WCHA Weekend Preview: Oct. 30 - Nov. 1, 2015
News and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
#12 Bowling Green travels to Alaska Anchorage for a Saturday-Sunday series

Opening Face-Off

- Professional Pipeline: 2015 WCHA Player of the Year Tanner Kero (Michigan Tech) is set to make his debut with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (Oct. 29), joining 2014 and 2015 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Colton Parayko (Alaska / St. Louis Blues) as NHL rookies.

- Sophomore Sharpshooters: A quartet of WCHA sophomores are off to dynamic starts. Alabama Huntsville linemates Brennan Saulnier (4g-3a--7pts in four games; 1.75ppg) and Max McHugh (3g-3a--6pts in four games; 1.50ppg) are tied for 10th and 13th, respectively, in the country for points per game. Alaska's Tayler Munson (4g-2--6pts in four games) is also tied for 13th with 1.50 points per game, while he and Saulnier are tied for sixth nationally by averaging a goal per contest. Bemidji State's Gerry Fitzgerald has scored in all five games and is fourth among all D-I players with 1.20 goals per game (tied for second with six scores overall).

- Freshmen in Net: Five WCHA freshman goaltenders have earned wins, most of any conference in the country: Jesse Jenks (Alaska), Nick Kossoff (Lake Superior State), Jason Pawloski (Minnesota State), Darren Smith (Ferris State) and Atte Tolvanen (Northern Michigan).

- Falcons, Huskies Represent WCHA in Polls: No. 12 Bowling Green and No. 18 Michigan Tech are ranked in the latest USCHO.com poll, while the Falcons hold the same ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top 15 poll (MTU is receiving votes).

By the Numbers

- 399: Career coaching victories for Bob Daniels, all at Ferris State. Currently in his 24th season behind the Bulldogs bench, Daniels is 27th on the NCAA Division I all-time wins list (eighth among active coaches).

The Week Ahead

- WCHA Schedule Kicks Into High Gear: For the first time this season, all 10 WCHA teams will be in action; and, accordingly, this weekend will be the first featuring five league series.

- No. 12 Bowling Green at Alaska Anchorage: The 4-1-1 Seawolves welcome the No. 12 Falcons to Anchorage for a Saturday-Sunday series.

- Alabama Huntsville at Lake Superior State: Two teams looking to make an early-season statement in WCHA play will meet in Sault Ste. Marie, with the Lakers hosting the Chargers - along with LSSU's annual "Pink in the Rink" event.

- Ferris State at No. 18 Michigan Tech: Just two weeks after opening the WCHA schedule with a split against each other in Big Rapids, the Bulldogs and Huskies will wrap up their 2015-16 season series with a weekend set in Houghton.

- Alaska at Minnesota State: Idle last weekend after winning their own Brice Alaska Goal Rush, the Nanooks will travel to Mankato to face the Mavericks - who swept BSU last weekend.

- Bemidji State at Northern Michigan: The Beavers will travel to an arena where they are 3-0-1 all-time, going to the Berry Events Center to visit the Wildcats.


- All ten WCHA games this weekend can be viewed live (or archived) via WCHA.tv.

All rankings listed by USCHO.com poll first, followed by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll


No. 12 Bowling Green (0-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 3-1-1) at Alaska Anchorage (1-0-1, 3 pts. WCHA / 4-1-1)
Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska – Sat., Oct. 31 and Sun., Nov. 1 (both 2:07 p.m. AT)

- Idle last week, No. 12 Bowling Green travels to Alaska Anchorage for a Saturday-Sunday series against the 4-1-1 Seawolves. Following the weekend set, BGSU will have played six of its first seven games on the road.

- Falcon forwards Mark Cooper and Kevin Dufour are tied for 20th nationally by averaging 0.80 goals per game (four in five games).

- BGSU sophomore G Chris Nell ranks among NCAA leaders for goals against average (10th – 1.62) and save percentage (12th – .943). Senior Tommy Burke, the Falcons' all-time leader with a 2.38 career GAA, is one of just eight goalies nationally to have a perfect record (2-0-0).

- UAA is tied for 11th nationally with a .750 winning percentage (4-1-1), while they lead the WCHA (t-15th nationally) with 3.50 goals per game (21 total).

- Seawolves' sophomore F Matt Anholt has registered a point in all six games this season and is tied for the team lead with seven overall (2g-5a).

- BGSU leads the all-time series by a 5-2-1 margin, including a 3-2-1 edge in Anchorage. UAA, however, won the finale of a series at the Sullivan Arena last season (Feb. 28).

Ferris State (1-1-0, 2 pts. WCHA / 2-2-2) at No. 18 Michigan Tech (2-2-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 2-2-0)
John MacInnes Student Ice Arena; Houghton, Mich. – Fri., Oct. 30 and Sat., Oct. 31 (both 7:07 p.m. ET)

- After splitting an Oct. 16-17 series in Big Rapids, Ferris State and No. 18 Michigan Tech wrap up their season series with a two-game set in Houghton.

