EDINA, Minn. – Nov. 21, 2016 – A record-setting offensive performance and a pair of stout goaltending efforts highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Nov. 18-19, 2016. The honorees are: Bemidji State senior forward Brendan Harms (Offensive Player of the Week), Minnesota State sophomore goaltender Jason Pawloski (Defensive Player of the Week) and Ferris State freshman goaltender Justin Kapelmaster (Rookie of the Week).
Brendan Harms, Sr., F
Bemidji State (Steinbach, Manitoba)
Harms had a hand in six of Bemidji State's six goals in a series sweep of Northern Michigan, leading all NCAA skaters with five assists and tying for the national lead with six points. The senior from Steinbach, Minn. etched his name in the WCHA record book with four assists in the first period alone Saturday night, marking just the 10th time in the league's 65-year history a player tallied four helpers in one period. One of those assists came on the game-winner as the now-No. 10/12 Beavers completed the sweep with a 5-2 victory. In Friday night's 2-1, series-opening win for BSU, Harms factored in both goals – scoring the tying marker at the 12:08 mark of the first period, before assisting on the winner at 15:23. This is Harms' first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his fourth career honor (including one Rookie of the Week accolade).
Honorable Mention: Joel L'Esperance, Jr., F, Michigan Tech (had a goal and assist, extending his point streak to six games, as the Huskies earned four points at Alaska Anchorage); Gerald Mayhew, Sr., F, Ferris State (tallied two goals – both game-winners – along with one assist and a +3 rating as the Bulldogs posted a home sweep over Lake Superior State); Tyler Spezia, Jr., F, Bowling Green (tallied five points on two goals and three assists, along with a +6 rating and one blocked shot in the Falcons' road sweep at Alabama Huntsville).
Jason Pawloski, So., G
Minnesota State (Omaha, Neb.)
Pawloski helped Minnesota State rise to No. 14 in the national polls, backstopping the Mavericks to a home-and-home split with then-No. 7 Minnesota. The sophomore from Omaha, Neb. made 62 saves and led all WCHA goaltenders last weekend with a .969 save percentage (seventh in the NCAA) and a 1.01 goals-against average (10th nationally). Pawloski made 25 saves in the Mavericks' 4-1 home win Friday night, while allowing only a power-play goal. He then stopped a season-high 37 shots Saturday in a 1-0 loss, keeping Minnesota State in the game despite being out-shot by a 38-23 margin. Pawloski's effort at Mariucci Arena included 30 saves in the first two periods alone.
Honorable Mention: Michael Bitzer, Jr., G, Bemidji State (went 2-0-0 with 42 saves, a .933 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average as the now-No. 10/12 Beavers swept Northern Michigan); Mark Friedman, Jr., D, Bowling Green (had four assists, a +4 rating and four blocked shots, helping the Falcons to a road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Olivier Mantha, Jr., G, Alaska Anchorage (backstopped Seawolves to first league points of year, tying for second in the WCHA with 62 saves and a .939 save percentage); Matt Roy, Jr., D, Michigan Tech (had three assists, including on Friday's game-winner and Saturday's game-tying goal, as the Huskies earned four points at Alaska Anchorage).
Justin Kapelmaster, Fr., G
Ferris State (Coral Springs, Fla.)
Kapelmaster remained unbeaten in his rookie campaign, making a WCHA-high 73 saves as Ferris State notched its first sweep of the year with two home wins over Lake Superior State. The freshman from Coral Springs, Fla. notched his first collegiate shutout Friday night (one of only two nationally by a rookie goaltender), turning aside a career-best 40 shots in a 3-0 Bulldog victory. He reached double-digits in saves each period, stopping 13 in the first, 12 in the second and 15 in the third. Kapelmaster than made 33 saves Saturday night, including 13 in the third period, helping Ferris State hold on for a wild, 7-5 win and the sweep. This is Kapelmaster's second WCHA weekly award of his rookie season.
Honorable Mention: Philip Beaulieu, Fr., D, Northern Michigan (led WCHA rookies with two goals, while recording three blocked shots at now-No. 10/12 Bemidji State); Gavin Gould, Fr., F, Northern Michigan (scored Tech's lone goal Saturday at Alaska Anchorage, helping the Huskies to a 1-1 tie); Alec Rauhauser, Fr., D, Bowling Green (posted four assists, a +4 rating and four blocked shots, helping the Falcons to a road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Parker Tuomie, Fr., F, Minnesota State (had a power-play goal and two assists in a 4-1 win for the now-No. 14 Mavericks over then-No. 7 Minnesota).