EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 18, 2017 – Following a tightly-contested weekend throughout the league, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Jan. 13-14, 2017 are: Minnesota State junior forward C.J. Franklin (Offensive Player of the Week), Alaska senior goaltender Davis Jones (Defensive Player of the Week), and Lake Superior State freshman forward Max Humitz and Northern Michigan freshman defenseman Rylan Yaremko (Co-Rookies of the Week).
C.J. Franklin, Jr., F
Minnesota State (Forest Lake, Minn.)
With his team facing a home sweep and falling into fourth place in the WCHA standings, Franklin keyed No. 20 Minnesota State's comeback from a 3-1 deficit to a 5-3 victory Saturday over Bowling Green. With the Mavericks trailing by two deep into the second period, the junior from Forest Lake, Minn. scored at the 14:29 mark of the stanza to spark Minnesota State's comeback. Then, with the game tied 3-3, Franklin netted an unassisted goal at the 9:20 mark of the third period to give the Mavericks a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish. The forward also assisted on Minnesota State's game-opening goal, giving him a three-point night against a top WCHA rival. Franklin tied for the league lead in goals, points and rating (+2), while also recording 25 face-off wins and five blocked shots. This is Franklin's first WCHA weekly award of the season and his second career honor.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Dufour, Sr., F, Bowling Green (forced overtime with a pair of clutch goals in the Falcons' eventual 3-2 win Friday at then-No. 18 Minnesota State, while adding an assist Saturday); Gerald Mayhew, Sr., F, Ferris State (tied for the WCHA lead with two goals and three points, while recording a team-high 10 shots and a +1 rating against visiting Alaska); Mike Neville, Sr., F, Michigan Tech (had a goal and assist against Alaska Anchorage, helping the Huskies to a pair of ties and a three-point weekend).
Davis Jones, Sr., G
Alaska (St. Albert, Alberta)
Jones backstopped Alaska to a five-point WCHA series on the road at Ferris State, leading the league with 81 saves – the fourth-best total nationally last week. The senior from St. Albert, Alberta collected 36 saves in Friday's 3-3 tie, including four in the first overtime period before the Nanooks scored in the second, 3-on-3 extra session. He then followed up with a 45-save performance Saturday, helping Alaska rally for a 2-1, overtime victory despite being outshot by a 46-28 margin. After yielding a goal just 49 seconds into the contest, Jones shut the door from there with 15 stops in the first period, 17 in the second and 13 in the third. He finished the weekend ranked third in the WCHA with a .953 save percentage, to go along with a 1.91 goals-against average.
Honorable Mention: Gordon Defiel, Jr., G, Lake Superior State (backstopped the Lakers to a pair of 1-1 ties against Northern Michigan, while tying for the WCHA lead with a 0.92 goals-against average and pacing the league with a .968 save percentage); Chris Nell, Jr., G, Bowling Green (tallied 32 saves in the Falcons' 3-2, comeback road win in overtime last Friday at then-No. 18 Minnesota State); Rasmus Reijola, Sr., G, Alaska Anchorage (ranked second in the WCHA and fifth nationally with 80 saves, logging a .952 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average as the Seawolves earned a pair of ties at then-No. 20 Michigan Tech).
Max Humitz, Fr., F
Lake Superior State (Livonia, Mich.)
Humitz scored both Lakers' goals on the weekend, lifting Lake Superior State to a pair of 1-1 ties and a three-point, home-and-home weekend against Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan. The freshman from Livonia, Mich. opened the scoring 5:02 into Friday's series opener with a power-play goal, a game in which LSSU would eventually earn the extra WCHA point with a goal in the 3-on-3 overtime period. Back on home ice Saturday, Humitz tied the game late in the second period after NMU had taken the lead just 39 seconds into the contest. Humitz finished the weekend tied for the overall WCHA lead with two goals, while his two power-play markers paced the circuit. He also added eight shots on goal and three blocked shots. This is Humitz' first WCHA weekly award of his freshman season.
Rylan Yaremko, Fr., D
Northern Michigan (Spirit River, Alberta)
Yaremko was a factor on both ends of the ice, playing a key role in helping Northern Michigan hold on to win the Cappo Cup following a pair of 1-1 ties and a three-point, home-and-home weekend against Upper Peninsula rival Lake Superior State. Offensively, the freshman blue-liner picked up the primary assist on both Wildcats' regulation goals and logged five shots on net; on the defensive end, he contributed four blocked shots. Yaremko, a native of Spirit River, Alberta, tied for the lead among all WCHA skaters last weekend with a +2 rating. This is Yaremko's first WCHA weekly award of his freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Chris Gerrie, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (scored his first career goal Saturday, erasing Alaska Anchorage's 1-0 lead and propelling the Huskies to a 1-1 tie and eventual shootout win); Justin Kapelmaster, Fr., G, Ferris State (made a WCHA weekend single-game high 47 saves in his lone contest, including eight in overtime, helping the Bulldogs earn a 3-3 tie against Alaska on Friday).