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January 31, 2012
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Denver's Salazar, Michigan Tech's Robinson and Pietila Named Red Baron® WCHA Men's Players of the Week
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Red Baron® WCHA
Offensive Player of the Week

Luke Salazar - Senior, Forward
University of Denver

photoVeteran University of Denver forward Luke Salazar, who produced back-to-back three-point games and topped all league players with six scoring points as the Pioneers forged a two-game road sweep at Alaska Anchorage last weekend, has been named the Red Baron® WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for Jan. 31.

A 5-7, 155-pound senior winger from Thornton, Colo.,Salazar matched a career-high with a pair of three-point efforts for six points in Denver's 4-2 and 6-3 WCHA road victories at UAA, helping the Pioneers move up into third place in the league race. Last Friday (Jan. 27) night, Salazar tallied a goal and two assists, including one on teammate Drew Shore's second period game-winner. Then last Saturday (Jan. 28) evening, Salazar came through with a career-best three assists as DU completed the sweep. In addition to his six points, he finished the weekend a +6 plus/minus rating with five shots on goal and four hits.

Through 25 games played this season, Salazar ranks fifth on the Denver club in scoring with 18 points (6g, 12a) and has 76 points (39g, 37a) in 123 collegiate games.

Also nominated: David Boehm, F, BSU; David Johnstone, F, MTU; Brock Nelson, F, UND.

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Red Baron® WCHA
Defensive Player of the Week

Josh Robinson - Senior, Goaltender
Michigan Technological University

photoMichigan Technological University goaltender Josh Robinson, who backstopped the visiting Huskies to a road tie and victory against defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Minnesota Duluth last weekend, is the Red Baron® WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for Jan. 31. This marks the third time this season Robinson has earned the weekly honor (also on Oct. 18 and Nov. 1).

A 6-0, 185-pound senior from Frankenmuth, Mich., Robinson, stopped 62 of 66 shots on goal for a .939 saves percentage, posted six shutout periods (one overtime), blanked the nation's top scoring team for the final 109: 47 of the series, and held UMD scoreless on all six of their power-play chances. After falling behind 4-0 in the first period last Friday (Jan. 27), the Huskies fought back with four unanswered goals to earn a 4-4 (ot) tie. Then last Saturday (Jan. 28) night, Robinson earned his third shutout of the season, fashioning a 29-save, 5-0 victory for Michigan Tech that enabled them to bank three of four points. In that game, MTU became the first team to blank the Bulldogs in 105 games, dating to a March 1, 2008 (2-0) loss to visiting North Dakota, and the first to hold UMD senior All-American forward Jack Connolly without a point in a weekend series.

On the season, Robinson is 11-9-2 overall with a 2.69 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

Also nominated: Dan Bakala, G, BSU; Joey LaLeggia, D, DU; Andrew MacWilliam, D, UND.

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Red Baron® WCHA
Rookie of the Week

Blake Pietila - Freshman, Forward
Michigan Technological University

photoLeft winger Blake Pietila, who contributed four scoring points to help visiting Michigan Technological University to a 4-4 (ot) tie and 5-0 victory at top-ranked Minnesota Duluth last weekend, has been named Red Baron® WCHA Rookie of the Week for Jan. 31. Pietila also earned the weekly honor on Oct. 11.

A 5-11, 195-pound freshman from Brighton, Mich., Pietila had a team-high four points with a goal and three assists as the Huskies took three of four points from the defending national champion Bulldogs at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. In the series opener last Friday (Jan. 27), Michigan Tech rallied from a 4-0 first period deficit to earn a 4-4 (ot) tie, with Pietila assisting on a momentum-swinging goal early in the third period. He then came back in game two last Saturday (Jan. 28) to figure in on three of the Huskies' five goals with a goal and two assists in a 5-0 shutout, scoring the second goal of the game on a power-play at 12:19 of period one and then drawing helpers on Tech's third and fifth goals.

Playing in every one of his team's 26 games this season, Pietila is tied for third in scoring for MTU with 19 points (8g, 11a) and is tied for first with teammate David Johnstone as the club's top scoring rookies.

Also nominated: Danny Mattson, F, BSU; Ty Loney, F, DU; Stephane Pattyn, F, UND.