EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 5, 2015 – With the third month of the season in the books, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) today announced its monthly honors for December 2015. Northern Michigan junior forward Dominik Shine was named the league's Player of the Month, while Lake Superior State freshman forward Gage Torrel garnered Rookie of the Month accolades.
Dominik Shine, Jr., F
Northern Michigan (Pinckney, Michigan)
Shine emerged as one of the nation's top goal-scorers during December, ranking second in the country with a WCHA-high six markers. The junior from Pinckney, Mich. also added two assists for a league-best eight points (tied for eighth nationally). Most importantly, Shine lifted Northern Michigan to a winning month (2-1-1 in league play and 3-2-1 overall) with two game-winning goals, which was tied for tops in the WCHA and second among all NCAA players. Shine's top effort came Dec. 4 at Alabama Huntsville, when he capped his first career hat trick – the WCHA's only three-goal performance in December – with a game-winning, short-handed penalty shot strike. After netting the overtime game-winner Dec. 12 against Ferris State, he wrapped up his month by becoming just the third Wildcat ever to earn All-Tournament honors at the Great Lakes Invitational. Shine scored in both games at the Joe Louis Arena, including the game-tying marker in NMU's eventual overtime win against Michigan State in the third-place game. Shine tallied a point in five of six December games, scored a goal in four contests (including each of the last three) and enters January on a four-game point streak.
- Michael Huntebrinker, Jr., F, Minnesota State (helped the No. 18 Mavericks go 2-0-2 by totaling four goals and two assists in four contests)
- Nick Kossoff, Fr., G, Lake Superior State (went undefeated in three starts, while leading the WCHA with two shutouts)
- Chris Nell, So., G, Bowling Green (2-0-2 with a 1.11 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in five games)
- Gerald Mayhew, Jr., F, Ferris State (team-high three points on three goals in four games for the Bulldogs);
- Alex Petan, Sr., F, Michigan Tech (tallied a point in all four league games, and six points overall, on four goals and two assists)
Gage Torrel, Fr., F
Lake Superior State (Monticello, Minnesota)
After winning four times in 16 games through November, Lake Superior State went 3-2-1 in December – and Torrel's efforts were a big reason why. One of a group of talented Lakers' rookies, Torrel led all WCHA freshmen with five points last month on two goals and three assists. Both of his goals were game-winning strikes – matching two others for the most among all NCAA freshmen. The native of Monticello, Minn. tied for the overall WCHA lead for power-play points (three), short-handed goals (two) and game-winning markers, while ranking fourth in scoring. Torrel capped LSSU's road sweep at Alaska with a short-handed, game-winning goal Dec. 12, while also notching the winning tally in a 3-0 victory over Brown in the second game of the Catamount Cup (at which he was named to the All-Tournament team).
- Jesse Jenks, Fr., G, Alaska (played in three games, going 1-1-1 while leading all NCAA freshmen goaltenders with a 0.96 goals-against average and .966 save percentage);
- Corey Mackin, Fr., F, Ferris State (scored two goals, including a game-winner, in four games, while also adding an assist);
- Jason Pawloski, Fr., G, Minnesota State (helped the No. 18 Mavericks to a perfect 2-0-2 record by posting a 1.44 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 250 minutes)