EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 6, 2017 – For their roles in helping their respective teams to a pair of crucial league sweeps – including a record-setting effort in net – the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Feb. 3-4, 2017 are: Bemidji State junior forward Kyle Bauman (Offensive Player of the Week), Northern Michigan sophomore goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Defensive Player of the Week) and Bemidji State freshman defenseman Tommy Muck (Rookie of the Week).
Kyle Bauman, Jr., F
Bemidji State (Apopka, Fla.)
Bauman helped Bemidji State to a sweep of second-place Michigan Tech, scoring a goal in both victories as the Beavers moved within three points of clinching their first-ever MacNaughton Cup. The junior from Apopka, Fla., capped Bemidji State's three-goal, third-period comeback in Friday's 4-2 win, posting his 10th goal of the season into an empty net at the 19-minute mark. He then needed just one minute to light the lamp in Saturday's series finale, scoring 60 seconds into the contest to jump-start the Beavers toward an eventual 3-0 triumph. Bauman's two scores came on just four shots, as he tied for the WCHA weekend goals lead. This is Bauman's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his third career honor, including a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades.
Honorable Mention: Zeb Knutson, Jr., F, Minnesota State (scored twice, including the game-winning goal, in the Mavericks' 5-0 win Saturday at Alaska Anchorage); Chad Staley, So., F, Alaska (tied for the WCHA lead with three points on two goals and an assist, including a two-point effort in the Nanooks' 3-0 win Friday vs. visiting Alabama Huntsville).
Atte Tolvanen, So., G
Northern Michigan (Vihti, Finland)
Tolvanen continued his brilliant run in the Northern Michigan net, stopping all 75 shots he faced in leading the Wildcats to consecutive shutouts and a road sweep at Bowling Green. The only goaltender in the country to post two clean sheets last week, he ranked fourth nationally with his WCHA-high 75 saves. Tolvanen opened the weekend with a 35-save effort in NMU's 3-0 triumph, before making a season-high 40 stops – including several of the highlight reel variety – in the Wildcats' 2-0 victory Saturday. The sophomore from Vihti, Finland now has three-straight clean sheets (109 saves), in the process posting a NMU program-record 215:42 scoreless streak. Over a longer haul, Tolvanen has posted a .966 save percentage and 0.98 goals-against average during Northern Michigan's current 5-0-2 stretch, a seven-game unbeaten run that is tied for the second-longest active streak in the country. This is Tolvanen's second WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his sixth career honor (including three Rookie of the Week accolades).
Honorable Mention: Justin Baudry, So., D, Bemidji State (had two blocked shots, a +1 rating and tied for the WCHA scoring lead with three points on a goal and two assists – all in the Beavers' 3-0, sweep-clinching win Saturday vs. visiting Michigan Tech); Aaron Nelson, Jr., G, Minnesota State (posted his second career shutout in his lone action of the weekend, a 13-save effort in the Mavericks' 5-0 win Saturday at Alaska Anchorage).
Tommy Muck, Fr., D
Bemidji State (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.)
Muck was a factor on both ends of the ice during Bemidji State's sweep of Michigan Tech, leading the WCHA with six blocked shots and tying for the league lead with three points. The freshman from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. helped catapult the Beavers' series-opening victory with a career-high three assists – all in the third period as BSU erased a 2-1 deficit and won, 4-2. He posted his first helper 3:45 into the third to tie the game, added another on the eventual game-winning goal from Leo Fitzgerald at the 5:52 mark and finished the outburst with an assist on an empty-net goal at the 19-minute mark. He added a shot on goal, helped Bemidji State hold the Huskies to just two goals for the series and tied for second in the WCHA with a +3 rating. This is Muck's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Connor James, Fr., D, Alabama Huntsville (posted a +1 rating for the weekend and led the Chargers with two points after collecting a pair of assists in a 4-1 win Saturday at Alaska); Marc Michaelis, Fr., F, Minnesota State (posted a two-point weekend, with a goal Friday and assist Saturday, as the Mavericks split at Alaska Anchorage); Mitch Reinke, Fr., D, Michigan Tech (scored a goal for the fourth-straight game, part of a two-point effort for the Huskies on Friday at Bemidji State).