EDINA, Minn. – March 14, 2016 – A pair of Bulldogs who led their team to a Final Five appearance and a record-setting goaltender highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for March 7-13, 2016. The honorees are: Ferris State junior forward Gerald Mayhew (Offensive Player of the Week), Lake Superior State sophomore goaltender Gordon Defiel (Defensive Player of the Week) and Ferris State freshman goaltender Darren Smith (Rookie of the Week).
Gerald Mayhew, Jr., F
Ferris State (Wyandotte, Michigan)
Mayhew tied for the WCHA lead with a team-high four points during Quarterfinal Round weekend, leading Ferris State to a sweep of Northern Michigan and a berth in the 2016 Final Five. The junior from Wyandotte, Mich. collected an assist during the Bulldogs' 3-2 win Friday, before coming alive when Ferris State needed him most in Saturday's series-clinching victory. With FSU trailing 2-1 late in the third period, Mayhew scored two power-play goals just 37 seconds apart to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead with 3:23 remaining. He then assisted on an empty-net score to seal the victory. Mayhew finished the weekend with 13 shots on goal and a +1 rating. This is Mayhew's second WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and his third career honor.
Also nominated: Kyle Bauman, So., F, Bemidji State (led BSU with three points on two goals and one assist, including a short-handed score and a penalty-shot marker); Joel L'Esperance, So., F, Michigan Tech (led the WCHA and tied for second nationally with three goals, including the game-winning score in MTU's series-clinching win Saturday); Brad McClure, So., F, Minnesota State (scored both game-winning goals and added two assists to help MSU to a Quarterfinal Round series win).
Gordon Defiel, So., G
Lake Superior State (Stillwater, Minnesota)
Defiel led Lake Superior State's upset bid over favored Minnesota State in the WCHA Quarterfinal Round, leading all NCAA goaltenders with 122 saves during the Lakers' three-game loss. The sophomore from Stillwater, Minn. set a WCHA playoff record for a game decided in regulation with 57 saves in LSSU's Game 2 victory, an epic performance in a 2-0 blanking. He was also solid in two losses, making 25 saves in Game 1 and 29 stops (on 32 shots) in Game 3. Defiel faced an average of 43.33 shots on goal and made an average of 40.67 saves during the series, ranking second among WCHA netminders with a .938 save percentage (while facing an NCAA-high 130 shots). This is Defiel's second WCHA weekly honor of the 2015-16 season and his fifth career honor (including one Rookie of the Week accolade).
Also nominated: Cole Huggins, Jr., G, Minnesota State (went 2-1-0 with a 1.36 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, along with a series-clinching shutout for MSU); Ryan Lowney, Jr., D, Ferris State (led FSU blue-liners with a +2 rating, while scoring a goal during the Bulldogs' sweep); Cliff Watson, Jr., D, Michigan Tech (tied for second among NCAA defensemen with four points, all during a career-best one-goal, three-assist performance in MTU's Friday night win).
Darren Smith, Fr., G
Ferris State (Barrie, Ontario)
Smith starred in his collegiate postseason debut, playing all 120 minutes in net while backstopping Ferris State to a Quarterfinal Round sweep of Northern Michigan. The freshman from Barrie, Ontario ranked second among WCHA goaltenders with a 2.00 goals-against average, while stopping 48-of-52 shots for a .923 save percentage. Smith turned aside 27 shots Friday night in the Bulldogs' 3-2, Game 1 victory, and then logged a 21-save effort in a 5-2, series-clinching win Saturday. This is Smith's fourth WCHA weekly award of his rookie campaign.
Also nominated: Stephen Baylis, Fr., F, Bowling Green (led WCHA rookies with four points during BGSU's Quarterfinal Round win, including a career-high three assist effort in Saturday's Game 2 win); Jake Lucchini, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (had a goal and assist in MTU's Game 1 win Friday).