EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 11, 2016 – For their efforts to leading their teams to key wins – including a road sweep in league play, a tournament championship and an upset win over a ranked opponent – the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Jan. 4-10, 2016 are: Bemidji State junior forward Nate Arentz (Offensive Player of the Week), Michigan Tech senior goaltender Jamie Phillips (Defensive Player of the Week) and Lake Superior State freshman forward Diego Cuglietta (Rookie of the Week).
Nate Arentz, Jr., F
Bemidji State (Lakeville, Minnesota)
Arentz led Bemidji State to a WCHA road sweep with a three-point effort (2g-1a) in a pair of wins at Alaska Anchorage. Both his goals came short-handed (tied for tops among all NCAA players), including the game-winning marker Saturday. The junior from Lakeville, Minn. scored his first career short-handed goal during Friday's BSU victory, and then factored in three of the Beavers' five third-period goals en route to a 5-1 triumph Saturday. Arentz assisted on BSU's first and fifth scores of the stanza, while his shorty at the 8:20 mark gave the Beavers a 2-0 lead and stood as the winning goal. This is Arentz' first WCHA weekly honor of the 2015-16 season and second career accolade.
Also nominated: Josh Kestner, So., F, Alabama Huntsville (tied career high with two goals in UAH's 3-1 win vs. Alaska); Dominik Shine, Jr., F, Northern Michigan (extended goal streak to five-straight games with two scores at No. 18 Minnesota State, including game-winner Friday); Dylan Steman, So., F, Michigan Tech (scored goals in both games of the Desert Hockey Classic, including equalizer in championship game).
Jamie Phillips, Sr., G
Michigan Tech (Caledonia, Ontario)
Phillips backstopped Michigan Tech to the championship of the inaugural Desert Hockey Classic, capping the weekend by denying all three Yale attempts in a shootout to determine the tournament winner. The senior from Caledonia, Ontario turned aside 43-of-46 shots (.935 save percentage) during Tech's 4-2 semifinal win over Connecticut and the Huskies' 1-1, championship game draw with No. 12 Yale. The Winnipeg Jets' draftee came up with 25 stops during regulation and overtime against the Bulldogs, but saved his best for the shootout (which Tech won, 1-0). This is Phillips' second WCHA weekly honor of the 2015-16 season and fourth career accolade.
Also nominated: Michael Bitzer, So., G, Bemidji State (2-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .918 save percentage in BSU's road sweep at Alaska Anchorage); Gordon Defiel, So., G, Lake Superior State (25-save shutout in LSSU's OT victory over No. 16 Bowling Green); Matt Larose, Jr., G, Alabama Huntsville (28-save effort in UAH's 3-1 win over Alaska).
Diego Cuglietta, Fr., F
Lake Superior State (Kamloops, British Columbia)
Cuglietta lifted Lake Superior State to a thrilling, 1-0 overtime win over No. 16 Bowling Green with his game-winning goal 1:23 into the extra stanza Saturday night. The marker, which gave the Lakers a split in the weekend series, was one of only two scored by a WCHA freshman last weekend, and the only game-winner. Cuglietta also blocked a shot and won nine of his 16 face-offs Saturday night. With his goal, the rookie from Kamloops, British Columbia pushed charging LSSU into sole possession of seventh place in the conference, just two points out of fifth and three shy of fourth.
Also nominated: Max Coatta, F, Minnesota State (league-high three assists in No. 18 MSU's 3-1 win over Northern Michigan); Kurt Gosselin, D, Alabama Huntsville (two assists on weekend, including on game-winner Saturday for UAH); Jake Lucchini, F, Michigan Tech (assist in Tech's semifinal win over Connecticut at the Desert Hockey Classic); Atte Tolvanen, G, Northern Michigan (stopped 41-of-42 shots, while collecting first career point with an assist, in NMU's 3-1 win Friday at No. 18 Minnesota State).