WCHA Press Releases

WCHA Week 18: Down To Four
Sauer Trophy winner will be decided in Mankato

Opening Faceoff

- Three Games to a Championship: The race for the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy is down to four teams as the 2021 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Postseason moves to the WCHA Championship, March 19-20, at the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Event Center in Mankato, Minn. The top two tournament seeds - No. 1 Minnesota State and No. 2 Lake Superior State – will be joined in Mankato by No. 4 seed Bemidji State and No. 6 seed Northern Michigan. The winner of the 2021 WCHA Championship receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship.

  • Top seed Minnesota State swept No. 8 seed Ferris State, 3-0 and 3-1, last weekend to advance and will face No. 6 seed Northern Michigan, which advanced with a three-game upset of third-seeded Bowling Green. The Wildcats downed the Falcons, 4-3, on Friday before BGSU rallied for a 5-0 win Saturday to force a deciding third game. Northern jumped out to an early lead in the series finale and cruised to a 5-1 win to earn the trip to Mankato.
  • Lake Superior State enters the WCHA Championship having won 11 of its last 14 contests, including a two-game sweep of seventh-seeded Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA Quarterfinals. The Lakers will face No. 4 seed Bemidji State, which dispatched fifth-seeded Michigan Tech by scores of 3-1 and 4-1 to advance.

- McKay Among Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalists: Minnesota State junior goaltender Dryden McKay has been named to the Hobey Baker Award Top Ten Finalist list announced March 17 by the Hobey Baker Award Foundation. The WCHA Player of the Year, McKay received his second-straight Goaltender of the Year Award and captured third consecutive WCHA Goaltending Championship this season with a WCHA-record 1.07 GAA in league play.

- WCHA Lands Four the Top-20 This Week: Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Bowling Green and Lake Superior State represent the WCHA in the latest USCHO rankings released March 15. Minnesota State remains No. 3 while Bemidji State is up to No. 13. Bowling Green checks in at No. 16 with Lake Superior State up one to No. 17. Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan also received votes.

  • The Mavericks and Beavers are No. 3 and No. 12, respectively, in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings this week while Bowling Green and Lake Superior State received votes.
  • Minnesota State and Bemidji State are ranked No. 5 and No. 12 in the latest College Hockey News Power 16 released March 16.

By The Numbers

- 899: Faceoff wins for Northern Michigan in 2020-21, the second-best total in the NCAA this season.

- 61: Percent of Bemidji State's games (16-of-26) in which the Beavers played a Top-20 team this season. BSU finished 9-5-2 in those contests and won six-straight vs. ranked competition between Jan. 8-Feb. 20.

- 47: Goals scored by Lake Superior State since Feb. 1, the most in the nation. The Lakers also top the NCAA with 127 points in that span.

- +41: Goal margin for Bowling Green in 2020-21, which ranks sixth nationally and surpasses the margin of 18 of the 23 teams that advanced to semifinals in postseason conference tournaments.

- 10: Road wins for Bowling Green this season, which ties Minnesota State for the most nationally.

- 8: Wins for Minnesota State in nine contests against Top-10 ranked opponents this season.

- 4: Wins by Bemidji State in their last five outings against Top-10 opponents this season.

- 3: Trips to the WCHA semifinal round for Northern Michigan over the last four seasons.

- 1.38: NCAA-leading goals-allowed per game average for Minnesota State. The Mavericks are the only team in the country allowing fewer than 1.5 goals per game.

- 1: Regulation losses for Lake Superior State since Feb. 1.

The Week Ahead

- No. 6 (RV/UR) Northern Michigan vs. No. 1 (3/3) Minnesota State: In a series that dates back to the 2013-14 season, Minnesota State owns an 18-5-3 record vs. Northern Michigan. The Mavericks, who have won the last four games between the two schools, picked up 5-0 and 4-0 wins at NMU Jan. 2-3 this season. MSU stands 10-2-0 vs. Northern Michigan in games played between the Mavericks and the Wildcats in Mankato.

- No. 4 (RV/UR) Bemidji State vs. No. 2 (17/RV) Lake Superior State: Bemidji State is 2-3 vs. Lake Superior State in WCHA postseason play. LSSU swept BSU in a first-round playoff series in 2018-19. Last season, BSU defeated Lakers in three games to advance out of the WCHA Quarterfinals before the COVID-19 shutdown prematurely ended the season.

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.