EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 4, 2017 – A pair of standout performers, including a repeat winner and the nation's top-scoring freshman last month, have earned men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) monthly honors for December 2016. For their efforts, Bowling Green junior forward Mitchell McLain was named Player of the Month and Minnesota State freshman forward Marc Michaelis garnered Rookie of the Month honors
Mitchell McLain, Jr., F
Bowling Green (Baxter, Minn.)
McLain, a two-time WCHA Player of the Week in December, led Bowling Green and tied for the league lead with five goals last month. The junior from Baxter, Minn. highlighted the month with a hat trick in BGSU's 5-2 win Dec. 3 at Lake Superior State. He completed the three-goal effort with a short-handed tally, while he became the first WCHA player with multiple hat tricks in the same season since Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz had three during the 2011-12 campaign. One of 12 players nationally with a pair of game-winners last month, McLain notched the deciding goals during the Falcons' 6-3 victory Dec. 17 at Alaska and a 3-0 triumph Dec. 30 vs. RIT. McLain paces the WCHA with 12 goals this season, is second with 23 points and is one of four NCAA skaters with a pair of hat tricks. This is McLain's second career WCHA monthly award, having also won for November 2016.
Honorable Mention: Max McHugh, Jr., F, Alabama Huntsville (recorded a point in four-of-six games, scoring two goals with four assists to pace the Chargers and tie for fourth in the WCHA with six points); Darren Smith, So., G, Ferris State (compiled a league-leading .981 save percentage by stopping 122-of-127 shots, while posting a 2-2-0 record in the Bulldogs' net).
Marc Michaelis, Fr., F
Minnesota State (Mannheim, Germany)
Michaelis tied for the NCAA rookie lead with 12 points in December, while ranking second among first-year skaters by averaging 2.00 points-per-game. The freshman from Mannheim, Germany tallied five goals and seven assists in six contests, pacing all WCHA skaters in points, points-per-game, goals (tied), assists (tied), power-play assists (tied, with three) and power-play points (tied, with four). He was a two-time WCHA Rookie of the Week during the month, earning the honor after a seven-point series (4g-3a) Dec. 2-3 vs. Alaska and a four-point weekend (1g-3a) Dec. 16-17 at Princeton. During the Alaska series, Michaelis recorded his first career hat trick (including the game-winner) and assisted on another in a 7-3 Maverick win in the series opener, then added a goal and two assists in a 5-5, series finale tie. He then wrapped up the month by scoring a goal and recording two helpers in Minnesota State's 5-4 triumph at Princeton. Overall, he tallied a point in five-of-six games, including a trio of multi-point efforts. Michaelis now leads the WCHA with 26 points (10g-16a) this season, good for second among NCAA freshmen.
Honorable Mention: Colton Leiter, Fr., F, Alaska (ranked second among WCHA rookies with five points on two goals and three assists, while tallying a power-play goal and a game-winner); Angus Redmond, Fr., G, Michigan Tech (two-time WCHA Rookie of the Week during the month went 4-2-0 with a 0.97 GAA – second-best in the country – and a .957 save percentage).