EDINA, Minn. – April 14, 2016 – For their roles in leading Ferris State to the 2016 Final Five championship and into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, junior forward Gerald Mayhew and freshman goaltender Darren Smith have been named the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Player and Rookie of the Month, respectively, for March 2016.
Gerald Mayhew, Jr., F
Ferris State (Wyandotte, Mich.)
Mayhew enjoyed a stellar month, leading the Bulldogs with six goals, six assists, 12 points, 39 shots and a +7 rating in eight games as Ferris State went 6-2-0 – including a stretch of five-straight wins to open the postseason. After tallying two points (1g-1a) in a 3-1 win over Lake Superior State on March 4 that helped Ferris State clinch home ice for the league playoffs, the junior from Wyandotte, Mich. was superb during the Bulldogs' run to the Elite Eight. Mayhew tallied a point in five of six postseason contests, tying for eighth nationally with 10 points overall (5g-5a) and tying for the NCAA lead with two game-winning goals.
Mayhew's performance included two power-play goals only 37 seconds apart, including the game-winner, late in the third period March 12 as FSU overcame a one-goal deficit to complete a two-game sweep of visiting Northern Michigan in the WCHA Quarterfinal Round. He then produced the game-winner on a penalty shot in the Bulldogs' 2-1 triumph over Minnesota State in the Final Five championship game, giving Ferris State the Broadmoor Trophy and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. During FSU's upset victory over nationally second-ranked St. Cloud State in the West Regional semifinal March 26, Mayhew scored a second-period goal and made the key play for the first assist on teammate Jared VanWormer's overtime winner. For his efforts, Mayhew was named to the WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team and the ESPNU All-Tournament Team for the West Regional.
Darren Smith, Fr., G
Ferris State (Barrie, Ontario)
Smith was the backbone of Ferris State's third Elite Eight showing in five years, tying for third nationally (tied for tops among freshmen) with six wins. Making his first appearance in the regular season stretch drive and postseason pressure cooker, the rookie from Barrie, Ontario was more than up to the challenge, going 6-2-0 with a .907 save percentage (185 saves), a 2.48 goals-against average and one shutout.
Smith opened his playoff career with wins in five consecutive games, including upset victories over nationally ranked Michigan Tech (No. 15) and Minnesota State (No. 16) in the WCHA Final Five and St. Cloud State (No. 2) in the NCAA West Regional. Smith was named Final Five MVP after stopping 43-of-44 shots against the MacNaughton Cup co-champions, including a 30-save, 1-0 shutout of Michigan Tech in the semifinals. The freshman also earned NCAA All-West Region Tournament Team honors after helping the Bulldogs upset St. Cloud State, 5-4 in overtime (29 saves) before falling to Denver in the regional final. Smith tallied 65 saves in St. Paul, including 36 against Denver to keep FSU in the game until deep into the third period. Six of the 19 goals Smith allowed in March came on the power play, while he helped Ferris State earn four one-goal victories. Smith closed the year by being tabbed as the nation's top rookie goaltender on the College Hockey News All-Freshman Team.