EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 8, 2016 – A pair of seniors who helped their team hoist the MacInnes Cup and a red-hot freshman goaltender highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Feb. 1-7, 2016. The honorees are: Michigan Tech senior forward Max Vallis (Offensive Player of the Week), Michigan Tech senior goaltender Jamie Phillips (Defensive Player of the Week) and Ferris State freshman goaltender Darren Smith (Rookie of the Week).
Max Vallis, Sr., F
Michigan Tech (Santa Clara, California)
Vallis tied for the NCAA lead with three goals and led all Division I players with two game-winning markers, leading No. 14 Michigan Tech to a sweep of Lake Superior State and its 45th Winter Carnival championship. The senior from Santa Clara, Calif. scored the Huskies' first two goals in a nationally-televised, 3-0 win Friday night, and then added the second-period game-winner in a 3-1 triumph Saturday. For his efforts in helping Tech capture the MacInnes Cup, Vallis was named Winter Carnival Most Valuable Player. This is Vallis' first career WCHA weekly award.
Also nominated: Bryce Gervais, Jr., F, Minnesota State (scored two short-handed goals and added an assist as No. 17 MSU defeated No. 19 Bowling Green on Friday; now holds program record with nine career shorties); Gerald Mayhew, Jr., F, Ferris State (produced two goals, including OT game-winner Saturday, to lead FSU to a series sweep at Alaska); Dominik Shine, Jr., F, Northern Michigan (tied for the WCHA lead with four points on two goals and two assists as NMU swept Alaska Anchorage).
Jamie Phillips, Sr., G
Michigan Tech (Caledonia, Ontario)
Phillips backstopped No. 14 Michigan Tech to a pair of wins and the Winter Carnival title with an exceptional effort, stopping 53-of-54 shots for an NCAA-best .981 save percentage. In fact, the senior from Caledonia, Ontario came within a Lake Superior State penalty shot with 55 seconds remaining Saturday of posting back-to-back shutouts. Phillips turned aside 31 shots in a nationally televised, 3-0 blanking Friday, before making 22 saves in a 3-1 win Saturday. His 0.50 goals-against average was a virtual tie with Ferris State's Darren Smith for the NCAA lead last weekend. This is Phillips' fourth WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and sixth career accolade.
Also nominated: Brandon Anselmini, Sr., D, Ferris State (team-high three points and assists, along with team-best three blocks and +2 rating, in FSU's road sweep at Alaska); Brock Maschmeyer, Jr., D, Northern Michigan (led WCHA defensemen with two goals, both of which came on the power play and put NMU ahead as the Wildcats earned a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage).
Darren Smith, Fr., G
Ferris State (Barrie, Ontario)
Smith had another big weekend, turning aside 51-of-52 shots as Ferris State earned its first sweep of the season with consecutive wins at Alaska. The freshman from Barrie, Ontario ran his current unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) with a 4-0 win Friday and a 2-1 overtime triumph Saturday. His .981 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average were virtual ties with Michigan Tech's Jamie Phillips for tops in the NCAA last week, while his 20-save shutout marked the second clean sheet of his career. Smith also logged 31 saves Saturday, including nine in the third period, allowing the Bulldogs to fight back for the win. This is Smith's third career WCHA weekly honor – all in the last three weekends in which Ferris State has played.
Also nominated: Stephen Baylis, Fr., F, Bowling Green (had a goal and assist, as well as three blocked shots, in No. 19 BGSU's 3-1 win Saturday against No. 17 Minnesota State).