WCHA Weekend Preview: Dec. 9 - 10, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
Two of the WCHA's hottest teams meet in Ohio, as Bowling Green (8-2-1 in its last 11 games) hosts Michigan Tech (10-3-3 in its last 16 contests).

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

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

- Go "Inside the WCHA" with the latest webisode.

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


Alaska Anchorage (1-7-2-1, 6 pts. WCHA / 2-12-2) at Alaska (3-7-2-2, 13 pts. WCHA / 4-10-2)
Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Alaska – Fri., Dec. 9 and Sat., Dec. 10 (both at 7:07 p.m. AT)

- The Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup gets underway this weekend in Fairbanks, as the Nanooks host the Seawolves. The teams conclude the regular season – and the 2016-17 Governor's Cup series – on Feb. 24 and 25 in Anchorage.

- The Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup first appeared during the 1993-94 season. UAF leads 11-8 all-time, including a current seven-year run (vacating three titles due to NCAA infractions). UAA last won the Governor's Cup in the 2008-09 season.

- The Seawolves lead the all-time series by a 88-61-12 margin, but the teams are tied when playing in Fairbanks (39-39-5). The teams met Oct. 8 in Anchorage, with the Nanooks posting a 4-1 win in the nonconference, non-Governor's Cup game.

- Both teams earned WCHA points last weekend. UAA recorded its first league win in a split with Northern Michigan, while UAF posted a tie and shootout win at No. 16 Minnesota State.

- The Seawolves' 5-3 win last Friday vs. Northern Michigan snapped a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2). UAA posted a season-high for goals

- UAA captain Matt Anholt had a goal and assist in the two games vs. NMU and leads the team with nine points overall (4g-5a). His four goals are tied for the team lead with fellow junior Tad Kozun, who had a three-point weekend (1g-2a) against the Wildcats.

- The Nanooks are the first team to come out on top in all three levels of the WCHA's new overtime format – achieving the feat all on the road. UAF won 4-3 in overtime Oct. 29 at Lake Superior State, scored in the 3-on-3, second overtime period for the extra league point Nov. 11 at Alabama Huntsville; and, won the shootout for an extra point Dec. 3 at Minnesota State.

- UAF has found special teams success this season, leading the WCHA in power-play goals per total goals at .390. The Nanooks are tied for the league lead by averaging exactly 1.00 power-play goal per game, while freshman Ross Heidt is tied for third with three power-play strikes.

Michigan Tech (9-3-2-1, 30 pts. WCHA / 10-7-3) at Bowling Green (7-4-1-1, 23 pts. WCHA / 8-8-2)
BGSU Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio – Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)

- Two of the WCHA's hottest teams meet in Ohio, as Bowling Green (8-2-1 in its last 11 games) hosts Michigan Tech (10-3-3 in its last 16 contests). The Huskies, who have already played the most road games in the country, will log their 19th and 20th contests away from Houghton.

- Both BGSU and MTU are tied for fifth in the NCAA since Nov. 1 with a .750 winning percentage (7-2-1). The Huskies, meanwhile, are eighth nationally with a .719 mark (10-3-3) since Oct. 14 (when they were 0-4-0).

- Michigan Tech is 13-9-3 all-time against Bowling Green in a series that dates back to the 1972-73 season, although the series is tied, 5-5-1 in Ohio. Tech won the 2015-16 season series, 2-1-1.

- Both teams earned WCHA splits last weekend with victories in the finale. The Huskies handed No. 13 Bemidji State its first loss in league play, while the Falcons defeated Lake Superior State.

- Michigan Tech, which is 9-3-3 when outshooting its opponent, has done so for 10-straight games. Senior forward Michael Neville twice converted shots into goals last weekend, including the third-period game-winner against the No. 13 Beavers.

- Freshman goaltender Angus Redmond leads the nation with a 1.47 goals-against average and is sixth with a .932 save percentage. The rookie has started 12-straight games, helping Michigan Tech tie for seventh nationally by allowing just 2.25 goals per game this season.

- Bowling Green's 8-2-1 stretch began Oct. 29; during that span, the Falcons lead the WCHA and rank fifth nationally by averaging 4.00 goals per game (44 total).

- BGSU junior forward Mitch McLain has won consecutive WCHA Offensive Player of the Week accolades, earning the second honor after his hat trick last Saturday at Lake Superior State. He is the first WCHA skater with multiple hat tricks in the same season since Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz had three during the 2011-12 campaign.

No. 16 Minnesota State (6-4-2-0, 20 pts. WCHA / 9-5-2) at Ferris State (5-6-1-1, 17 pts. WCHA / 6-10-1)
Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich. – Fri., Dec. 9 and Sat., Dec. 10 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)

- Ferris State and No. 16 Minnesota State, which have met in two of the last three Broadmoor Trophy championship games, renew acquaintances in Big Rapids, Mich.

- Minnesota State leads the all-time series, 15-6-2. Ferris State, however, has won two of the last three meetings: a 2-1 victory in the 2016 Final Five title game and a 4-3 triumph Oct. 29 in Mankato to salvage a series split).

