- Mavericks Set the Pace: Minnesota State, which sits atop the standings in the Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), is eighth in this week's USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Bowling Green received votes in the USCHO.com ledger.
- These Dawgs Bite: Ferris State entered November in last place, winless in its first four WCHA league games (0-3-1). Since Nov. 2, however, the Bulldogs are a WCHA-best 5-1-0 (.833) in league play, jumping into a tie for fifth place.
- Ferris State leads the league with 4.00 goals per conference game during the stretch (tied with Minnesota State), 2.17 goals allowed per contest and a plus-52 shot margin. The Bulldogs have killed off 33-of-35 penalties (94.5 percent).
- Sophomore goaltender Justin Kapelmaster is a perfect 4-0-0 in his WCHA starts since Nov. 2, with one shutout, a 1.50 goals-against average and a league-best .944 save percentage. Senior forward Mitch Maloney has six goals during the Bulldogs' current six-game WCHA run.
- Lighting the Lamp: Three WCHA forwards, all seniors, are among the top-20 nationally in goals per game. Northern Michigan's Robbie Payne is tied for seventh at 0.75 (12 goals in 16 games), Ferris State's Mitch Maloney is tied for 10th at 0.67 (12 in 18) and Alabama Huntsville's Josh Kestner is 19th at 0.62 (10 in 16). Kestner is also tied for fourth with five power-play markers.
- Tradition Starts Here: The WCHA has four of the nation's top-20 winningest teams since opening night of the 2013-14 season.
- Minnesota State is tied for fourth with 107 wins in the last four-plus seasons (matching Boston College and UMass Lowell), Michigan Tech is tied for 11th with 96 (equal to Union), Bowling Green is tied with Minnesota Duluth for 14th with 91 victories and Ferris State is 18th with 88.
By the Numbers
- 4: Shorthanded goals by Northern Michigan, most in the WCHA and second-most nationally. The Wildcats are one of 10 NCAA teams to score a shorty and not allow one.
- 8: Goals by Alaska redshirt-senior Justin Woods, tops among NCAA defensemen (he's also first with 0.44 goals per game). Woods enters this weekend's Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup series on a five-game point streak (2g-3a=5pts).
- 9(th): NCAA rank for goals-against average (2.02) and save percentage (.927) for Bowling Green sophomore goaltender Ryan Bednard. The Florida Panthers product leads the WCHA in both categories.
- 20: WCHA-leading overall points for Lake Superior State senior forward J.T. Henke, who has five goals and 15 assists in 16 games. He is tied for 17th nationally with 1.25 points per contest and is tied for ninth with 0.94 assists per outing.
- 42: Seconds it took Alaska to score three goals during the first period of last Friday's 5-3 win at Lake Superior State. The three-goal outburst was the second-fastest in program history and the 10th-quickest ever in a WCHA league game.
The Week Ahead
- Rare Five-Series WCHA Weekend: For the second of just four weekends this season, all 10 teams will play a WCHA league series. The first such weekend was Nov. 10-11, while it will also happen Feb. 2-3 and to conclude the regular season Feb. 23-24.
- Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup: Alaska Anchorage hosts Alaska in Games 3-4 of the 2017-18 Governor's Cup series. The Nanooks swept a nonconference home-and-home weekend Oct. 20-21.
- NMU at Bemidji State: A rematch of the quarterfinal round of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs, won in three games by the Beavers. BSU's Michael Bitzer has five career shutouts against the Wildcats.
- Alabama Huntsville at Bowling Green: UAH continues its 12-game road swing by visiting the first-place Falcons.
- Minnesota State at Lake Superior State: Three of the WCHA's top-four overall scoring leaders will be on the ice, with the Lakers' J.T. Henke (5g-15a=20pts) and the Mavericks' C.J. Suess (4-12=16) and Zeb Knutson (6-9-15).
- Ferris State at Michigan Tech: The past two Broadmoor Trophy winners as WCHA playoff champions face-off in Houghton.
The Week in Review
- Bowling Green moved atop the WCHA standings following a four-point home weekend against visiting Bemidji State, in a rematch of the 2017 WCHA semifinals.
- Ferris State held down home ice, sweeping visiting Alaska Anchorage behind a pair of sophomore WCHA weekly honorees (Offensive Player of the Week Craig Pefley and Goaltender of the Week Justin Kapelmaster).
- Offensive outbursts ruled the day at Taffy Abel Arena, as host Lake Superior State and Alaska each earned a win.
