BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Dec. 18, 2017 – A forward who was tied as the nation's top goal-scorer last week, a senior who tied for the national scoring lead among blue-liners, a record-setting goaltender and a freshman who starred for his team between the pipes highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Dec. 15-16, 2017. The honorees are: Bemidji State junior forward Jay Dickman (Offensive), Northern Michigan senior Jordan Klimek (Defensive), Bemidji State senior Michael Bitzer (Goaltender) and Michigan Tech freshman goaltender Robbie Beydoun (Rookie).
Jay Dickman, Jr.
Bemidji State (Shoreview, Minn.)
Dickman became just the second NCAA Division I men's skater this season with multiple hat tricks, tied for the WCHA lead with five points and tied for the national lead with four goals – all while helping Bemidji State to a league sweep of Alaska Anchorage. The junior from Shoreview, Minn. opened the weekend with a career-best four-point night, including the hat trick (all even-strength goals) and the game-winner in a 5-1 Beavers victory. Saturday night, he added another goal, a power-play strike 3:48 into the third period that gave BSU a 2-0 lead en route to a 4-0 triumph. Dickman, who scored his four goals on just six shots (a .667 percentage), finished the weekend with a plus-5 rating. He is also now the first BSU player with multiple hat tricks in a season since Brendan Cook during the 2003-04 campaign, while his 10 goals are a career high. This is Dickman's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Darien Craighead, So., Northern Michigan (recorded his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in the Wildcats' sweep-clinching win Saturday vs. Ferris State); Andrew Dorantes, Sr., Ferris State (had two goals – on three shots – in the Bulldogs' series at Northern Michigan, both power-player markers); C.J. Suess, Sr., Minnesota State (matched BSU's Jay Dickman for the WCHA and NCAA lead with four goals, scoring twice each night as the No. 7 Mavericks swept Alabama Huntsville).
Jordan Klimek, Sr.
Northern Michigan (Langley, British Columbia)
Klimek tied for the NCAA lead among defenseman with four points and led blue-liners with two goals – his first two of the season – in helping Northern Michigan to a WCHA sweep of Ferris State. The senior from Langley, British Columbia had a terrific game in the Wildcats' 6-1 win Friday, posting his first collegiate multi-goal contest and adding an assist for a career-best three points. He also contributed an assist to NMU's 4-2 victory Saturday, as he was tied for third among all WCHA skaters in points. Klimek finished the series with a plus-4 rating – tied for the best nationally for a defenseman. This is Klimek's second career WCHA weekly award, both of which have come in the last three weeks.
Honorable Mention: Cameron Clarke, So., Ferris State (tallied an assist and a blocked shot in the Bulldogs' series at Northern Michigan).
Michael Bitzer, Sr.
Bemidji State (Moorhead, Minn.)
Bitzer backstopped Bemidji State to a WCHA sweep of Alaska Anchorage, in the process moving into second place on the school's all-time saves list (he now has 2,740) and into a tie for third place on the all-time NCAA Division I men's hockey shutout list (he now has 19). The senior from Moorhead, Minn. surpassed former BSU great Grady Hunt (who had 2,717 saves between 2000-04) with a 21-stop effort in Friday's 5-1 victory. Saturday, Bitzer posted a 20-save shutout in a 3-0 triumph, extending his own school and WCHA record, while matching Quinnipiac's Michael Garteig (2013-16) and Cornell's Ben Scrivens (2007-10) for third in NCAA men's history. Bitzer finished the weekend with a 0.50 goals-against average and .976 save percentage (41-for-42), both tops among all NCAA goaltenders that made two starts. He also helped BSU's penalty-kill unit go a perfect 5-for-5 against the Seawolves. This is Bitzer's third WCHA weekly award of the 2017-18 season and his 14th career honor, including a pair of Rookie accolades and nine Defensive awards.
Honorable Mention: Connor LaCouvee, Sr., Minnesota State (posted his second-consecutive shutout, making 16 saves in a 3-0 blanking Saturday of Alabama Huntsville, helping the No. 7 Mavericks complete a sweep); Atte Tolvanen, Jr., Northern Michigan (returned after missing the previous six games due to injury and backstopped the Wildcats to a sweep of Ferris State, posting a 1.52 GAA and .912 save percentage).
Robbie Beydoun, Fr., G
Michigan Tech (Plymouth, Mich.)
Beydoun helped Michigan Tech to a five-point WCHA series against Lake Superior State, picking up his first collegiate shutout along the way. The freshman from Plymouth, Mich. blanked the Lakers, 3-0, Friday night, stopping all 25 shots he faced – including 10 in the third period, as the Huskies scored twice to break open a 1-0 contest. He then made 22 official saves in a 3-3 tie Saturday, but also stopped all three LSSU shootout attempts as Tech earned the extra league point. Of the five WCHA goaltenders that started both games last weekend, Beydoun was second with a 1.44 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. This is Beydoun's first WCHA weekly award of his rookie season.
Honorable Mention: Mareks Mitens, Fr., G, Lake Superior State (led the WCHA with 70 saves, posting back-to-back, 30-plus stop performances in the Lakers' series at Michigan Tech); Marshall Moise, Fr., F, Ferris State (tallied his first collegiate point with an assist Friday night, while logging three shots on goal and two blocks in the Bulldogs' series at Northern Michigan).