EDINA, Minn. – Dec. 5, 2016 – Hat tricks were the theme of the weekend, with a three-goal, single-game effort tallied by each of the three men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Nov. 25-26, 2016. The honorees are: Bowling Green junior forward Mitchell McLain (Offensive Player of the Week), Alabama Huntsville sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin (Defensive Player of the Week) and Minnesota State freshman forward Marc Michaelis (Rookie of the Week).
Mitchell McLain, Jr., F
Bowling Green (Baxter, Minn.)
McLain proved to the difference in Bowling Green's 5-2 road win Saturday at Lake Superior State, netting his second hat trick of the season. The junior from Baxter, Minn., who also scored three goals Nov. 19 at Alabama Huntsville, became the first WCHA player with multiple hat tricks in the same season since Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz had three during the 2011-12 campaign. McLain scored the game's first goal Saturday, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead after the first period. His second goal came at the 5:37 mark of the second period and again put Bowling Green on top, this time 2-1. He then iced the Falcons' victory with a 6-on-4, short-handed, empty-net marker in the final minute. One of three players nationally with two hat tricks this year (joining Holy Cross' T.J. Moore and Union's Mike Vecchione), McLain has scored 14 of his 20 points since Nov. 1 (8g-6a), 10th-most in the country. This is McLain's second-consecutive WCHA weekly award (and of the 2016-17 season), and his fourth career honor (including one Rookie of the Week accolade).
Honorable Mention: Brad McClure, Jr., F, Minnesota State (tied for the league lead with four assists and was second with five points overall, helping the No. 16 Mavericks earn four points against Alaska); Max McHugh, Jr., F, Alabama Huntsville (tied for the league lead with four assists, including three in a 5-3, series-opening win over Ferris State); Mike Neville, Sr., F, Michigan Tech (scored a goal each night, including the tie-breaking, third-period game-winner Saturday as the Huskies split with No. 13/15 Bemidji State); Charlie O'Connor, Sr., F, Bemidji State (led the Beavers with three points, on two goals and assists, as No. 13/15 BSU split on the road at Michigan Tech); Gage Torrel, So., F, Lake Superior State (had a three-point weekend in the Lakers' split with visiting Bowling Green, including assists on two of the Lakers' four, third-period goals in a Friday victory); Jared VanWormer, Jr., F, Ferris State (scored the first goal of the game Sunday, helping the Bulldogs to a 3-1 win and split at Alabama Huntsville).
Kurt Gosselin, So., D
Alabama Huntsville (Brighton, Mich.)
Gosselin scored three goals in Alabama Huntsville's 5-3 win Saturday night over Ferris State, marking the first hat trick by a men's Division I defenseman this season. The effort was also the Chargers' first hat trick since Feb. 1, 2008 (Cale Tanaka), the first by a UAH defenseman since Jan. 2, 1999 (Shane Stewart) and the first by a WCHA blue-liner since Dec. 17, 2011 (St. Cloud State's Nick Jensen). The sophomore from Brighton, Mich. scored the Chargers' first three goals of the game, including a pair of strikes 1:54 apart in the first period to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 UAH lead. Then, with the Chargers again trailing to open the third period, Gosselin tied the contest 3-3 at the 3:39 mark – igniting UAH's three-goal, final stanza rally. Gosselin, who has tallied a point in seven of his last eight contests, is tied with teammate Cam Knight for fourth among NCAA defensemen since Nov. 1 with an average of 1.25 points-per-game. This is Gosselin's second WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his third career honor, as he also earned Rookie of the Week accolades once last season.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Bednard, Fr., G, Bowling Green (in his lone start of the weekend, set a career-high with 28 saves – including nine in the decisive third period – as the Falcons earned a 5-2 win at Lake Superior State); Dan Billett, So., D, Bemidji State (posted a team-leading 10 blocked shots, while helping BSU's penalty-kill unit to a perfect weekend as the No. 13/15 Beavers split at Michigan Tech); Daniel Brickley, So., D, Minnesota State (returned to the ice after missing the last eight games due to injury, and tallied four points on two goals and two assists as the No. 16 Mavericks earned four points against Alaska); Davis Jones, Sr., G, Alaska (tied his career high with 48 saves through 65 minutes in his lone action of the weekend, a 5-5 tie Saturday at No. 16 Minnesota State in which he also helped the Nanooks' win the shootout for an extra league point); Darren Smith, So., G, Ferris State (in his lone start of the weekend, made 16 saves to backstop the Bulldogs to a 3-1 road win at Alabama Huntsville).
Marc Michaelis, Fr., F
Minnesota State (Mannheim, Germany)
Michaels continued to play like one of the nation's top rookies, tying for the lead among all NCAA skaters with a seven-point weekend. The freshman from Mannheim, Germany helped No. 16 Minnesota State to a four-point series, scoring four goals with three assists. Michaelis factored in four goals in the Mavericks' 7-3 win Friday, assisting on the first score and then marking his first career hat trick – the first by a WCHA freshman since teammate Brad McClure scored three times in the 2015 Broadmoor Trophy championship game. After scoring the game-winning goal Friday, Michaelis then netted a short-handed marker and tallied a primary assist on the tying strike in Saturday's 5-5 draw. Michaelis now leads the WCHA with 21 points (9g-12a) and 1.31 points-per-game, ranking third and fourth, respectively among NCAA rookies. This is Michaelis' first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Lukas Craggs, Fr., F, Bowling Green (tallied his first career multi-point night, capped by his first collegiate short-handed and game-winning goal, in the Falcons' 5-2 win Saturday at Lake Superior State); Max Humitz, Fr., F, Lake Superior State (made his one point on the weekend count, scoring the game-winner in the Lakers' 4-2 victory Friday over Bowling Green); Angus Redmond, Fr., G, Michigan Tech (stopped 39-of-41 shots on the weekend, helping the Huskies to a split against No. 13/15 Bemidji State); Joe Rutkowski, Fr., D, Ferris State (recorded a pair of assists – including the primary helper on the game-winning goal – in the Bulldogs' 3-1 road win Sunday at Alabama Huntsville).