MSU's Franklin And Huggins, BGSU's Hawkins And FSU's Smith Named WCHA Men's Players Of The Week
Players honored for games of Jan. 21 - 23, 2016

EDINA, Minn. Jan. 25, 2016 A pair of high-scoring sophomore forwards, a junior goaltender with an excellent weekend in his return to the ice and a hot freshman netminder highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Jan. 18-24, 2016. The winners are: Minnesota State sophomore forward C.J. Franklin and Bowling Green sophomore forward Brandon Hawkins (co-Offensive Players of the Week), Minnesota State junior goaltender Cole Huggins (Defensive Player of the Week) and Ferris State freshman goaltender Darren Smith (Rookie of the Week).

WCHA Co-Offensive Players of the Week
C.J. Franklin, So., F
Minnesota State (Forest Lake, Minnesota)

player Franklin matched this week's co-winner, Bowling Green's Brandon Hawkins, for the WCHA lead with three goals and five points. The sophomore from Forest Lake, Minn. helped No. 19 Minnesota State to a two-game home sweep over Lake Superior State, scoring his three goals on just six shots and finishing the weekend with a +3 rating. Franklin tallied a point in all three stanzas of the Mavericks' 8-0 victory Friday, assisting on first- and third-period goals and scoring his own marker in the second. The Winnipeg Jets draftee then scored twice in a 5-1 triumph Saturday, including the game-winning goal and a power-play marker. This is Franklin's first career WCHA weekly award.

Brandon Hawkins, So., F
Bowling Green (Macomb, Michigan)

player Hawkins matched this week's co-winner, Minnesota State's C.J. Franklin, for the WCHA lead with three goals and five points. The sophomore from Macomb, Mich. paced Bowling Green to its highest-scoring weekend in 11 years, helping the 18th-ranked Falcons to a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage. Hawkins assisted on BGSU's first goal to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead after the first period Thursday, and then spurred a five-goal, second-period flurry with a goal and assist en route to a 6-2 victory. During Friday's win by an identical 6-2 score, Hawkins logged his first multi-goal game of the season. He finished the weekend with a +3 rating and a team-high 11 shots. This is Hawkins' first career WCHA weekly award.

Also nominated: Mitch Maloney, So., F, Ferris State (scored OT game-winner Friday at Bemidji State).

WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Cole Huggins, Jr., G
Minnesota State (Centennial, Colorado)

player Huggins, making his first appearances since Nov. 13, went 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average, .975 save percentage and one shutout as No. 19 Minnesota State earned a home sweep of Lake Superior State. The junior from Centennial, Colorado turned aside 39-of-40 shots in the two wins, making 17 saves in an 8-0 shutout Friday and 22 stops in a 5-1 victory Saturday. He now ranks second in school history with eight career shutouts and ninth with 30 victories in a Mavericks uniform. This is Huggins' first WCHA weekly honor of the 2015-16 season and his third career accolade (including one Rookie of the Week award).

WCHA Rookie of the Week
Darren Smith, Fr., G
Ferris State (Barrie, Ontario)

player Smith repeated as Rookie of the Week after backstopping Ferris State to its second-straight undefeated weekend a four-game stretch that has lifted the Bulldogs into a tie for third place in the WCHA standings. The freshman from Barrie, Ontario was even better this week, finishing FSU's two road games at Bemidji State both overtime contests with 63 saves, a .955 save percentage and a 1.44 goals-against average. He tallied 28 stops in Friday's 3-2, overtime victory, and then turned aside 35-of-36 shots to help Ferris State earn a 1-1 tie Saturday. This is Smith's second career (and consecutive) WCHA weekly award.

Also nominated: Max Coatta, Fr., F, Minnesota State (contributed two goals, one assist and a +4 rating in No. 19 MSU's sweep); Adam Smith, Fr., D, Bowling Green (scored his first career goal in just his eighth collegiate game, part of a three-point weekend with a team-best +5 rating in No. 18 BGSU's sweep).

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