WCHA Week 3: Three League Series And WCHA-Big Ten Matchups Await
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Alabama Huntsville hosts Alaska Anchorage this weekend

Opening Face-Off

- Falcons, Huskies Carry WCHA Banner in Polls: No. 12 Bowling Green and No. 16 Michigan Tech are ranked in the latest USCHO.com poll, while Bemidji State and Minnesota State are the top two schools in the "receiving votes" column. The Falcons hold the same ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top 15 poll, where the Huskies are receiving votes.

- Nice Start for the Kids: WCHA underclassmen have enjoyed a solid start to the 2015-16 campaign. Three freshmen forwards rank among the top 16 NCAA rookies for points per game: MTU's Brett Boeing is tied for second at 2.00 (0g-4a--4pts in 2 games), LSSU's Gage Torrel is tied for eighth at 1.33 (1-3--4 in 3) and UAA's Jeremiah Luedtke is tied for 13th at 1.25 (0-5--5 in 4). A pair of sophomores are in the top five nationally for goals per game: UAH's Brennan Saulnier is tied for the NCAA lead at 1.50 (3 goals in 2 games) and BSU's Gerry Fitzgerald is tied for fourth at 1.33 (4 in 3).

- Powering Up: LSSU freshman Mitch Hults has scored three goals in his first four games - all on the power play, tying for the national lead in the category. MTU's Alex Petan, BSU's Graeme McCormack and UAA's Tad Kozun all have a pair of power-play goals in the early going. Meanwhile, Bemidji State (4th), Michigan Tech (7th) and Northern Michigan (9th) are in the top ten for power-play efficiency.

- Bemidji State Continues Impressive Run: Eleven of Bemidji State's last 19 games (dating back to Jan. 23) have come against opponents ranked in the top ten nationally, with the Beavers posting an impressive 5-4-2 mark in those contests. Last Friday, BSU twice erased two-goal deficits en route to a 4-4 tie with top-ranked North Dakota. The Beavers were tied 2-2 past the midway point of the third period Saturday in Grand Forks, before UND scored three late goals (including an empty-net score) for the win.

- Early Momentum in Anchorage and Ohio: Of the 25 D-I teams to play at least four games thus far, only 10 have winning records - including 3-1-0 Alaska Anchorage (.750) and 3-1-1 Bowling Green (.700).


By the Numbers

- 1(st): Saturday night, Nick Kossoff became the first goaltender in Lake Superior State history to record a shutout in his collegiate debut, recording 19 saves in a 4-0 blanking of visiting Northern Michigan.

- 4: Assists in his collegiate debut for Michigan Tech's Brett Boeing (Friday at Ferris State), becoming the first Huskie with a four-assist game since Deron Cousins on Oct. 20, 2010. Fellow WCHA freshman Jeremiah Luedtke (UAA) also had a four-assist performance, turning the trick Saturday against American International.

- 6: NCAA-best point total for the week of Oct. 12-18, posted by Alaska sophomore forward Tayler Munson. Playing in his hometown Brice Alaska Goal Rush, the Fairbanks native scored four goals with two assists in a pair of Nanooks victories.

- 10: Goals by Bowling Green's Kevin Dufour in his last 11 nonconference games. The junior scored in all three of the Falcons' games last week, including the tying goal with 3:04 remaining to play Sunday at RIT.

- 68: Consecutive sellouts of the "Dawg Pound" student section at Ferris State's Ewigleben Ice Arena, which is sold out for the fifth straight season. The Bulldogs will host Wisconsin this weekend for the first time ever at Ewigleben.

- 398: Career coaching victories for Bob Daniels, all at Ferris State. Currently in his 24th season behind the Bulldogs bench, Daniels is 27th on the NCAA Division I all-time wins list (eighth among active coaches).


The Week Ahead

- Alaska Anchorage at Alabama Huntsville: Two teams off to solid starts meet for their WCHA openers, as the Chargers - who forged an opening weekend split for the first time since 2010-11 - host the Seawolves, one of 11 NCAA teams with at least three wins.

- Minnesota State at Bemidji State: The in-state rivals face-off for the first time in 2015-16 to open WCHA play, with the Mavericks looking for their first win of the season and the Beavers hoping to maintain momentum from a 1-1-1 start against ranked opponents.

