowling Green's Cameron Wright, the most among active WCHA players.

- 19: Wins in the last 22 games for Bowling Green, dating back to the 2019-20 season. BGSU is 19-1-2 in that span.

- 18: Career shutouts for Minnesota State's Dryden McKay, which ranks No. 2 all-time in the WCHA and tied for seventh in NCAA history.

- 17: Lake Superior State players who have recorded at least one point this season.

- 5: Consecutive games with a point for Michigan Tech's Trenton Bliss.

- 4.86: Shots on goal per game for Minnesota State's Reggie Lutz, which leads the WCHA and ranks No. 4 nationally.

- 1: Gold medal for Ferris State goaltender Logan Stein. The Suwanee, Ga., native was a member of the U.S. team won the IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Alta., on Jan. 6 with a 2-0 win over Canada.

The Week Ahead

- (RV/RV) Michigan Tech at (4/4) Minnesota State: The top power-play unit hosts the nation's No. 2 penalty-kill squad as the Huskies visit Minnesota State this weekend for battle between two the WCHA's top teams. MSU is 25-6-4 all-time against Tech in Mankato.

- (RV/UR) Bemidji State at (7/6) Bowling Green: The host Falcons will be looking to extend their eight-game winning streak when the Beavers visit for a Thursday-Friday series.

- (RV/RV) Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan (NC): In this weekend's WCHA non-conference series, the Lakers visit the Wildcats for the first two games of the Cappo Cup series.

- Ferris State at Alabama Huntsville: The Bulldogs meet the Chargers in the home-opener for Alabama Huntsville. Ferris State leads the all-time series between the two teams, 18-9-2.

2021 WCHA Postseason Tournament

Once again in 2021, the WCHA will crown a playoff champion at the WCHA Postseason Tournament. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship and the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.