WCHA Weekend Preview: Dec. 2 - 4, 2016
Series news and notes for the upcoming weekend of WCHA hockey
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No. 15 Minnesota State, which split a series Oct. 21-22 in Fairbanks, hosts the Alaska Nanooks.

- 10 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. 13 Bemidji State (11-0-1-1, 35 pts. WCHA / 11-4-1) at Michigan Tech (8-2-2-1, 27 pts. WCHA / 9-6-3)
John MacInnes Student Ice Arena; Houghton, Mich. Fri., Dec. 2 and Sat., Dec. 3 (both 7:07 p.m. ET)
WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- The top two teams in the WCHA standings meet in Houghton, Mich., as surging Michigan Tech (8-0-2-1 in its last 10 league games) hosts front-running Bemidji State. The second-place Huskies have 27 league points, eight behind the No. 13 Beavers.

- Michigan Tech leads the all-time series, which began in 2006-07, by a 10-6-4 margin. The Huskies are 5-1-4 at home against the Beavers.

- Tech ran its overall unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) with a sweep last weekend in Fairbanks, capping a two-week stay in Alaska with 11 of 12 possible points. Bemidji State stumbled in nonconference play, dropping a pair to visiting Princeton.

- The series will feature two of the nation's top goaltenders. Michigan Tech freshman Angus Redmond, who has started 10 straight games and was the WCHA Rookie of the Month for November, leads the NCAA with a 1.46 goals-against average and ranks 10th with a .933 save percentage. Bemidji State junior Michael Bitzer, the nation's active leader with 13 career shutouts, ranks second for GAA (1.46) and sixth for save percentage (.938).

- Bemidji State senior forwards Brendan Harms and Phillip Marinaccio have been hot lately. Harms has scored in three of the Beavers' last four games and has nine points (3g-6a) in BSU's last seven contests. Marinaccio has nine points (4g-5a) in the last eight games and leads BSU with a career-high 14 points (6g-8a).

- Michigan Tech sophomore forward Jake Lucchini is tied for eighth nationally with four power-play goals and is second with three game-winning strikes. He has five goals overall.

- The Huskies have played more road games 13 than any other team in the country, posting a 5-6-2 mark away from home. Tech is unbeaten at home, going 4-0-1 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.


Bowling Green (6-3-1-1, 20 pts. WCHA / 7-7-2) at Lake Superior State (4-6-0-0, 12 pts. WCHA / 7-7-0) Taffy Abel Arena Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Fri., Dec. 2 at 7:37 p.m. ET and Sat., Dec. 3 at 7:07 p.m. ET WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Bowling Green brings its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) to the Soo for a matchup with host Lake Superior State.

- These teams first met during the 1970-71 campaign and have played every season since LSSU joined the CCHA in 1972-73. BGSU holds a 78-70-12 advantage over the first 160 games between the schools, but the Lakers are 5-3-2 in the WCHA era (including 3-1-0 at home).

- Bowling Green kept rolling last weekend with a five-point weekend at home against Alaska Anchorage. Lake Superior State snapped a five-game losing skid with a nonconference win at then-No. 16 Michigan.

- BGSU is undefeated this season when scoring first (5-0-2) and is 6-1-1 when tallying 30-or-more shots on goal.

- Falcons' junior forward Mitch McLain, the WCHA's scoring leader with 17 points (7g-10a), was named the league's Player of the Month for November after tallying 11 points (5g-6a) in eight games.

- LSSU forward Mitch Hults is second in the WCHA with 16 points (5g-11a), while fellow sophomore Diego Cuglietta who had three assists last weekend at Michigan is tied for second in the league with seven goals.

- Lakers' freshman defenseman Collin Saccoman leads the NCAA with 37 blocked shots and is eighth among rookie blue-liners with a +7 rating.


Alaska (3-6-1-1, 11 pts. WCHA / 4-9-1) at No. 15 Minnesota State (5-4-1-0, 16 pts. WCHA / 8-5-1) Verizon Wireless Center; Mankato, Minn. Fri., Dec. 2 and Sat., Dec. 3 (both 7:07 p.m. CT) WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- No. 15 Minnesota State, which split a series Oct. 21-22 in Fairbanks, hosts the Nanooks.

- Following that early-season split, Alaska leads the all-time series (since 1983) by a 14-5-1 margin.

- The Mavericks were off last weekend, while the Nanooks suffered a pair of losses to visiting Michigan Tech.

