WCHA Weekend Preview: Nov. 18 - 19, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
Michigan rivals meet in Big Rapids, as Ferris State hosts Lake Superior State.

- 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


Northern Michigan (1-6-1-0, 4 pts. WCHA/ 3-8-1) at No. 13/14 Bemidji State (9-0-1-1, 29 pts. WCHA / 9-2-1)
Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn. – Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)

- No. 13/14 Bemidji State looks to continue its undefeated, 9-0-1-1 start to WCHA league play when it hosts Northern Michigan at the Sanford Center.

- This will be the second and final regular season meeting between these teams, as the Beavers skated to consecutive, 2-0 shutouts at NMU back on Oct. 14-15. BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped all 42 shots he faced en route to WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors.

- With those two wins, BSU is 5-1-2 in the last eight meetings and leads the all-time series (since 2009) by a 7-4-3 margin.

- NMU dropped a pair of home games last weekend to Bowling Green, suffering its third sweep of the season. Philip Beaulieu (3a) and Troy Loggins (1g-1a) led the Wildcats in scoring.

- Beaulieu, a freshman defenseman, is one of two Wildcat rookies to own two multi-point games through the season's first 12 contests, joining forward Darien Craighead.

- Bemidji State, off to its best 12-game overall start since 2009-10 at 9-2-1, is tied for second nationally with nine wins (matching No. 10/11 Penn State and one behind No. 3 Boston College), while ranking third with a .792 winning percentage.

- With a win this weekend, the Beavers can reach double-digit victories before Thanksgiving for the first time since that 2009-10 campaign. They also would record their 10th WCHA victory before Feb. 21 for the first time ever.

- Bitzer, who leads the NCAA in goals-against average (1.32), shutouts (3) and wins (9), is 5-1-1 with four shutouts, a 0.75 GAA and .968 save percentage in his career against NMU.

Bowling Green (3-3-0-0, 9 pts. WCHA / 4-7-1) at Alabama Huntsville (4-4-2-0, 14 pts. WCHA / 4-8-2)
Von Braun Center; Huntsville, Ala. – Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)

- Bowling Green, which is 4-1-0 in its last five contests and owns a three-game road winning streak, visits an Alabama Huntsville team that is still in fourth place in the WCHA standings.

- The Falcons hold an all-time 16-4-1 advantage over the Chargers. BGSU is 10-2-0 since both teams joined the WCHA, while winning nine of the last 10 contests (UAH, however, earned a win last March in Huntsville).

- BGSU, which has played the second-fewest league games of any WCHA team (six), evened its conference record with a sweep last weekend at NMU. UAH skated to a tie and a loss at home against Alaska.

- Falcons' senior F Kevin Dufour is the reigning WCHA Offensive Player of the Week after scoring in both games last weekend at NMU, including the game-winner Friday. The goals were his first two of the season.

- Matt Pohlkamp, another senior forward, also scored in both games last weekend and now leads BGSU with six goals on the year.

- Huntsville native Josh Kestner paces the Chargers with 10 points (3g-7a), while sophomore D Kurt Gosselin is on a four-game point streak (2g-3a=5pts).

- UAH senior G Carmine Guerriero made his season debut last weekend against Alaska, stopping 23-of-25 shots in Saturday's 3-1 loss.

Michigan Tech (5-2-1-1, 17 pts. WCHA / 6-6-2) at Alaska Anchorage (0-4-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-9-0)
Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska – Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19 (both at 7:07 p.m. AT)

- Michigan Tech brings its six-game WCHA unbeaten streak (5-0-1) to Alaska Anchorage, beginning a two-week stay in the Last Frontier. UAA has played the fewest league games of any team in the WCHA (four).

- Tech is back in Anchorage for the first time since a Feb. 2015 sweep, while the Seawolves returned the favor with a brooming last December in Houghton, snapping a five-game winless streak in the series. The all-time series, which began in the 1988-89 season, is tied at 32-32-11.

