WCHA Weekend Preview: Nov. 4 -5, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
Alaska Anchorage hosts Alabama Huntsville for a pair of games this weekend.

- 8 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


No. 10 Minnesota State (4-2-0-0, 12 pts. WCHA / 6-2-0) at Lake Superior State (3-1-0-0, 9 pts. WCHA / 5-1-0)
Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Fri., Nov. 4 at 7:37 p.m. ET and Sat., Nov. 5 at 7:07 p.m. ET

- Lake Superior State, 5-1-0 and off to its best start since the 1995-96 season, hosts No. 10 Minnesota State in a matchup of high-powered offenses.

- The Lakers enter the weekend ranked second nationally (first among teams that have played more than two games) with an average of 5.00 goals per game (30 in six contests), while the Mavericks are sixth (fifth) at 4.12 (33 in eight).

- Minnesota State leads the all-time series by a 12-1-0 margin, including victories in each of the last two WCHA Quarterfinals. LSSU's lone win came in game two of the 2016 playoffs, as Gordon Defiel set a WCHA postseason record for saves in a regulation shutout with 57 stops in a 2-0 win.

- Both teams split home sets last weekend. The Lakers dropped the series finale in overtime to visiting Alaska, while the Mavericks fell to visiting Ferris State on a last-minute goal Saturday.

- Minnesota State has the highest scoring defensive corps in the country with 30 (9g-21a) thus far (Boston College is second with 7-22=29).

- The Mavericks' freshman class, led by Marc Michaelis (third nationally among rookies with 10 points), are tied for third among NCAA rookie groups with 25 points thus far (10g-15a).

- Matching Minnesota State's output, LSSU's freshmen have also tallied 25 points, including eight from Brayden Gelsinger (3g-5a).

- Lakers' sophomore F Diego Cuglietta is tied for the NCAA lead with two short-handed goals – and both have been game-winners.

No. 18 Bemidji State (6-0-0-0, 18 pts. WCHA / 6-2-0) at Alaska (2-2-0-0, 6 pts. WCHA / 3-5-0)
Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Alaska – Fri., Nov. 4 and Sat., Nov. 5 (both 7:07 p.m. AT)

- No. 18 Bemidji State takes its perfect 6-0-0 WCHA record to Fairbanks to face the Nanooks, who have knocked off Minnesota State and Lake Superior State the last two weekends.

- The Beavers are unbeaten in the last three meetings (2-0-1), are 5-1-1 in the last seven games and lead the all-time series, 8-3-2 (including 2-1-1 at the Carlson Center).

- BSU is coming off a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage last weekend, while Alaska returns home after an overtime win at Lake Superior State to earn a league split.

- BSU has reached the six-win mark in league play before January 1 for the first time in its WCHA era, and is off to its best conference start since going 8-0-0 to open the 2009-10 College Hockey America campaign.

- Beavers' junior G Michael Bitzer – the NCAA's active leader with a program-record 13 career shutouts – is 6-0-0 with a .975 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average in league play. He leads the nation with three shutouts thus far in 2016-17.

- Alaska sophomore F Chad Staley, who has scored a team-high three goals on just nine shots, leads the WCHA in goals per shots at .333.

- UAF is 3-1-0 this season on Saturdays, with the only loss an overtime setback to Omaha. The Nanooks are a combined 0-4-0 on Fridays and Sundays.

Alabama Huntsville (2-3-1-0, 7 pts. WCHA / 2-7-1) at Alaska Anchorage (0-2-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-5-0)
Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska – Fri., Nov. 4 and Sat., Nov. 5 (both at 7:07 p.m. AT)

- Alabama Huntsville continues its road-warrior ways, traveling to face Alaska Anchorage. After this weekend, the Chargers will have been on the road for 10 of their first 12 games.

- Alaska Anchorage leads the all-time series by a 20-5-2 margin, including a 14-1-0 mark at home. The lone UAH win in Anchorage came on Jan. 29, 2016, as the Chargers are 3-3-2 over the last eight meetings.

- UAA opened its WCHA schedule with a pair of losses at Bemidji State last weekend, including an overtime setback. UAH was swept at No. 10 St. Cloud State.

- Huntsville native Josh Kestner leads the Chargers with seven points (3g-4a), while junior F Max McHugh is tied for the WCHA lead with five goals.