- The Mavericks were the lone WCHA team to win a league series last weekend, going 1-0-1-0 for four points against visiting Alaska (in a series that saw a combined 20 goals scored). The Bulldogs won 3-1 last Sunday at Alabama Huntsville for a series split.

- Minnesota State freshman Marc Michaelis, the reigning WCHA Rookie of the Week, has taken over the league's overall (9g-12a=21pts) and conference (9g-8a=17pts) scoring lead. He had an NCAA-high seven points last weekend (4g-3a) and now ranks fourth nationally among freshmen with an average of 1.31 points per game.

- The Mavericks are tied for second in the WCHA and seventh nationally for scoring defense at 2.25 goals allowed per game. Sophomore goaltender Jason Pawloski ranks eighth in the NCAA with a 1.92 goals-against average and 10th with a .928 save percentage.

- Ferris State sophomore goaltender Darren Smith, the Most Valuable Player at the 2016 WCHA Final Five, earned his first victory of the season in a 3-1 triumph last Sunday at Alabama Huntsville. FSU freshman Justin Kapelmaster is 5-1-0 and ranks eighth nationally with a .932 save percentage.

- Since returning from injury Oct. 28 (in the Bulldogs' series at Minnesota State), Ferris State senior forward Gerald Mayhew has 11 points in 10 games (7g-4a). He leads the country with four game-winning goals this season.

Lake Superior State (5-7-0-0, 15 pts. WCHA / 8-8-0) at No. 13/15 Bemidji State (12-1-1-1, 38 pts. WCHA / 12-5-1)
Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn. – Fri., Dec. 9 and Sat., Dec. 10 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)

- No. 13/15 Bemidji State brings its eight-point lead in the WCHA standings into a weekend series against visiting Lake Superior State, reigniting a rivalry that dates back 50 years.

- In a series that dates back to the 1966-67 and is steeped in championship tradition, the Lakers hold a 28-22-3 all-time edge. The teams met four times in NAIA National Championship games between 1968-74, with Bemidji State winning three of those contests.

- LSSU holds a narrow 5-4-1 lead during the WCHA era.

- Lake Superior State continues to be one of the top-scoring teams in the WCHA, tying for the league lead (tied for 14th nationally) with 3.38 goals per game. The Lakers are averaging 3.08 goals in their 12 WCHA contests.

- Laker sophomore forwards Mitch Hults (5g-14a=19pts), Gage Torrel (7g-7a=14pts) and Diego Cuglietta (8g-5a=13pts) are third, tied for sixth and tied for 11th, respectively among WCHA overall scoring leaders.

- Bemidji State boasts the NCAA's top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 1.61 goals per game. Junior goaltender Michael Bitzer ranks among the top-10 nationally in eight categories: wins (1st – 12), games (tied 1st – 17), starts (tied 1st – 17), minutes (1st – 1021:47), goals-against average (2nd – 1.47), save percentage (2nd - .940), saves (tied 7th – 393) and shutouts (tied 2nd – 3).

- Senior forward Brendan Harms has 10 points (3g-7a) in BSU's last nine games, while fellow senior Charlie O'Connor has five points (2g-3a) in the Beavers' last five contests.

Alabama Huntsville (5-7-2-0, 17 pts. WCHA / 5-11-2) at Northern Michigan (2-9-1-0, 7 pts. WCHA / 4-12-2)
Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich. – Fri., Dec. 9 and Sat., Dec. 10 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)

- Alabama Huntsville, which sits just three points out of fourth place halfway through its WCHA schedule, visits Northern Michigan.

- The Wildcats lead the all-time series by an 11-2-3 count, and are unbeaten (7-0-1) in Marquette. NMU went 3-0-1 against UAH last season.

- Both teams split WCHA series last weekend, with Northern Michigan winning the finale at Alaska Anchorage and Alabama Huntsville winning the opener against Ferris State.

- UAH sophomore Kurt Gosselin recorded his first career hat trick in the win over Ferris state, the first by a men's D-I defenseman this season the first by a WCHA blue-liner since Dec. 17, 2011 (SCSU's Nick Jensen). It was also the first three-goal performance by a Charger since Feb. 1, 2008 (Cale Tanaka) and the first by a UAH defenseman since Jan. 2, 1999 (Shane Stewart).

- Gosselin now has 10 points (6g-4a) in the Chargers' last eight games (since Nov. 4), while fellow sophomore blue-liner Cam Knight has 11 points (3g-8a) in UAH's last 11 contests (since Oct. 28).

- Seven different Wildcats accounted for Northern Michigan's seven goals last weekend at Alaska Anchorage, while NMU's Saturday night win was its first on that day this season (had been 0-7-1).

- NMU junior forward Zach Diamantoni is tied for the team lead with nine assists, while his 10 points total are one shy of his career high. He joins fellow junior Robbie Payne (5g-9a=14pts) and senior Gerard Hanson (3g-7a=10pts) among the Wildcats' double-digit scorers.