- No. 16 Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan: The first 2015-16 chapter of the intense UP rivalry will be written this weekend, with the No. 16 Huskies and Wildcats meeting for a home-and-home series.

- WCHA vs. Big Ten: The remaining two series pit the WCHA against the Big Ten, with Lake Superior State traveling to Michigan State and Ferris State hosting Wisconsin. WCHA teams are 2-1-2 (.600) against Big Ten opponents this season.


The Week in Review Games of Oct. 9-10, 2015

- Alaska used an 11-goal outburst, including four from Tayler Munson, to win its own Brice Alaska Goal Rush (going 2-0 and winning on goal differential).

- Alaska Anchorage also fared well in Fairbanks, rallying to win Friday night before coasting to a Saturday victory.

- Bemidji State twice erased two-goal deficits to tie top-ranked North Dakota on Friday, before falling Saturday night in Grand Forks, N.D.

- No. 10 Bowling Green went 1-1-1 on its three-city, three-team road week.

- No. 16 Michigan Tech and host Ferris State split the season's first WCHA series.

- Playing a nonconference series, the underclassmen at Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan led each team to a win on its home ice.

- Minnesota State suffered its second- and third-straight shutout losses.

- Full recaps, box scores and select video highlights are available online at wcha.com.


at Alaska 7, American International 2
at Alaska 4, Rensselaer 2
(Brice Alaska Goal Rush - Oct. 16 and 17 at Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Alaska)

An 11-goal outburst, led by a Brice Alaska Goal Rush record-setting performance by sophomore F Tayler Munson, keyed host Alaska to a pair of wins and the Nanooks' fourth-consecutive tournament title.

Munson led all NCAA players last week with a BAGR-record six points, netting four goals with two assists. Both nights, he sparked UAF comebacks from a 2-0, second-period deficit by scoring the Nanooks' first goal, while netting the tying strike Friday and assisting on Saturday's game-winner.

UAF also received a pair of goals from Tyler Morley on Friday, along with scores from Brandon Morley (game-winner), Alec Hajdukovich and Nolan Huysmans. Colton Sparrow and Peter Krieger found the back of the net Saturday.

Freshman goaltender Jesse Jenks earned his first collegiate victory with a 22-save effort Friday vs. American International, while Davis Jones turned aside 26 Rensselaer shots for the Saturday win.


vs. Alaska Anchorage 4, Rensselaer 3
vs. Alaska Anchorage 6, American International 2
(Brice Alaska Goal Rush - Oct. 16 and 17 at Carlson Center; Fairbanks, Alaska)

Alaska Anchorage forced host Alaska to win its own tournament via goal differential, keeping the pressure on with a pair of wins in Fairbanks.

Freshman D Wyatt Ege played the hero role Friday night, netting the game-tying and game-winning goals - both in the third period - as UAA overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat Rensselaer, 4-3. Austin Azurdia chipped in with a multi-point effort (1g-1a), while Olivier Mantha made 27 saves between the pipes.

The Seawolves scored three first-period goals and jumped out to a 5-0 lead Saturday, coasting to a 6-2 victory over American International. UAA's top line of senior Blake Tatchell (career-high four points on two goals and two assists), sophomore Tad Kozun (2g-1a) and freshman Jeremiah Luedtke (four assists) combined for four goals and seven assists. Sophomore netminder Jared D'Amico stopped 25-of-27 shots for his first career victory.


at Bemidji State 4, No. 1 North Dakota 4 - OT
at No. 1 North Dakota 5, Bemidji State 2
(Oct. 16 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn. and Oct. 17 at Ralph Engelstad Arena; Grand Forks, N.D.)

Bemidji State continued to show it can play with anyone in the country, skating to a 4-4 draw against top-ranked North Dakota on Friday and carrying a 2-2 tie past the midway point of the third period Saturday in Grand Forks.

The Beavers twice rallied from two-goal deficits Friday in Bemidji, including erasing a 4-2, third-period hole. Senior D Graeme McCormack, playing in his 100th collegiate game, ignited both BSU comebacks by scoring power-play goals (11:36 of the first period and just 1:13 into the third. The Beavers finished 3-for-5 with the man advantage, including the tying goal from Gerry Fitzgerald with 5:25 remaining in regulation.

