WCHA Weekend Preview: Nov. 11 - 12, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
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Michigan Tech hosts Lake Superior State this weekend at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

- 9 WCHA games this weekend can be viewed live (or archived) via WCHA.tv.

- The full WCHA weekly release can be found online here.

All rankings listed by USCHO.com poll first, followed by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll


WCHA

No. 15 Bemidji State (8-0-0-0, 24 pts. WCHA / 8-2-0) at No. 11 Minnesota State (5-3-0-0, 15 pts. WCHA / 7-3-0)
Verizon Wireless Center; Mankato, Minn. Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- One of college hockey's top matchups this weekend takes place in Mankato, where No. 11 Minnesota State hosts No. 15 Bemidji State in a series between early WCHA front-runners.

- Bemidji State, off to its best 10-game start since 2009-10 at 8-2-0, is tied with No. 3 Boston College and No. 16/15 Union for the most wins in the country. Minnesota State (7-3-0) is tied for fourth with seven victories.

- The two teams have met 119 times previously in a storied rivalry that dates back to both schools' Division II-era. The Beavers own a slim 53-49-17 all-time margin, while the Mavericks are 4-1-0 in the last five meetings. However, BSU's one win in that time came in the 2015-16 regular season finale, a victory that cost MSU the outright league championship.

- Bemidji State kept its perfect WCHA start intact last weekend with a road sweep at Alaska, while Minnesota State split a pair of contests at Lake Superior State.

- Minnesota State F Marc Michaelis leads all WCHA rookies and is tied for second nationally with 12 points (4g-8a). As a group, Maverick freshmen are tied for sixth in the country with 28 points (11g-17a).

- The Mavericks' balanced scoring this season (second in the WCHA and 16th nationally at 3.60 goals per game) includes the NCAA's third-most prolific defensive corps (9g-24a=33pts).

- Bemidji State junior G Michael Bitzer leads the country with eight wins and three shutouts, while ranking second with a 1.40 goals-against average, seventh with a .938 save percentage and 13th with 213 saves.

- The Beavers have either been tied or held the lead for 554:36 of 602:05 of ice time this season (92.1 percent). BSU has skated with the lead for 392:58 (65.3 percent).

- BSU's 8-0-0 league record is its best since starting 8-0-0 in 2009-10 the Beavers' last campaign in College Hockey America.


No. 20 Lake Superior State (4-2-0-0, 12 pts. WCHA / 6-2-0) at Michigan Tech (3-2-1-1, 11 pts. WCHA / 4-6-2)
John MacInnes Student Ice Arena; Houghton, Mich. Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Historic UP rivals meet for the only time this season, as Michigan Tech hosts No. 20 Lake Superior State in Houghton.

- The Lakers are ranked by USCHO.com for the first time since Jan. 6, 2014. The Huskies are 4-2-2 in their last 10 contests.

- The LSSU-MTU series dates back to the 1969-70 season. Tech is 40-21-5 all-time against LSSU, including a commanding 25-9-1 record at home. The Huskies are undefeated in the last seven meetings.

- Both teams are coming off splits last weekend. The Lakers jumped into the top-20 nationally after a 1-1 weekend against No. 11 Minnesota State, while the Huskies earned a 5-1 win in the series finale at Michigan State.

- Lake Superior State enters the weekend excelling on both ends of the ice. The Lakers are averaging 4.50 goals per game, matching No. 10 Harvard (3-0-1) for tops nationally. LSSU is ranked 10th in the NCAA (second in the WCHA) by allowing just 2.25 goals per contest.

- LSSU sophomore F Mitch Hults, the WCHA Player of the Month for October, leads the league with 13 points (4g-9a) and 1.62 points per game.

- Seventeen Huskies have scored Tech's 32 goals this season. Senior F Reid Sturos has four to lead the team, while no player has scored more than one goal on any weekend.

- MTU freshman G Angus Redmond has started the last four games, going 3-1-0 and posting a 1.66 goals-against average good for sixth in the NCAA. He also ranks 18th nationally with a .922 save percentage.


Alaska (2-4-0-0, 6 pts. WCHA / 3-7-0) at Alabama Huntsville (4-3-1-0, 13 pts. WCHA / 4-7-1)
Von Braun Center; Huntsville, Ala. Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. CT)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Alabama Huntsville, which has been on the road for two-straight weekends and five of the first six this season, returns home to host Alaska.

- UAH sits in third place in the WCHA standings on the strength of two league road sweeps (at Ferris State and at Alaska Anchorage) the first time the Chargers have broomed a pair of road weekends since the 2004-05 season.

- Alaska leads the all-time series by a 19-7-1 margin, including a 7-4-1 edge when playing in Huntsville. The teams split at the Von Braun Center in Jan. 2016.

