WCHA Weekend Preview: Nov. 11 - 12, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
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Michigan Tech hosts Lake Superior State this weekend at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

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

- The full WCHA weekly release can be found online here.

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


WCHA

No. 15 Bemidji State (8-0-0-0, 24 pts. WCHA / 8-2-0) at No. 11 Minnesota State (5-3-0-0, 15 pts. WCHA / 7-3-0)
Verizon Wireless Center; Mankato, Minn. – Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- One of college hockey's top matchups this weekend takes place in Mankato, where No. 11 Minnesota State hosts No. 15 Bemidji State in a series between early WCHA front-runners.

- Bemidji State, off to its best 10-game start since 2009-10 at 8-2-0, is tied with No. 3 Boston College and No. 16/15 Union for the most wins in the country. Minnesota State (7-3-0) is tied for fourth with seven victories.

- The two teams have met 119 times previously in a storied rivalry that dates back to both schools' Division II-era. The Beavers own a slim 53-49-17 all-time margin, while the Mavericks are 4-1-0 in the last five meetings. However, BSU's one win in that time came in the 2015-16 regular season finale, a victory that cost MSU the outright league championship.

- Bemidji State kept its perfect WCHA start intact last weekend with a road sweep at Alaska, while Minnesota State split a pair of contests at Lake Superior State.

- Minnesota State F Marc Michaelis leads all WCHA rookies and is tied for second nationally with 12 points (4g-8a). As a group, Maverick freshmen are tied for sixth in the country with 28 points (11g-17a).

- The Mavericks' balanced scoring this season (second in the WCHA and 16th nationally at 3.60 goals per game) includes the NCAA's third-most prolific defensive corps (9g-24a=33pts).

- Bemidji State junior G Michael Bitzer leads the country with eight wins and three shutouts, while ranking second with a 1.40 goals-against average, seventh with a .938 save percentage and 13th with 213 saves.

- The Beavers have either been tied or held the lead for 554:36 of 602:05 of ice time this season (92.1 percent). BSU has skated with the lead for 392:58 (65.3 percent).

- BSU's 8-0-0 league record is its best since starting 8-0-0 in 2009-10 – the Beavers' last campaign in College Hockey America.


No. 20 Lake Superior State (4-2-0-0, 12 pts. WCHA / 6-2-0) at Michigan Tech (3-2-1-1, 11 pts. WCHA / 4-6-2)
John MacInnes Student Ice Arena; Houghton, Mich. – Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Historic UP rivals meet for the only time this season, as Michigan Tech hosts No. 20 Lake Superior State in Houghton.

- The Lakers are ranked by USCHO.com for the first time since Jan. 6, 2014. The Huskies are 4-2-2 in their last 10 contests.

- The LSSU-MTU series dates back to the 1969-70 season. Tech is 40-21-5 all-time against LSSU, including a commanding 25-9-1 record at home. The Huskies are undefeated in the last seven meetings.

- Both teams are coming off splits last weekend. The Lakers jumped into the top-20 nationally after a 1-1 weekend against No. 11 Minnesota State, while the Huskies earned a 5-1 win in the series finale at Michigan State.

- Lake Superior State enters the weekend excelling on both ends of the ice. The Lakers are averaging 4.50 goals per game, matching No. 10 Harvard (3-0-1) for tops nationally. LSSU is ranked 10th in the NCAA (second in the WCHA) by allowing just 2.25 goals per contest.

- LSSU sophomore F Mitch Hults, the WCHA Player of the Month for October, leads the league with 13 points (4g-9a) and 1.62 points per game.

- Seventeen Huskies have scored Tech's 32 goals this season. Senior F Reid Sturos has four to lead the team, while no player has scored more than one goal on any weekend.

- MTU freshman G Angus Redmond has started the last four games, going 3-1-0 and posting a 1.66 goals-against average – good for sixth in the NCAA. He also ranks 18th nationally with a .922 save percentage.


Alaska (2-4-0-0, 6 pts. WCHA / 3-7-0) at Alabama Huntsville (4-3-1-0, 13 pts. WCHA / 4-7-1)
Von Braun Center; Huntsville, Ala. – Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Alabama Huntsville, which has been on the road for two-straight weekends and five of the first six this season, returns home to host Alaska.

- UAH sits in third place in the WCHA standings on the strength of two league road sweeps (at Ferris State and at Alaska Anchorage) – the first time the Chargers have broomed a pair of road weekends since the 2004-05 season.