Kyle Bauman (1g-1a), freshman Justin Baudry (2a), Markus Gerbrandt (2a) and Cory Ward (2a) all had multi-point efforts for BSU. Sophomore G Michael Bitzer kept the Beavers close all night, stopping 28-of-32 shots.

A pair of goals from Gerry Fitzgerald allowed the visiting Beavers to carry a 2-2 tie deep into the third period Saturday, before UND scored three times the final 8:23 for the win.


at Western Michigan 4, No. 10 Bowling Green 1
(Oct. 13 at Lawson Ice Arena; Kalamazoo, Mich.)
No. 10 Bowling Green 4, at Canisius 2
(Oct. 16 at HarborCenter; Buffalo, N.Y.)
No. 10 Bowling Green 2, at RIT 2 - OT
(Oct. 17 at Blue Cross Arena; Rochester, N.Y.)

Bowling Green wrapped up a five-game in eight-day stretch with three road contests this past week, going 1-1-1.

Kevin Dufour led the Falcons offensively, scoring in each game. The junior netted BGSU's lone goal Tuesday at WMU, tied Friday's contest at Canisius en route to a 4-2 win and scored with 3:04 left in regulation to give the Falcons a 2-2 tie Sunday at RIT.

Mark Cooper also continued his hot start to his senior campaign, scoring the third-period game-winner at Canisius and jump-starting BGSU's comeback from an early 2-0 deficit with a first period goal Sunday at RIT.

Chris Nell bookended the week with starts between the pipes, bouncing back from Tuesday's loss by making 33 saves - including 18 in a scoreless third period and overtime - in front of 10,556 fans Sunday at RIT. Senior G Tommy Burke made 20 saves Friday at Canisius for his second win of the season.


No. 16 Michigan Tech 5, at Ferris State 1
at Ferris State 3, No. 16 Michigan Tech 2
(Oct. 16 and 17 at Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich.)

The 2015-16 quest for the MacNaughton Cup got underway in Big Rapids, Mich. and - fitting for a race that has been decided by just one point the last two seasons - the first WCHA series of the campaign was a split.

Visiting Michigan Tech earned the season's first league points Friday night, as the 16th-ranked Huskies scored twice in both the first and second periods en route to a 5-1 win. Senior F Alex Petan scored a pair of power-play goals and had an assist, Brent Baltus netted the game-winner and freshman F Brett Boeing tallied four assists in his collegiate debut. Junior G Jamie Phillips stopped 31-of-32 shots for the win.

Ferris State bounced back Saturday behind the stellar play of junior G Charles Williams, who made 35 saves - including 19 (on 20 shots) during the third period. Freshman F Corey Mackin scored his first collegiate goal to draw the Bulldogs even 1-1 in the second, then assisted on Tyler Andrew's third-period game-winner. Kyle Schempp also had a goal and assist for FSU, while Malcolm Gould scored both MTU goals.


at Northern Michigan 6, Lake Superior State 3
at Lake Superior State 4, Northern Michigan 0
(Oct. 16 at Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich. and Oct. 17 at Taffy Abel Arena; Sault St. Marie, Mich.)

Meeting in a rare nonconference series between WCHA opponents, traditional UP rivals Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan each won on their home ice.

Sophomore F Robbie Payne lifted the host Wildcats on Friday, recording his first career hat trick in a 6-3 NMU victory. Payne netted a pair of second-period goals, including the game-winner, and scored the final tally late in the third. Gerard Hanson had three assists, while Brock Maschmeyer, Darren Nowick and Barrett Kaib also scored for NMU.

Lake Superior State's freshmen led the way to a Saturday night victory in the Lakers' home opener. Rookie netminder Nick Kossoff became the first Laker ever to post a shutout in his collegiate debut (19 saves), C.J. Hayes' first career goal was the game-winner, Owen Headrick and Josh Nenadal also scored, and Gage Torrel assisted on the first three LSSU goals.


at No. 12 St. Cloud State 4, No. 14 Minnesota State 0
at No. 12 St. Cloud State 3, No. 14 Minnesota State 0
(Oct. 16 and 17 at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center; St. Cloud, Minn.)

Minnesota State's offensive drought continued in a pair of road losses at No. 12 St. Cloud State, as the Mavericks failed to score despite putting 54 shots on net. With the losses, Minnesota State has been shutout in three consecutive games for the first time in program history.

Mavericks' junior goaltender Cole Huggins played the entire weekend in net, making 50 saves.