- The Chargers are coming off a sweep at Alaska Anchorage, while the Nanooks dropped a pair at home to Bemidji State.

- UAF senior F Marcus Basara has recorded a point in five of his last seven games and is tied for the team lead in points (7) and goals (3).

- Sophomore F Chad Staley has helped the Nanooks to the WCHA's third-best power-play unit (11-for-57, 19.3 percent), leading the team with five points (1g-4a) on the man advantage.

- UAH linemates Josh Kestner (3g-6a) and Max McHugh (5g-4a) are tied for the team lead (and tied for 10th in the WCHA) with nine points apiece.

- The Chargers, already one WCHA win shy of matching their entire 2015-16 output (5-17-6), welcome back senior G Carmine Guerriero this weekend. Junior netminder Jordan Uhleski earned his first two collegiate wins last weekend, posting a .907 save percentage and 1.94 GAA during the sweep in Anchorage.


Bowling Green (1-3-0-0, 3 pts. WCHA / 2-7-1) at Northern Michigan (1-4-1-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 3-6-1)
Berry Events Center; Marquette, Mich. Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:07 p.m. ET)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Two teams looking to climb up the WCHA ladder meet in Marquette, as Northern Michigan hosts Bowling Green.

- The Falcons have won the last four meetings, all one-goal decisions. This is BGSU's first trip to the Berry Events Center since Dec. 5-6, 2014 (the Falcons went 1-0-1). All-time, BGSU holds a 46-41-8 advantage.

- Both teams earned splits last weekend. Bowling Green won its first league contest in the series opener against Ferris State, while Northern Michigan picked up a nonconference win at Wisconsin.

- BGSU has outshot its opponents in four-straight games, while holding a 277-225 advantage on the season.

- Falcons' junior F Mitch McLain has tallied five points (1g-4a) in his last four games, and leads the team with nine points (3g-5a) and a +2 rating. He has picked up the helper on the game-winning goal in both BGSU wins this season.

- Eighteen of the 21 skaters who have seen the ice for NMU have registered at least one point, with 11 finding the back of the net (including four freshmen).

- Through 10 games, the Wildcats have allowed only 11 goals while skating at even strength. Following a 33-stop effort last Saturday at Wisconsin, sophomore G Atte Tolvanen has made at least 30 saves in exactly half (17) of his 34 collegiate games.


NONCONFERENCE

Alaska Anchorage (0-4-0-0, 0 pts. WCHA / 1-7-0) at No. 12 Penn State (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 7-1-0)
Pegula Ice Arena; State College, Pa. Fri., Nov. 11 and Sat., Nov. 12 (both at 7:00 p.m. ET)

- Alaska Anchorage travels to No. 12 Penn State in a WCHA-Big Ten matchup.

- The teams have met three times in the state of Alaska, skating to ties in the 2014 Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks and in the second game of a series last November in Anchorage. In between, the Nittany Lions earned a 5-2 in at Sullivan Arena to lead the series, 1-0-2.

- UAA will be looking for its second win of the season, as the Seawolves earlier earned a nonconference victory over Canisius (1-0 on Oct. 15).

- The Seawolves rank fourth in the WCHA for penalty-kill efficiency at 83.7 percent (41-of-49).

- Junior captain Matt Anholt and senior F Brad Duwe lead UAA with two goals apiece.


Michigan State (0-0-0-0, 0 pts. Big Ten / 2-6-0) at Ferris State (2-5-1-1, 8 pts. WCHA / 3-8-1)
Ewigleben Ice Arena; Big Rapids, Mich. Sat., Nov. 12 at 7:07 p.m. ET
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Ferris State hosts Michigan State in the back end of a home-and-home series, after the Bulldogs skated to a 4-1 win Thursday night in East Lansing.

- Mitch Maloney, Gerald Mayhew and Joe Rutkowski all scored power-play goals in FSU's win at Munn Ice Arena, while freshman G Justin Kapelmaster made 31 saves to remain undefeated.

- FSU has won three of its last four games after an 0-7-1 start, and Kapelmaster has been in net for each of the three victories. He is now 3-0-0 to open his collegiate career, with a .948 save percentage and 1.47 goals-against average.

- Since returning from injury Oct. 28, Mayhew is tied for the WCHA lead with six points, four goals and two game-winning goals. FSU is 3-2-0 in that span.

- Thursday's game marked the first meeting between the schools in 683 days the longest the teams have gone without playing since they began a regular series in 1981. With the win, Ferris State has now won 12 of the last 16 contests against the Spartans.

- A sellout crowd Saturday night will welcome Michigan State back to the Ewigleben Ice Arena for the first time since Jan. 5, 2013.