EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 29, 2016 – A pair of teammates who sparked a key league sweep, along with a blue-liner with a program first, highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Feb. 22-28, 2016. The honorees are: Bowling Green sophomore forward Mitch McLain (Offensive Player of the Week), Bemidji State senior defenseman Graeme McCormack (Defensive Player of the Week) and Bowling Green freshman forward Stephen Baylis (Rookie of the Week).
Mitch McLain, So., F
Bowling Green (Baxter, Minnesota)
McLain tied for the WCHA lead with a career-high four-point weekend, notching two goals and two assists as Bowling Green remained in the hunt for the MacNaughton Cup with a sweep over visiting Ferris State. The sophomore from Baxter, Minn. factored prominently in a pair of comeback wins, including a two-goal outburst in a 4:15 span of the third period Saturday that turned a 2-2 tie into a 6-2 Falcons' win. That performance – his first career multi-goal game – came on the heels of a two-assist effort Friday in which McLain picked up the primary helper on BGSU's first two goals. The Falcons rallied from a 2-0 deficit in that game to win, 4-3. This is McLain's first WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and his second career honor (including one Rookie of the Week accolade).
Also nominated: Myles Fitzgerald, So., F, Bemidji State (scored twice Saturday, including the game-winner, in BSU's 6-2 win over Alabama Huntsville); Bryce Gervais, Sr., F, Minnesota State (got the No. 16 Mavericks on the board first in both games, including Friday's game-winner, in a sweep at Alaska Anchorage); Matt Robertson, Sr., F, Ferris State (tallied a goal and assist on the weekend for FSU).
Graeme McCormack, Sr., D
Bemidji State (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
McCormack had a historic offensive effort Saturday night, becoming the first Bemidji State defensemen in the program's D-I history (since the 1999-2000 season) to post four assists in one game. The senior from Thunder Bay, Ontario is also the first BSU player to accomplish the feat since Dec. 3, 2005. The captain helped BSU to a three-point weekend by assisting on the Beavers' first, second, fourth and sixth goals in a 6-2 triumph Saturday over Alabama Huntsville. Two of the helpers came on the power play, while also added a pair of blocks. McCormack finished the weekend with a +2 rating, as BSU held UAH to just three goals. This is McCormack's second career WCHA weekly award, both of which have come during the 2015-16 season.
Also nominated: Gordon Defiel, So., G, Lake Superior State (saved 54-of-57 shots in a three-point weekend that helped the Lakers keep the Cappo Cup); Shane Hanna, Jr., D, Michigan Tech (led the WCHA with a +4 rating and had two assists); Cole Huggins, Jr., G, Minnesota State (stopped 24-of-25 shots in No. 16 MSU's sweep at Alaska Anchorage); Davis Jones, Jr., G, Alaska (led the WCHA and tied for second nationally with 77 saves over final five periods at No. 13 Michigan Tech, including career-high 48 on Saturday).
Stephen Baylis, Fr., F
Bowling Green (Ottawa, Ontario)
Baylis scored the game-winner Friday with less than three minutes to play in regulation, while adding two assists during a weekend sweep of Ferris State that clinched first round WCHA playoff home ice for Bowling Green. Friday night, BGSU rebounded from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to get the win, with Baylis burying the tie-breaking, game-winner at the 17:13 mark of the third period. Earlier in that stanza, the freshman from Ottawa, Ontario recorded the primary assist on Kevin Dufour's power play goal that tied the game at 3-3. In Saturday's 6-2 win, Baylis picked up another primary assist during a five-period third period flurry that helped the Falcons overcome a 2-1 third period deficit. This is Baylis' first career WCHA weekly award.
Also nominated: Madison Dunn, Fr., F, Alabama Huntsville (lone WCHA rookie to score two goals last weekend, including the tying goal Friday as UAH posted a 1-1 tie at Bemidji State); Corey Mackin, Fr., F, Ferris State (had a goal and assist and finished with a +2 rating for the Bulldogs); Gage Torrel, Fr., F, Lake Superior State (factored in both tallies with a power-play goal and an assist on the game-tying goal as LSSU rallied for a 2-2, Cappo Cup-clinching tie with Northern Michigan on Saturday).