- The Huskies ran their WCHA unbeaten streak to six games with a home sweep last weekend over then-No. 20 Lake Superior State. UAA wrapped up its nonconference schedule with a pair of losses at Penn State.

- MTU junior F Joel L'Esperance, who had three points against LSSU, is on a four-game point streak (3g-2a=5pts).

- Michigan Tech is 5-1-0 in its last six contests overall, a stretch that coincided with freshman Angus Redmond taking over as the starting goaltender. The rookie ranks third in the nation in winning percentage (.833), fifth in goals-against average (1.61) and 11th in save percentage (.926).

- UAA junior F Tad Kozun broke out last weekend at Penn State, scoring three goals against the Nittany Lions. He leads all current Seawolves with 22 career goals.

- Seawolves' junior G Olivier Mantha did all he could at Penn State, leading the NCAA with 92 saves last weekend – including a career-high 53 (on 55 shots) in Saturday's 3-1 loss.

Lake Superior State (4-4-0-0, 12 pts. WCHA / 6-4-0) at Ferris State (2-5-1-1, 8 pts. WCHA / 3-9-1)
Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich. – Fri., Nov. 18 and Sat., Nov. 19 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)

- Michigan rivals meet in Big Rapids, as Ferris State hosts Lake Superior State.

- These two teams have met regularly since 1977, with the Lakers leading the all-time series by a 68-53-14 margin (including a 31-28-6 advantage in Big Rapids). LSSU and FSU split a four-game set last year, with the Lakers' win last November snapping a 10-game losing skid in the series.

- LSSU dropped out of the national rankings after suffering a road sweep last weekend at Michigan Tech, while Ferris State split a nonconference home-and-home set with Michigan State.

- LSSU sophomore F Mitch Hults continues to lead the Lakers and the WCHA in scoring (4g-10a=14pts), points per game (1.40) and assists per game (1.00).

- Hults is part of a LSSU sophomore class that is third among all class groups in the country with 55 combined points (22g-33a). Only Boston College and Minnesota Duluth's senior classes have produced more total points (56).

- Ferris State freshman defenseman Joe Rutkowski is on a five-game point streak (1g-5a=6pts) and sophomore F Corey Mackin is on a three-game binge (1g-3a=4pts), while senior F Gerald Mayhew has scored goals in three-straight games (3g total) and in four-of-five contests (5g total).

- Bulldogs' freshman G Justin Kapelmaster is a perfect 3-0-0 in his first three collegiate starts – all on the road – while posting a .948 save percentage and a 1.47 goals-against average.

NONCONFERENCE No. 15 Minnesota State (5-4-1-0, 16 pts. WCHA / 7-4-1) vs./at No. 7 Minnesota (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 4-2-2)
Fri., Nov. 18 at Verizon Wireless Center; Mankato, Minn. (7:07 p.m. CT)
Sat., Nov. 19 at Mariucci Arena; Minneapolis, Minn. (8:00 p.m. CT)

- A matchup between ranked Big Ten and WCHA opponents brings No. 15 Minnesota State and No. 7 Minnesota back together for a home-and-home series, beginning Friday night in Mankato.

- The Golden Gophers own a 36-13-7 advantage in the all-time series, but the Mavericks have won three of the last four meetings. Last year, each won in the other's rink, before Minnesota State took the season series with a victory in the North Star College Cup.

- Minnesota State freshman F Marc Michaelis leads the Mavericks with 13 points (5g-8a), which stands sixth nationally amongst all rookies and tops all WCHA first-year performers.

- Michaelis is part of a Mavericks' rookie corps that is tied for sixth among NCAA freshman classes with 33 points overall (13g-20a).

- At 121 games played, senior D Carter Foguth is Minnesota State's active leader. He has blocked 29 shots this year, which is tied for seventh in the nation.

- Minnesota State's defensive corps stands as the eighth-highest scoring blue-line group in the country, generating 34 points (9g-25a) through 12 games.