EDINA, Minn. – March 6, 2016 – A pair of seniors who led their teams to a playoff berth and a share of the league championship, respectively, along with a red-hot freshman, highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Feb. 29-March 6, 2016. The honorees are: Alaska senior forward Tyler Morley (Offensive Player of the Week), Michigan Tech senior goaltender Jamie Phillips (Defensive Player of the Week) and Bowling Green freshman forward Stephen Baylis (Rookie of the Week).
Tyler Morley, Sr., F
Alaska (Burnaby, British Columbia)
Morley returned from a six-game absence due to injury to post a four-point weekend as Alaska – needing three points to avoid elimination – swept rival Alaska Anchorage to wrest the eighth and final WCHA playoff spot from the Seawolves. The senior from Burnaby, British Columbia assisted on the game's opening goal Friday, a power-play strike that set the stage for a 3-2 Nanooks victory that lifted UAF into a tie with UAA. Saturday night, in a virtual winner-take-all scenario, Morley factored in all three goals as the host Nanooks again won, 3-2 to clinch a playoff berth. Needing a win or tie to advance, the top-line center scored the game's first goal at 18:43 of the first period, gave Alaska a 2-1 lead 14:10 into the second, and then picked up the primary assist on the third-period game-winner. This is Morley's second WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and his fourth career honor.
Also nominated: Brendan Harms, Jr., F, Bemidji State (scored game's only goal in BSU's 1-0 win Saturday at No. 16 Minnesota State); Brandon Hawkins, So., F, Bowling Green (tied for the WCHA lead with a career-high six-point weekend, scoring two goals with four assists in BGSU's road split at Alabama Huntsville); Josh Kestner, So., F, Alabama Huntsville (scored two of UAH's seven goals Friday in the Chargers' highest-scoring game since 2008); Gerald Mayhew, Jr., F, Ferris State (led FSU with two points as the Bulldogs clinched home ice for the 2016 WCHA Playoffs).
Jamie Phillips, Sr., G
Michigan Tech (Caledonia, Ontario)
Phillips led the WCHA with a .980 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average, stopping 48-of-49 shots as No. 13 Michigan Tech earned a share of the WCHA regular season title and the league's top playoff seed with a home-and-home sweep of Northern Michigan. The senior from Caledonia, Ontario opened the series with a 21-save shutout in a 4-0 Huskies' victory. Saturday night, Phillips helped ensure that the MacNaughton Cup returns to Houghton for the first time since 1976 with a 27-stop effort in Tech's 5-1 triumph. This is Phillips' fourth WCHA weekly award in the 2016 calendar year, his fifth of the season overall and seventh career accolade.
Also nominated: Gordon Defiel, So., G, Lake Superior State (led the WCHA with 83 saves on 87 shots, including a career-high 49 in a Saturday loss and 34 in a Saturday win – LSSU's first at Ferris State since 2008); Justin Woods, So., D, Alaska (scored a goal in both games of UAF's sweep of Alaska Anchorage, including the game-winning – and playoff berth-clinching – strike Saturday).
Stephen Baylis, Fr., F
Bowling Green (Ottawa, Ontario)
Baylis earned his second-consecutive Rookie of the Week nod after tying for the NCAA rookie lead with three goals and six points. The freshman from Ottawa, Ontario helped Bowling Green's comeback attempts with a goal and an assist in an eventual 7-5 setback. Saturday night, Baylis factored in four of the Falcons' five goals in a 5-0 victory – scoring the team's third and fifth goals, while assisting on the first and fourth. He posted a power-play goal and scored on both his shots on goal in the contest. Baylis enters the 2016 WCHA Playoffs on a scoring binge, having recorded 10 of his 18 overall points during a current five-game point streak (4g-6a).
Also nominated: Dillon Eichstadt, Fr., D, Bemidji State (posted an assist on the game's only goal in BSU's 1-0 win Saturday at No. 16 Minnesota State, while leading the team with four blocked shots on the weekend); Mitch Hults, Fr., F, Lake Superior State (had a two-point weekend, including a goal Saturday that tied the game and jump-started LSSU's 3-1 win at Ferris State); Jake Lucchini, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (had four points and factored in both game-winning goals – scoring one – as No. 13 MTU swept a home-and-home from Northern Michigan to clinch a share of the WCHA title); Darren Smith, Fr., G, Ferris State (helped Ferris State clinch home ice for the 2016 WCHA Playoffs with a 21-save effort in a 3-1 win Saturday over Lake Superior State).