- Alaska leads the all-time series by a 19-7-1 margin, including a 7-4-1 edge when playing in Huntsville. The teams split at the Von Braun Center in Jan. 2016.

- The Chargers are coming off a sweep at Alaska Anchorage, while the Nanooks dropped a pair at home to Bemidji State.

- UAF senior F Marcus Basara has recorded a point in five of his last seven games and is tied for the team lead in points (7) and goals (3).

- Sophomore F Chad Staley has helped the Nanooks to the WCHA's third-best power-play unit (11-for-57, 19.3 percent), leading the team with five points (1g-4a) on the man advantage.

- UAH linemates Josh Kestner (3g-6a) and Max McHugh (5g-4a) are tied for the team lead (and tied for 10th in the WCHA) with nine points apiece.

- The Chargers, already one WCHA win shy of matching their entire 2015-16 output (5-17-6), welcome back senior G Carmine Guerriero this weekend. Junior netminder Jordan Uhleski earned his first two collegiate wins last weekend, posting a .907 save percentage and 1.94 GAA during the sweep in Anchorage.


Bowling Green (1-3-0-0, 3 pts. WCHA / 2-7-1) at Northern Michigan (1-4-1-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 3-6-1)
Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich. – Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Two teams looking to climb up the WCHA ladder meet in Marquette, as Northern Michigan hosts Bowling Green.

- The Falcons have won the last four meetings, all one-goal decisions. This is BGSU's first trip to the Berry Events Center since Dec. 5-6, 2014 (the Falcons went 1-0-1). All-time, BGSU holds a 46-41-8 advantage.

- Both teams earned splits last weekend. Bowling Green won its first league contest in the series opener against Ferris State, while Northern Michigan picked up a nonconference win at Wisconsin.

- BGSU has outshot its opponents in four-straight games, while holding a 277-225 advantage on the season.

- Falcons' junior F Mitch McLain has tallied five points (1g-4a) in his last four games, and leads the team with nine points (3g-5a) and a +2 rating. He has picked up the helper on the game-winning goal in both BGSU wins this season.

- Eighteen of the 21 skaters who have seen the ice for NMU have registered at least one point, with 11 finding the back of the net (including four freshmen).

- Through 10 games, the Wildcats have allowed only 11 goals while skating at even strength. Following a 33-stop effort last Saturday at Wisconsin, sophomore G Atte Tolvanen has made at least 30 saves in exactly half (17) of his 34 collegiate games.


NONCONFERENCE

Alaska Anchorage (0-4-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-7-0) at No. 12 Penn State (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 7-1-0)
Pegula Ice Arena; State College, Pa. – Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:00 p.m. ET)

- Alaska Anchorage travels to No. 12 Penn State in a WCHA-Big Ten matchup.

- The teams have met three times in the state of Alaska, skating to ties in the 2014 Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks and in the second game of a series last November in Anchorage. In between, the Nittany Lions earned a 5-2 in at Sullivan Arena to lead the series, 1-0-2.

- UAA will be looking for its second win of the season, as the Seawolves earlier earned a nonconference victory over Canisius (1-0 on Oct. 15).

- The Seawolves rank fourth in the WCHA for penalty-kill efficiency at 83.7 percent (41-of-49).

- Junior captain Matt Anholt and senior F Brad Duwe lead UAA with two goals apiece.


Michigan State (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 2-6-0) at Ferris State (2-5-1-1, 8 pts. WCHA / 3-8-1)
Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich. – Sat., Nov. 12 at 7:07 p.m. ET
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Ferris State hosts Michigan State in the back end of a home-and-home series, after the Bulldogs skated to a 4-1 win Thursday night in East Lansing.

- Mitch Maloney, Gerald Mayhew and Joe Rutkowski all scored power-play goals in FSU's win at Munn Ice Arena, while freshman G Justin Kapelmaster made 31 saves to remain undefeated.

- FSU has won three of its last four games after an 0-7-1 start, and Kapelmaster has been in net for each of the three victories. He is now 3-0-0 to open his collegiate career, with a .948 save percentage and 1.47 goals-against average.

- Since returning from injury Oct. 28, Mayhew is tied for the WCHA lead with six points, four goals and two game-winning goals. FSU is 3-2-0 in that span.

- Thursday's game marked the first meeting between the schools in 683 days – the longest the teams have gone without playing since they began a regular series in 1981. With the win, Ferris State has now won 12 of the last 16 contests against the Spartans.

- A sellout crowd Saturday night will welcome Michigan State back to the Ewigleben Ice Arena for the first time since Jan. 5, 2013.