EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 23, 2017 – The men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Jan. 20-21, 2017 all come from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as a trio of players helped their teams to key league sweeps. The honorees are: Northern Michigan senior forward Dominik Shine (Offensive Player of the Week), Northern Michigan sophomore goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Defensive Player of the Week) and Lake Superior State freshman forward Luke Morgan (Rookie of the Week).
Dominik Shine, Sr., F
Northern Michigan (Pinckney, Mich.)
Shine recorded his second hat trick of the season in Friday's series opener, tied for the WCHA lead with four points following an assist on Saturday's game-winning goal and posted a +3 rating, helping Northern Michigan to a sweep of visiting Alaska Anchorage. The two wins moved the Wildcats into a tie with the Seawolves for ninth place in the WCHA standings, just four points back of a playoff spot. The senior from Pinckney, Mich. opened the weekend with his second hat trick of the season, scoring the Wildcats' third, fourth and sixth goals in a 6-1 victory. Shine becomes the fifth NCAA D-1 skater with multiple hat tricks in 2016-17, joining Bowling Green's Mitch McLain as the first WCHA players to accomplish the feat since Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz had three during the 2011-12 campaign. Saturday night, Shine picked up the primary assist on Gerard Hanson's game-opening goal, setting the stage for a 4-0 NMU triumph. He is tied for the NCAA lead with seven goals in January, while he is also tied for tops with 11 markers since Dec. 1. This is Shine's second WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Brett D'Andrea, Jr., F, Bowling Green (scored the game-winner 3:57 into overtime Saturday, giving the Falcons a 2-1 win over visiting Alaska); Gerry Fitzgerald, Jr., F, Bemidji State (led the No. 20 Beavers with three points on two goals and assist, helping BSU to a split with visiting Ferris State); Tyler Heinonen, Sr. F, Michigan Tech (had two goals – including the tying strike – and an assist as the Huskies skated to a 4-4 tie Friday against then-No. 20 Minnesota State); Mitch Hults, So., F, Lake Superior State (tied for second in the WCHA with four points, scored the game-winning goal Friday and assisted on the winning marker Saturday as the Lakers swept visiting Alabama Huntsville); Zeb Knutson, Jr., F, Minnesota State (scored two, third-period goals Friday as Minnesota State earned a 4-4 tie – and later a shootout win – at Michigan Tech); Chad McDonald, Sr., F, Ferris State (tallied an assist and two goals, including the game-winner Friday, as Ferris State earned a road split at league-leading and then-No. 18 Bemidji State).
Atte Tolvanen, So., G
Northern Michigan (Vihti, Finland)
Tolvanen was excellent in net during Northern Michigan's sweep of visiting Alaska Anchorage, stopping 59-of-60 shots on the weekend. The sophomore from Vihti, Finland led the WCHA with a 0.50 goals-against average and .983 save percentage, while ranking second with his 59 stops. Among national goaltenders, Tolvanen's save mark was second (but tops among netminders with two games), while his GAA was third (second among goalies with two games). He opened the series with 25 stops in the Wildcats' 6-1, Friday night victory. Tolvanen then earned his second career shutout in Saturday's series finale, a 34-save effort in NMU's 4-0 triumph. He made 11 stops in the first period, 13 in the second and 10 in the third, helping the Wildcats to a four-goal win despite being outshot by a 34-30 margin. This is Tolvanen's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his fifth career honor (including three Rookie of the Week accolades).
Honorable Mention: Justin Baudry, So., D, Bemidji State (posted a goal and assist Saturday as the No. 20 Beavers salvaged a split with a 5-1 victory over visiting Ferris State); Davis Jones, Sr., G, Alaska (ranked third in the WCHA with a .934 save percentage and 1.94 goals-against average, helping the Nanooks to a road split at Bowling Green); Mitch Reinke, Fr., D, Michigan Tech (had a three-point weekend with a goal and two assists, helping the Huskies to a four-point series against then-No. 20 Minnesota State); Chris Nell, Jr., G, Bowling Green (logged a 40-save weekend against Alaska, including 19 stops in the Falcons' 2-1, overtime victory Saturday).
Luke Morgan, Fr., F
Lake Superior State (Brighton, Mich.)
Morgan led all WCHA rookies with four points, helping Lake Superior State jump from eighth to fifth in the WCHA standings following a huge sweep of visiting Alabama Huntsville. The freshman from Brighton, Mich. picked up two assists in both games (5-4 and 4-1 Laker victories), including the primary helper on Saturday's game-winning goal. Morgan tied for tops among all WCHA skaters with his four assists and tied for second in points, while he also tied for third with a +3 rating. He also added four shots on goal and a pair of blocked shots for the Lakers, who now are just six points back of fourth place and home ice for the WCHA Playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Philip Beaulieu, Fr., D, Northern Michigan (had a +3 rating during NMU's sweep, while posting a one-goal, two-assist night in the Wildcats' 6-1, Friday night win over Alaska Anchorage); Chris Gerrie, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (scored a goal in both games as the Huskies earned four points against then-No. 20 Minnesota State); Justin Kapelmaster, Fr., G, Ferris State (ranked second in the WCHA with a .939 save percentage during a 46-save weekend, including 34 stops in the Bulldogs' 5-2 win Friday at league-leading and then-No. 18 Bemidji State).