WCHA Press Releases

WCHA Week 9 Notes: Top-20 Match-Up Headlines Weekend Action
No. 19/RV Lake Superior State opens WCHA play hosting No. 5/4 Minnesota State

Opening Faceoff

- Dominant Goaltenders: Four WCHA goaltenders rank among the best in the NCAA this season. Minnesota State's Dryden McKay (1.01), Michigan Tech's Blake Pietila (1.22), Bowling Green's Zack Rose (1.35) and Lake Superior State's Mareks Mitens (1.57) rank No. 2, No, 3, No. 5 and No. 7, respectively in goals-against-average nationally. The quartet also sit in the top-10 in save percentage with Pietlia (.959) second, McKay (.953) fourth, Mitens (.941) eighth and Rose (.937) 10th. Alabama Huntsville's David Fessenden sits just outside the top-10 at No. 11 with a .933 average. McKay's four shutouts also leads the NCAA. In all, WCHA goalies have accounted for 10 of the 38 shutouts in nationally this season (26.3 percent).

- WCHA Announces All-Decade Team for the 1960s: The WCHA continued its recognition of 70 Years of Excellence last week with the announcement of its All-Decade honorees for the 1960s.

  • Named to the All-Decade Team were forwards Keith Christiansen of Minnesota Duluth (1963-67), Bill Masterton of Denver (1958-61) and Red Berenson of Michigan (1959-62); defensemen Keith Magnuson of Denver (1966-69) and Lou Nanne of Minnesota (1960-63) and goaltender Tony Esposito of Michigan Tech (1964-67).
  • UMD's Christiansen was honored as the Player of the Decade. The Fort Frances, Ont., native tallied 196 points on 75 goals and 121 assists for the Bulldogs.
  • Denver's Murray Armstrong was named the WCHA Coach of the Decade. The long-time DU bench boss won four NCAA titles, five WCHA postseason championships and four league regular season titles during the decade.

- Mavericks and Falcons Maintain Top-10 Rankings: Minnesota State and Bowling Green continue residence in the top-10 in the USCHO rankings this week. The Mavericks check in at No. 5 after a weekend off while the Falcons sit at No. 8 following their home split with Bemijdi State. Lake Superior State rejoined the poll this week at No. 19 while Michigan Tech and Bemidji State received votes.

  • The Mavericks remain at No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings while Bowling Green slides one spot to No. 7. Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State received votes this week.
  • Minnesota State, Bowling Green and Michigan Tech also found themselves ranked in the latest College Hockey News Power 16 rankings released Jan. 12. MSU checks in at No. 5 while the Falcons are up to No. 6. Tech enters the poll at No. 16.

By The Numbers

- 998: All-time wins for Bowling Green. The Falcons will become the 26th team in NCAA history to reach the 1,000-win mark with two more victories.

- 55: Seasons of hockey for the Lake Superior State Lakers in 2020-21.

- 19: Freshmen and sophomores on Northern Michigan's roster, one of the youngest in the NCAA this season.

- 18: Players with at least one point for Bemidji State this season.

- 11: Penalties killed in 11 attempts by Alabama Huntsville in the Chargers' home sweep of Ferris State Jan. 8-9.

- 6: Assists by Minnesota State freshman defenseman Akito Hirose, which is the top total among WCHA rookies and ties him for 10th nationally among newcomers.

- 4: Goals for Bowling Green defenseman Tim Theocharidis, which leads all WCHA blueliners and is tied for fifth nationally among defensemen.

- .959: Save percentage for Michigan Tech's Blake Pietila, which leads the WCHA and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA this season.

The Week Ahead

- (5/4) Minnesota State at (19/RV) Lake Superior State: The Mavericks visit the Soo for a Top-20 match-up with the Lakers this weekend. Minnesota State has won the last 11 meetings between the two teams and leads the all-time series, 23-3-1.

- Alabama Huntsville at (RV/UR) Bemidji State: The Beavers host long-time rival UAH at the Sanford Center this weekend. The rivalry, which dates to the two programs' time in Division II, is 92 games old with BSU holding a 55-32-5 edge in the series. The two teams met four times in the Division II national championship game with each school winning two of the meetings.

- Northern Michigan at (8/7) Bowling Green (NC): This week's WCHA non-conference series pits Northern Michigan against Bowling Green. NMU swept the most-recent series between the two schools, Jan. 3-4, 2020, at Bowling Green.

- Trine (Ind.) at Ferris State: The Bulldogs host Division III Trine University in single game on Saturday evening in Big Rapids.

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.