EDINA, Minn. – Oct. 17, 2016 – For their efforts in helping their teams finish a combined 7-0-1 last weekend – including an historic additional league point – the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Oct. 14-15, 2016 are: Michigan Tech senior forward Reid Sturos (Offensive Player of the Week), Bemidji State junior goaltender Michael Bitzer and Lake Superior State sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick (Co-Defensive Players of the Week), and Minnesota State freshman forward Parker Tuomie (Rookie of the Week).
Reid Sturos, Sr., F
Michigan Tech (Brighton, Mich.)
Sturos earns recognition for a goal that, per NCAA rules does not count in the official statistics, but goes down in the history books as the first regular season, double-overtime game-winner in WCHA history. Playing in the WCHA's first-ever 3-on-3 overtime, the senior from Brighton, Mich. buried the winner against Alabama Huntsville to give Michigan Tech the extra league point after a 1-1 tie and a five-point weekend (out of six) overall. Sturos also helped the Huskies to a 7-3 win in the series opener, netting a power-play goal. This is Sturos' fourth career WCHA weekly award, but first since winning three Rookie of the Week honors as a freshman in 2013-14.
Honorable Mention: Marcus Basara, Sr., F, Alaska (had an assist and the third-period, game-tying goal to force overtime Saturday against Omaha in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush); Jay Dickman, So., F, Bemidji State (scored a goal each night as the Beavers swept a road series at Northern Michigan with a pair of 2-0 wins); J.T. Henke, Jr., F, Lake Superior State (tied for the points lead among WCHA forwards with two goals and two assists in the Lakers' sweep of visiting Michigan State); Andrew Mayer, Jr., F, Ferris State (scored the third-period, tying goal before the Bulldogs eventually fell, 2-1 to visiting No. 13 Michigan).
Michael Bitzer, Jr., G
Bemidji State (Moorhead, Minn.)
Bitzer was perfect in Bemidji State's two-game series sweep at Northern Michigan, stopping all 42 shots he faced in back-to-back, 2-0 shutout victories. The NCAA's active career shutout leader, the junior from Moorehead, Minn. is now tied with Matt Climie (2004-08) for the all-time Bemidji State record with 12 career blank slates. Bitzer, the only goaltender in the country with a pair of shutouts this past weekend, turned aside 21 shots each night. He also helped the Beavers' penalty-kill unit stave off all nine NMU power-play opportunities. This is Bitzer's eighth career WCHA weekly award, including a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades.
Owen Headrick, So., D
Lake Superior State (Garden River, Ontario)
Headrick led all NCAA skaters with five assists and six points, sparking Lake Superior State's season-opening sweep of visiting Michigan State. The sophomore from Garden River, Ontario had a pair of three-point nights, and was on the ice for three even-strength goals and four power-play tallies as the Lakers scored 13 goals – their most in a series since Nov. 4-5, 2005. Headrick's first assist of the weekend came on Friday night's game-winning goal, while he scored LSSU's final goal of a 6-1 triumph. Saturday, he had an assist in each period of the Lakers' 7-3 victory. This is Headrick's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Shane Hanna, Sr., D, Michigan Tech (had three points in the Huskies' 7-3 win Friday over UAH, while helping Tech kill off 10-of-11 power plays on the weekend); Clint Lewis, Jr., D, Minnesota State (had four points and was +6 in the No. 14 Mavericks' sweep of No. 7/5 St. Cloud State, including the first two goals of Saturday's 6-4 victory); Olivier Mantha, Jr., G, Alaska Anchorage (22-save shutout in the Seawolves' 1-0 win over Canisius at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush).
Parker Tuomie, Fr., F
Minnesota State (Bremerhaven, Germany)
Tuomie contributed his first two collegiate goals, an assist and totaled 10 shots on goal as No. 14 Minnesota State swept No. 7/5 St. Cloud State in Mankato. The freshman from Bremerhaven, Germany drew an assist on the game-opening goal of the Mavericks' 4-1 victory in Friday's series opener. Picking an ideal time for his first markers, Tuomie scored twice in a four-goal second period Saturday as Minnesota State rallied to win. His first goal tied the game 4-4 at the 7:43 mark, while his second tally was the final Mavericks goal in a 6-4 triumph.
Honorable Mention: Brayden Gelsinger, Fr., F, Lake Superior State (led all WCHA rookies with four points and finished +2 in his opening collegiate weekend, helping the Lakers sweep visiting Michigan State); Mitch Reinke, Fr., D, Michigan Tech (tallied a pair of assists in the Huskies' 7-3, series-opening win over UAH).