EDINA, Minn. – Nov. 14, 2016 – For their efforts in helping their teams accumulate 17 of a possible 18 league points, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Nov. 10-12, 2016 are: Bowling Green senior forward Kevin Dufour (Offensive Player of the Week), Bemidji State junior goaltender Michael Bitzer (Defensive Player of the Week) and Michigan Tech freshman forward Gavin Gould (Rookie of the Week).
Kevin Dufour, Sr., F
Bowling Green (Québec City, Québec)
Dufour scored key goals in both games last weekend, helping Bowling Green to its first sweep of the season with a pair of road wins at Northern Michigan. The senior from Québec City, Québec not only tallied his first goal of the season in a 5-1 win Friday, but scored the game-winner when he capitalized on a wrister midway through the first period to put the Falcons up, 2-0. In Saturday's series finale, Dufour snapped a 2-2 tie 5:16 into the second period, helping Bowling Green to the 5-3 triumph. He finished the series with five shots on goal, one blocked shot and a +2 rating. This is Dufour's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Joel L'Esperance, Jr., F, Michigan Tech (tied for the WCHA lead with three points in the Huskies' home sweep of then-No. 20 Lake Superior State, tallying an assist in Friday's win and scoring twice in a 4-2 victory Saturday); Corey Mackin, So., F, Ferris State (tied for the WCHA lead with three points, including a goal and assist Thursday as the Bulldogs earned a 4-1 nonconference win at Michigan State).
Michael Bitzer, Jr., G
Bemidji State (Moorhead, Minn.)
Bitzer continued his stellar play, backstopping now-No. 13 Bemidji State to a five-point weekend on the road at then-No. 11 Minnesota State. The junior from Moorhead, Minn. collected 57 saves during a pair of overtime contests, while his .966 save percentage and 0.95 goals-against average led all WCHA goaltenders who made two starts last weekend. Bitzer turned aside 25-of-26 shots faced through 65 minutes in a 1-1 tie Friday night, setting the stage for BSU to earn an extra league point with a victory in 3-on-3 overtime. He then recorded a 32-save effort over 61:37 of the Beavers' 2-1, overtime win in Saturday's series finale. This is Bitzer's third WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his 10th career honor, including a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades.
Honorable Mention: Shane Hanna, Sr., D, Michigan Tech (had a pair of assists and helped Tech's penalty-kill unit go a perfect 11-for-11 in the Huskies' sweep of then-No. 20 Lake Superior State); Jesse Jenks, So., G, Alaska (backstopped the Nanooks to a five-point road weekend at Alabama Huntsville, making 46 stops with a .920 save percentage and 1.92 goals-against average); Ryan Lowney, Sr., D, Ferris State (tied for the WCHA lead with three assists, including a helper on the game-winning goal in the Bulldogs' Thursday nonconference win at Michigan State); Olivier Mantha, Jr. G, Alaska Anchorage (made an impressive, NCAA-best 92 saves in a series at No. 12 Penn State, including a career-high 53 stops Saturday); Chris Nell, Jr., G, Bowling Green (helped the Falcons to a road sweep at Northern Michigan, making 51 stops with a .927 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average).
Gavin Gould, Fr., F
Michigan Tech (North Vancouver, British Columbia)
Gould tied for the NCAA rookie lead with two goals, while tying for the WCHA lead with three points, all while helping Michigan Tech to a home sweep over then-No. 20 Lake Superior State. Playing in his fourth collegiate game in Friday's series opener, Gould scored his first two career goals. The freshman from North Vancouver, British Columbia lit the lamp twice in the third period of that 6-1 victory, before assisting on the game-tying goal Saturday as the Huskies rallied for a 4-2 win. Gould finished the weekend with four shots on goal and a +2 rating. This is Gould's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Justin Kapelmaster, Fr., G, Ferris State (played only once last weekend, remaining undefeated after making 31 saves in the Bulldogs' 4-1, nonconference win at Michigan State); Hampus Sjodahl, Fr., F, Bemidji State (tallied his first collegiate point with an assist on the third-period, game-tying goal Friday as the then-No. 15 Beavers rallied to tie then-No. 11 Minnesota State on the road).