- Senior forward Marcus Basara, who has a point in six of UAF's last nine games, leads the team with five goals, five assists and 10 points.

- Eight of the nine rookies to see action for Alaska this season have scored, led by forwards Ross Heidt (4g-2a=6pts) and Troy Van Tetering (2g-4a=6pts).

- Speaking of freshmen, Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis is tied for the WCHA rookie lead and is tied for ninth nationally by averaging exactly 1.00 point-per-game (5g-9a=14pts). Maverick rookies have racked up 39 points overall (14g-25a) to rank seventh among all NCAA freshman classes.

- Minnesota State boasts the NCAA's third-ranked defense, allowing just 2.00 goals-per-game. Sophomore goaltender Jason Pawloski ranks fourth nationally with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage, while senior Cole Huggins is 11th with a 1.99 GAA.


Northern Michigan (1-8-1-0, 4 pts. WCHA / 3-11-2) at Alaska Anchorage (0-6-2-1, 3 pts. WCHA / 1-11-2) Sullivan Arena; Anchorage, Alaska Fri., Dec. 2 and Sat., Dec. 3 (both 7:07 p.m. AT) WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Two teams looking to make a move out of the WCHA cellar face off, as Northern Michigan visits Alaska Anchorage.

- Northern Michigan leads the all-time series by a 17-11-1 margin, including a 6-4-0 edge in the last 10 meetings. The teams have not met in Anchorage since Nov. 21-22, 2014 a weekend which saw both the Wildcats (1-0) and Seawolves (4-0, behind then-freshman Olivier Mantha) earn shutout wins.

- NMU went 0-1-1 at home last weekend against Omaha in nonconference play, while UAA earned a point with a tie at Bowling Green.

- Northern Michigan freshman defenseman Philip Beaulieu has at least one point in four of his last five games. He is tied for fourth among WCHA rookie blue-liners with seven points and is tied for second with two goals.

- NMU senior forward Dominik Shine scored last weekend against Omaha and, despite missing the Wildcats' first six games, is tied for the team lead with four goals this season.

- UAA's captain, junior forward Matt Anholt, has points in six of his last eight games and leads the Seawolves with seven overall (3g-4a).

- Mantha, who is UAA's all-time leader with a .909 career save percentage, has posted a .912 mark through the first 13 games of his junior campaign.


Ferris State (4-5-1-1, 14 pts. WCHA / 5-9-1) at Alabama Huntsville (4-6-2-0, 14 pts. WCHA / 4-10-2) Von Braun Center; Huntsville, Ala. Sat., Dec. 3 at 7:07 p.m. CT and Sun., Dec. 4 at 3:07 p.m. CT WATCH LIVE ON WCHA.TV

- Ferris State, which is 4-1-0 in its last five WCHA games, visits Alabama Huntsville in a Saturday-Sunday series.

- The Chargers swept the then-No. 20 Bulldogs in a season-opening series Oct. 1 and 2 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Ferris State still leads the all-time series, 13-5-1, including a 6-3-1 edge since both joined the WCHA. FSU is a perfect 4-0-0 at the Von Braun Center in the WCHA era.

- Both teams were idle last weekend. On the Nov. 18-19 weekend, the Bulldogs swept visiting Lake Superior State and the Chargers dropped a pair to Bowling Green. UAH is 0-3-1-0 during its current six-game, WCHA homestand.

- Ferris State senior forward Gerald Mayhew leads the NCAA with four game-winning goals and the Bulldogs with nine strikes, while redshirt-freshman forward Craig Pefley is tied for ninth among NCAA rookies by averaging exactly 1.00 point-per-game (3g-12a=15pts).

- Freshman goaltender Justin Kapelmaster is undefeated in his collegiate career, going 5-0-0 for the Bulldogs. In addition to his NCAA-leading winning percentage, he ranks third nationally with a .943 save percentage and ninth with a 1.85 goals-against average. Kapelmaster also has a rare goalie two-game point streak, having picked up assists each game against LSSU on Nov. 18-19.

- Sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin recorded at least one point in the Chargers' past six games (3g-4a=7pts) and is second on the team with 10 points overall (4g-6a).

- UAH is sixth nationally with 231 blocked shots. Junior defenseman Brandon Parker is tied for second in the country with 36 blocks, while senior Brandon Carlson and sophomore Cam Knight are tied for 18th with 31 apiece.