- With the two teams jockeying for position in the WCHA standings, the tilts between Alabama Huntsville and host Northern Michigan were tightly contested.
- Full recaps and box scores, along with the "Inside the WCHA" highlights show, are available at wcha.com.
at Bowling Green 3, Bemidji State 1
Bemidji State 3, at Bowling Green 3 - OT (BSU wins shootout, 1-0)
(Dec. 1 and 2 at Slater Family Ice Arena; Bowling Green, Ohio)
Bowling Green moved atop the WCHA standings following a four-point home weekend against visiting Bemidji State, in a rematch of the 2017 WCHA semifinals.
Tied 1-1 with under two minutes to play Friday night, Bowling Green sophomore defenseman Niko Coffman buried his first collegiate goal to lift the Falcons. Senior Mitch McLain tallied an assist and an empty-net goal, while freshman Eric Dop turned aside 24-of-25 shots in a 3-1 BGSU triumph. Senior Mitchell McLain tallied a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Falcons to snag a 3-1 victory.
Another evenly-matched contest Saturday resulted in a 3-3 tie, with Bemidji State earning the extra point following a shootout win. After his younger brother, Sam Craggs, scored his first collegiate goal earlier in the game, Lukas Craggs' marker with 54 seconds remaining send the game to extra frames. Dillon Eichstadt and Ian Janco scored in the third period for BSU, with Jay Dickman netting the sudden-death shootout winner.
at Ferris State 2, Alaska Anchorage 0
at Ferris State 5, Alaska Anchorage 2
(Dec. 1 and 2 at FSU Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich.)
Ferris State held down home ice, sweeping visiting Alaska Anchorage behind a pair of sophomore WCHA weekly honorees (Offensive Player of the Week Craig Pefley and Goaltender of the Week Justin Kapelmaster).
The first night, the Bulldogs used a pair of goals in the middle frame (the first markers of the year for Jacob Hetz and Trevor Recktenwald) and stellar work from Kapelmaster, who finished with a 22-save shutout in a 2-0 victory.
Pefley led the way in the finale, tallying two goals and two assists to match his career high as Ferris State completed the sweep with a 5-2 victory. After netting a power-play goal in the second period, Pefley snapped a 2-2 tie with the game-winning goal 7:21 into the third stanza. He then assisted on Taylor Fernandez' back-to-back goals (at 16:03 and 18:32) that put the game away. Kapelmaster made 27 saves.
Alaska 5, at Lake Superior State 3
at Lake Superior State 4, Alaska 1
(Dec. 1 and 2 at Taffy Abel Arena; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
Offensive outbursts ruled the day at Taffy Abel Arena, as host Lake Superior State and Alaska each earned a win.
The visiting Nanooks took the first night, as sophomore Troy Van Tetering registered his first career hat trick to lead his team to a 5-3 victory. UAF scored four goals in the first period, including the first three in a span of 42 seconds -- the second-fastest three-goal binge in school history and the 10th-quickest ever in a WCHA league game.
Saturday, with the Nanooks leading 1-0 heading into the final frame, the Lakers roared back with a four-goal third period to earn the series split. J.T. Henke and Anthony Nellis each had a goal and assist apiece during the stanza, while Max Humitz added a pair of helpers. Freshman Tyler Anderson scored his first career goal, while Diego Cuglietta added an empty-net strike.
at Northern Michigan 3, Alabama Huntsville 1
Alabama Huntsville 3, at Northern Michigan 2
(Dec. 1 and 2 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich.)
With the two teams jockeying for position in the WCHA standings, the tilts between Alabama Huntsville and host Northern Michigan were tightly contested.
The Wildcats rode a pair of shorthanded goals to a 3-1 victory Friday, as Adam Rockwood tallied a goal and an assist. Trailing 1-0 with under four minutes remaining in the second period, NMU's Troy Loggins scored on the penalty kill. He was followed 1:53 later by Rockwood. All four goals, in fact, were scored on special teams, with UAH's Christian Rajic and NMU's Zach Diamantoni both recording power-play markers.
The visiting Chargers stormed back the next night, with Josh Kestner knocking in a pair of goals in 1:51 of game time to earn the split with a 3-2 victory. The Huntsville native tied the game 2-2 with three seconds remaining in the first period, then scored the game-winner 1:48 into the second. All five of the game's goals were scored in the first 21:48.