- Bulldogs' head coach Bob Daniels is one win shy of number 400 for his career. Currently in his 24th season (all at Ferris State), Daniels has a career 399-411-91 (.493) mark.

- After going 1-2-1 in its first three games, FSU is 2-0-1 in its last three contests.

- The Bulldogs' 14 goals to date have come from nine different scorers, while 15 different skaters have at least one point.

- Michigan Tech is 8-2-0 in their last 10 October games, dating back to 2013-14. The Huskies are also 13-4-1 in their last 18 contests against Michigan teams.

- The MTU power play has got off to a hot start, ranking seventh nationally at .312 (5-for-16).

- This weekend marks the first time Tech has hosted Ferris State since Jan. 24-25, 2014. The Huskies are 6-2-1 all-time against the Bulldogs on home ice, while holding a 13-9-1 edge in the overall series (including a 3-0-0 mark last season).

Bemidji State (0-2-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-3-1) at Northern Michigan (1-1-0, 2 pts. WCHA / 2-2-2)
Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich. – Fri., Oct. 30 and Sat., Oct. 31 (both 7:07 p.m. ET)

- Bemidji State will look to bounce back after suffering a sweep last weekend, while Northern Michigan is coming off a split vs. then-No. 16 Michigan Tech.

- BSU sophomore F Gerry Fitzgerald has scored a goal in all five Beavers' games and is second in the country with six goals overall (tied for fourth at 1.50 goals per game).

- Beavers' captain Graeme McCormack is tied for third nationally with five power-play points (3g-2a), spearheading a BSU power play unit that is sixth nationally at .333 (7-for-21).

- NMU, meanwhile, is 11th nationally with a .261 mark on the power play (6-for-26).

- NMU freshman G Atte Tolvanen has faced 177 shots – tops in the WCHA and fourth-most nationally. Among goaltenders that have faced at least 150 shots, his 2.56 GAA and .921 save percentage both rank fourth.

- 18 different Wildcats have made it onto the scoresheet (including WCHA co-assists leader Gerard Hanson, who has six helpers), while 11 NMU skaters have found the back of the net.

- Bemidji State leads the all-time series 5-3-2, including an unbeaten 3-0-1 mark at the Berry Events Center.

Alabama Huntsville (0-1-1, 1 pt. WCHA / 1-2-1) at Lake Superior State (0-0-0, 0 pts. / 2-4-0)
Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Fri., Oct. 30 (7:37 p.m. ET) and Sat., Oct. 31 (7:07 p.m. ET)

- Lake Superior State opens its WCHA schedule by hosting Alabama Huntsville. The series will mark the eighth annual "Pink in the Rink" event. This year, the Lakers look forward to helping War Memorial Hospital promote its new oncology unit.

- UAH sophomore F Brennan Saulnier (4g-3a—7pts) leads the WCHA and is tied for 10th nationally with 1.75 points per game, while he is tied for sixth at 1.00 goals per contest.

- Linemate and fellow sophomore Max McHugh (3g-3a-6pts) is tied for second in the league and 13th in the country at 1.50 points per game.

- The Chargers rank fourth in the country with a face-off win rate of .572.

- Lake Superior State's freshmen have been impressive in the early going, accounting for 10 of the Lakers' 14 goals and 21 of the team's 35 points. Gage Torrel leads the way with five points (2g-3a—5pts), followed by Mitch Hults (3g-1a—4pts)

- In fact, Hults is tied for the WCHA lead (t-3rd nationally) with three power play goals.

- In a series dominated by the road team, LSSU holds a 6-4-2 overall advantage. UAH is 3-1-2 all-time in Sault Ste. Marie, while the Lakers are 5-1-0 in Huntsville.

Alaska (0-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 2-2-0) at Minnesota State (2-0-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 2-4-0)
Verizon Wireless Center; Mankato, Minn. – Fri., Oct. 30 and Sat., Oct. 31 (both 7:07 p.m. CT)

- Idle last week, Alaska opens its WCHA schedule in Mankato against a Minnesota State team that swept a league road series last weekend at Bemidji State.

- Alaska sophomore F Tayler Munson had a six-point weekend (4g-2a) his last time out, leading to MVP honors at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush.

- UAF sophomore Zach Frye is tied for the WCHA lead and is tied for sixth among all NCAA defenseman by averaging 1.00 points per game (0g-4a—4pts. In 4 games).

- Minnesota State senior F Bryce Gervais has played in 128-consecutive games for the Mavericks. Last Friday, he tallied his seventh career short-handed goal, tied for MSU's all-time record.

- Despite suffering through three-consecutive shutout defeats (a streak snapped last weekend), Minnesota State has still out-shot its opponents 161-149 through the first six games.

- UAF's Jesse Jenks and MSU's Jason Pawloski are two of the WCHA's NCAA-best five freshmen goaltenders to post wins this season.

- The Nanooks have gone 13-2-1 all-time against Minnesota State, including a 2-1-1 mark last season.