EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 1, 2016 – For their efforts in helping each of their teams record an important win last weekend, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Jan. 25-31, 2016 are: Bemidji State senior forward Markus Gerbrandt (Offensive Player of the Week), Minnesota State junior defenseman Casey Nelson (Defensive Player of the Week) and Alabama Huntsville freshman forward Tyler Poulsen (Rookie of the Week).
Markus Gerbrandt, Sr., F
Bemidji State (Edmonton, Alberta)
Gerbrandt led Bemidji State to a runner-up finish at the North Star College Cup with a WCHA-high four points (2g-2a) – including a career high-tying three in the Beavers' semifinal victory over then-No. 20 Minnesota. The senior from Edmonton, Alberta had a hand in three of BSU's goals in a 4-2 defeat of the Gophers, while scoring the tie-breaking, game-winning marker on the power play with 3:54 remaining in regulation. Gerbrandt also assisted on the Beavers' first goal of the game and added an empty-netter for the final margin. He added an assist in the championship game to finish the weekend with four points and seven shots on goal. This is Gerbrandt's first WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and second career accolade.
Also nominated: Teddy Blueger, Sr., F, Minnesota State (including game-winner, had a hand in all three goals, with two markers and an assist, in No. 18 MSU's victory over then-No. 20 Minnesota at the North Star College Cup); Darren Nowick, Sr., F, Northern Michigan (led NMU with three points on a goal and two assists as the Wildcats split with Minnesota Duluth); Dylan Steman, So., F, Michigan Tech (led the WCHA and tied for third nationally with three goals as No. 15 MTU went 1-0-1 at No. 19 Bowling Green).
Casey Nelson, Jr., D
Minnesota State (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin)
Nelson tied for the NCAA lead among all defensemen with three points last weekend, all coming off assists (also tied for the national lead). All three of his helpers came on the Mavericks' power play, including on the tie-breaking, third-period game-winning goal in Sunday's 3-2 victory over then-No. 20 Minnesota in the third-place game of the North Star College Cup. The junior from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. now leads WCHA blue-liners with 15 assists and 19 points this season. This is Nelson's second career WCHA weekly award, both coming during the 2015-16 campaign.
Also nominated: Shane Hanna, Jr., D, Michigan Tech (contributed an assist in both games, while logging three shots on goal and two blocked shots, as No. 15 MTU went 1-0-1 at No. 19 Bowling Green).
Tyler Poulsen, Fr., F
Alabama Huntsville (Arvada, Colorado)
One of only two league freshmen to record a point in both games last weekend, Poulson helped Alabama Huntsville remain alive in the WCHA postseason race with a big road win at Alaska Anchorage. The rookie from Arvada, Colo. assisted on the game-opening goal in UAH's 2-1, series-opening victory Friday night, and then scored a marker of his own in a 4-3 setback Saturday. This is Poulson's first career WCHA weekly honor.