EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 20, 2017 – A trio of underclassmen who helped their teams to important league sweeps highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Feb. 17-18, 2017. The honorees are: Ferris State sophomore forward Corey Mackin (Offensive Player of the Week); Minnesota State sophomore defensemen Daniel Brickley (Defensive Player of the Week) and Minnesota State freshman forward Nicholas Rivera (Rookie of the Week).
Corey Mackin, So., F
Ferris State (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Mackin led the WCHA with three goals last weekend as Ferris State picked up a huge home sweep, defeating Alaska Anchorage twice to move into a tie for fourth place in the league standings – and the final home ice slot for the 2017 WCHA postseason. The sophomore from Philadelphia, Pa. scored on the power play to open the Bulldogs' 2-1, series-opening victory. Saturday, in front of a sellout crowd at Ewigleben Arena, Mackin scored twice in the first period to give Ferris State a 2-0 lead it would not relinquish in a 3-0 triumph. He finished the weekend with an impressive .600 shooting percentage (three goals on five shots, a league-best 25 face-off wins and a +2 rating. This is Mackin's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his fourth career honor (including two Rookie accolades during this 2015-16 WCHA Rookie of the Year campaign).
Honorable Mention: J.T, Henke, Jr., F, Lake Superior State (tallied three points on a goal and two assists, helping the Lakers rally from a third-period deficit Saturday at Alaska to earn a 3-3 tie and eventual extra point in 3-on-3 OT); Zeb Knutson, Jr., F, Minnesota State (recorded two goals and an assist for three points, helping the Mavericks to a home sweep of Northern Michigan); Zach Diamantoni, Jr., F, Northern Michigan (notched a WCHA weekend-high five points, tying his career high with two goals Friday and setting a career standard with three assists Saturday for the Wildcats at Minnesota State).
Daniel Brickley, So., D
Minnesota State (Sandy, Utah)
Brickley was one of the top two-way players in the league last weekend, posting a goal, two assists, five blocked shots and a +2 rating as Minnesota State cemented home ice for the quarterfinal round of the WCHA Playoffs with a sweep of visiting Northern Michigan. The sophomore from Sandy, Utah tied for the scoring lead among WCHA defensemen with his three points, while his blocks total tied for second. Brickley tallied three shots on goal and two blocks in Friday's 5-3 victory, while he recorded all three points – including an assist on the game-winning goal – as the Mavericks completed the sweep with a 7-4 triumph Saturday. This is Brickley's second WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and of his career.
Honorable Mention: Darren Smith, So., G, Ferris State (in his lone weekend appearance, recorded a 23-save shutout in the Bulldogs' 3-0 victory over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, a victory that lifted Ferris State into a tie for fourth place in the WCHA standings.).
Nicholas Rivera, Fr., F
Minnesota State (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Minnesota State has home ice for the quarterfinals wrapped up, and is within striking distance of the No. 2 seed for the WCHA Tournament, thanks in part to Rivera, who scored both game-winning goals this past weekend as the Mavericks swept visiting Northern Michigan. The freshman from Pacific Palisades, Calif. was the only NCAA skater with multiple game-winners last week, while he also added an assist for a three-point weekend (tied for second among WCHA rookies). Rivera scored the Mavericks' fourth goal while the team was short-handed in Friday's 5-3 win, then added a goal and assist in a 7-4 triumph Saturday. He finished the weekend with six shots on goal and a +2 rating. This is Rivera's second WCHA weekly award of his freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Cline, Fr., F, Alaska (tied for the lead among WCHA freshmen with two goals, scoring once each night as the Nanooks earned four crucial points against visiting Lake Superior State); Joe Rutkowski, Fr., D, Ferris State (tied for the WCHA rookie lead with a + 3 rating, while adding an assist, two shots on goal and two blocked shots, as the Bulldogs moved into a tie for playoff home ice with a sweep of visiting Alaska Anchorage); Collin Saccoman, Fr., D, Lake Superior State (tallied a pair of assists, one each night, as the Lakers earned two points at Alaska).