- Junior Jordan Uhleski has become the Chargers' primary goaltender. He made 72 saves last weekend at St. Cloud State, including a season-high 48 in the opener.

- UAA has struggled offensively this season, with just four goals through its first six games. Junior G Olivier Mantha – who delivered a 1-0 shutout over Canisius on Oct. 15 – still is the program's all-time leader with a career .908 save percentage.

- The Seawolves own the WCHA's fifth-best penalty-kill percentage at 84.4 (27-for-32).

Ferris State (1-4-1-1, 5 pts. WCHA / 1-7-1) at Bowling Green (0-2-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-6-1)
BGSU Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio – Fri., Nov. 4 at 8:07 p.m. ET and Sat., Nov. 5 at 7:07 p.m. ET

- Two teams picked to finish near the top of the WCHA standings will meet as Bowling Green hosts Ferris State. The Bulldogs have earned five points in their last three WCHA games, while the Falcons return to league play for the first time since Oct. 7-8.

- BGSU swept last season's series, have won five of the last six meetings and lead the all-time series, 60-57-11.

- Both teams earned their first wins of the season last weekend. Ferris State scored in the final minute to upend No. 10 Minnesota State in Mankato, while Bowling Green won at Miami.

- After missing four games due to injury, Ferris State senior F Gerald Mayhew returned to the lineup with a four-point weekend (2g-2a) at Minnesota State. He scored the game-winner Saturday and earned WCHA Player of the Week honors.

- FSU redshirt freshman F Craig Pefley, who has recorded a point in seven of his first nine collegiate games, is tied for the NCAA lead with nine assists. The WCHA Rookie of the Month for October is tied for the national freshman lead with 11 points overall (2g).

- BGSU outshot Miami last weekend by a 62-34 margin.

- Bowling Green junior D Mark Friedman, a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, scored in back-to-back games last weekend at Miami and has four points (2g-2a) in his last five contests.


Michigan Tech (3-2-1-1, 11 pts. WCHA / 3-5-2) at Michigan State (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 1-4-0)
Munn Ice Arena; East Lancing, Mich. – Fri., Nov. 4 and Sat., Nov. 5 (both at 7:05 p.m. ET)

- Michigan Tech travels to East Lansing for the second year in a row, meeting Michigan State in a WCHA-Big Ten matchup.

- After an 0-4-0 start, the Huskies are 3-1-2 in their last six contests, with the lone loss a one-goal setback to then-No. 11 Michigan.

- Tech is undefeated in the last six matchups, including a 2-0-1 mark last year – with all three games going to overtime. The Huskies won (5-4) and tied (4-4) at the Munn Ice Arena last November, before earning a 3-2 win in a Great Lakes Invitational semifinal contest.

- The Huskies are 82-74-4 all-time against the Spartans, but are just 33-35-2 in East Lansing.

- Sixteen Huskies have scored Tech's 25 goals, with not a single player scoring more than one goal in any weekend series thus far. Senior F Reid Sturos leads the team with three goals overall, while seven players have two apiece.

- Both of Jake Lucchini's goals this season have been game-winners, tied for second nationally.

- Freshman D Mitch Reinke ranks fifth in the country among rookie blue-liners with five points, while his four assists are tied for fourth (tops among WCHA freshmen defensemen).

- Freshman G Angus Redmond earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors after stopping 48-of-49 shots in his first two collegiate starts, both Tech wins over Northern Michigan.

Northern Michigan (1-4-1-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 2-5-1) at Wisconsin (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 4-2-0)
Kohl Center; Madison, Wis. – Fri., Nov. 4 and Sat., Nov. 5 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)

- Northern Michigan and Wisconsin meet for the second time this season, as the teams play in Madison after splitting a season-opening series in Green Bay on Oct. 7-8.

- NMU junior F Robbie Payne earned WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors after a six-point series (3g-3a) the last time these teams played – including a five-point outing, with a school-record two short-handed goals, in the finale. The Wildcats won the opener, 3-2, before dropping a wild, 6-5 affair in the second game.

- The Wildcats and Badgers met at the Kohl Center on Oct. 9-10, 2015, playing to a pair of ties. NMU goaltender Atte Tolvanen stopped 66-of-71 shots, including 41 in the series finale.

- Payne enters November tied for the WCHA lead with five goals, while he is fifth with nine points.

- If he appears in both contests this weekend, NMU senior F Gerard Hanson will reach the career 100-game plateau.