WCHA Men's Weekend Preview
News and notes from the upcoming weekend in WCHA men's hockey
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Alaska Anchorage hosts Minnesota State this weekend

MINNESOTA STATE vs. ALASKA ANCHORAGE

Friday, Jan. 6th | Sullivan Arena | Anchorage, AK | 7:07 p.m. AT
Saturday Jan. 7th | Sullivan Arena | Anchorage, AK | 7:07 p.m. AT
Watch live on WCHA.tv

- No. 7 Minnesota State has won five of its last six games, is 14-6-0 overall, and sits atop the WCHA standings with a record of 12-4-0 in league games.

- MSU senior captain C.J Suess had a four-point series last weekend against Northern Michigan and now leads the WCHA with 26 points overall (10g-16a). The WCHA Offensive Player of the Month for December stands 12th nationally with 1.30 points per game.

- Alaska Anchorage returns to the ice for the first time since Dec. 16, looking for its first win since Nov. 4 (at LSSU) and its first league points since earning four points at Michigan Tech on Nov. 17-18.

- UAA's senior class has been its most productive, leading the team with 14 goals and a total of 29 points.

- Minnesota State is 47-25-9 all-time against the Seawolves, including a 6-1-1 mark over the last eight meetings.


ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE vs. ALASKA

Friday, Jan. 5th | Carlson Center | Fairbanks, AK | 7:07 p.m. AT
Saturday, Jan. 6th | Carlson Center | Fairbanks, AK | 7:07 p.m. AT
Watch live on WCHA.tv

- UAH enters the last leg of its 12-game road swing, opening a two-week Alaska stay with a series in Fairbanks. Beginning Jan. 26, the Chargers will play their final eight regular season games all at home.

- Chargers fans will see a familiar face on the UAF bench, as first-year Nanooks head coach Lance West is a UAH graduate (1995) and former centerman, along as a longtime assistant coach with the program (1995-98 as a volunteer, then as a full-time assistant from 2000-07).

- Defensively, UAH is ranked second nationally with a WCHA-best 325 blocked shots. The Chargers have seven players who have totaled 20 or more blocks, including senior Cody Champagne, who is tied for first in the WCHA with 41.

- The Nanooks offense was seeing consistency before the holiday break and look to carry over that success in the New Year. Before the break they were ranked third in the conference with both 60 goals and 158 points, and fourth with 580 shots on goal.

- The series features a couple of national goal-scoring category leaders, as UAH's Josh Kestner leads the country with 12 goals in conference play and UAF's Justin Woods is tied for tops among NCAA defensemen with eight scores.

- The Chargers own a slight 3-2-1 edge over the Nanooks in the last two seasons, but UAF leads the all-time series by a 21-8-2 margin. The Nanooks are 12-4-0 when hosting UAH.


BEMIDJI STATE vs. LAKE SUPERIOR STATE

Friday, Jan. 5th | Taffy Abel Arena | Sault Ste. Marie, MI | 7:07 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 6th | Taffy Abel Arena | Sault Ste. Marie, MI | 7:07 p.m. ET
Watch live on WCHA.tv

- Bemidji State enters the series on a roll, as the defending MacNaughton Cup champion has a four-game winning streak and a seven-game unbeaten run (4-0-3). The Beavers have averaged 3.43 goals per game during the stretch, while only allowing 1.57 against.

- Since December 2, coinciding with the start of the current run, BSU senior goaltender Michael Bitzer is 4-0-3 with a 1.52 GAA and .932 save percentage. Junior forward Jay Dickman has seven points (5g-2a) in the Beavers' four-straight wins.

- Lake Superior State finished in third-place at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, PA last weekend, defeating Arizona State, 4-1, in the consolation game last weekend behind a 48-save effort from junior goaltender Nick Kossoff.

- LSSU forward J.T. Henke, who scored a goal against the Sun Devils, leads his team with 22 points (7G, 15A) and is tied for third overall in the WCHA.

- BSU last played in the Soo in Feb. 2016, splitting a series. The Lakers lead the all-time series, 28-23-4, including a 14-11-1 edge on home ice.


BOWLING GREEN vs. FERRIS STATE

Saturday, Jan. 6th | Ewigleben Arena | Big Rapids, MI | 5:07 p.m. ET
Sunday, Jan. 7th | Ewigleben Arena | Big Rapids, MI | 3:07 p.m. ET
Watch live on WCHA.tv

- No. 19 Bowling Green, fresh off its GLI championship and its first appearance of the season in the USCHO.com top-20, resumes WCHA play at Ferris State.

- The Falcons continued a trio of positive trends in their victories over Michigan and Michigan Tech at the GLI, as BGSU is undefeated this season when scoring first (7-0-5), when leading after the first period (5-0-2) and when leading after the second period (9-0-4).

- BGSU had three WCHA Players of the Week following the GLI. Tournament MVP Lukas Craggs (2g-3a) is the league's Offensive Player of the Week, while fellow GLI All-Tournament Team members Alec Rauhauser (3a, +4) and goaltender Eric Dop (29 saves in the championship game) earned Defensive and Rookie honors, respectively.

- Ferris State got its feet wet for the second half with an exhibition game this past Tuesday night against the U.S. Under-18 Team. But, the Bulldogs have not played a meaningful game since Dec. 16.

- Junior forward and Ferris State captain Corey Mackin has picked up his play after a slow start to the season. Since Nov. 11, Mackin has tallied four goals and six assists and leads the team with a +10 rating.

- Bowling Green holds a 64-59-12 all-time record over Ferris State, including a sweep in the Quarterfinal round of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs.


ICE VEGAS INVITATIONAL

Friday, Jan. 5th | T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, NV
Michigan Tech vs. Boston College | 5:00 p.m. PT
Northern Michigan vs. Arizona State | 8:30 p.m. PT

Saturday, Jan. 6th | T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, NV
Boston College/Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan | 5:00/8:30 p.m. PT
Arizona State/Northern Michigan vs. Michigan Tech | 5:00/8:30 p.m. PT

-Arena, home of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights.

- Michigan Tech takes on No. 13/14 Boston College in the first game of the tournament, while Northern Michigan plays against Arizona State alter Friday evening.

- The winners of Friday's games will meet Saturday evening in the championship game, while Friday's losing teams will play Saturday in the consolation contest.

- This marks Michigan Tech's second-consecutive tournament and third of the season. The Huskies fell in Tuesday's GLI Championship against Bowling Green (after a victory over Michigan State in the semifinals). Tech won the season-opening Ice Breaker Tournament on Oct. 6-7 in Duluth, defeating Union and host Minnesota Duluth.

- Michigan Tech freshman Robbie Beydoun, the WCHA Goaltender of the Month for December, has started the Huskies' last five games (3-1-1, 1.97 GAA, .928 save pct.).

- Northern Michigan is 5-3-2 in its last 10 games to enter 2018 in second place in the WCHA standings. The Wildcats earned a road split last weekend at No. 7 Minnesota State.

- NMU senior forward Robbie Payne is tied for the NCAA lead with 16 goals, while junior Adam Rockwood is tied for seventh nationally with 16 assists (tied for most in the WCHA).