EDINA, Minn. – Jan. 9, 2017 – The league's top goal-scorer and a pair of impressive efforts in net highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Jan. 5-7, 2017. The honorees are: Northern Michigan senior forward Dominik Shine (Offensive Player of the Week), Minnesota State junior goaltender Aaron Nelson (Defensive Player of the Week) and Bowling Green freshman goaltender Ryan Bednard (Rookie of the Week).
Dominik Shine, Sr., F
Northern Michigan (Pickney, Mich.)
Shine tied for second nationally with a WCHA-high four goals, including his second career hat trick Saturday to lead Northern Michigan to a home-and-home split with Lake Superior State in the Cappo Cup series. The senior from Pickney, Mich. starred in the Wildcats' 6-4 home victory over their UP rivals Saturday night, scoring in every way possible except a penalty shot. He opened the scoring with an even-strength goal at the 17:32 mark of the first period, put NMU ahead 2-0 with an unassisted, short-handed marker at 12:33 of the second, then capped the hat trick with a power-play strike that gave the Wildcats a 6-2 lead 8:33 into the third stanza. Shine also scored in Friday night's contest, a third-period goal that brought NMU within a goal in an eventual 3-2 loss. This is Shine's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his second career honor.
Honorable Mention: Brett D'Andrea, Jr., F, Bowling Green (scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winner in the Falcons' 4-2 victory Friday over No. 17 Bemidji State); Jay Dickman, So., F, Bemidji State (factored in both goals, scoring one and assisting on the other, in the No. 17 Beavers' 2-1 win Thursday at Bowling Green); Corey Mackin, So., F, Ferris State (scored a pivotal goal Saturday in a 2-2 tie at Alaska Anchorage, with the Bulldogs eventually earning the shootout win); Mason Mitchell, So., F, Alaska Anchorage (tallied two goals on the weekend – scoring on both of his shots – to help the Seawolves earn four WCHA points against Ferris State); Anthony Nellis, So., F, Lake Superior State (tied for the WCHA lead and ranked second nationally with five points, on two goals and three assists, as the Lakers split a home-and-home series with Northern Michigan); Zach Stepan, Sr., F, Minnesota State (scored a pair of power-play goals, including the game-winner in the No. 18 Mavericks' 3-2, sweep-clinching win Saturday at Alabama Huntsville).
Aaron Nelson, Jr., G
Minnesota State (Bismark, N.D.)
Nelson made his first collegiate appearances and backstopped No. 18 Minnesota State to a WCHA road sweep at Alabama Huntsville, leading the WCHA with two wins, a .959 save percentage, a 1.00 goals-against average and one shutout. The junior from Bismark, N.D. turned in an 18-save shutout in his collegiate debut, a 3-0 Mavericks' victory in Friday's series opener. He then turned aside 29 shots Saturday, clinching Minnesota State's sweep with a 3-2 triumph. Nelson held the Chargers scoreless on eight power-play chances on the weekend, stopping all 13 shots faced in that scenario. He wrapped up his first weekend of play as one of six NCAA goaltenders to post two wins, while his 47 saves (on 49 shots) ranked third in the WCHA.
Honorable Mention: Justin Baudry, So., D, Bemidji State (had an assist and a team-best five blocked shots as the No. 17 Beavers split a road series at Bowling Green); Jarret Brown, So., D, Alaska Anchorage (led WCHA defensemen with three assists as the Seawolves earned four points against visiting Ferris State); Cameron Clarke, Fr., D, Ferris State (tallied a team-leading two points on an assist and his first collegiate goal, helping the Bulldogs to a 2-2 tie and eventual shootout win Saturday at Alaska Anchorage); Mark Friedman, Jr., D, Bowling Green (scored the game-winning goal in the Falcons' 4-2 win over No. 17 Bemidji State on Friday, while finishing the weekend with two points and a +3 rating); Shane Hanna, Sr., D, Michigan Tech (tallied a pair of assists as the Huskies split a nonconference road series at No. 12 Notre Dame); Brock Maschmeyer, Sr., D, Northern Michigan (tied for the WCHA defensemen lead with three points, on a goal and two assists, as the Wildcats split a home-and-home series with Lake Superior State).
Ryan Bednard, Fr., G
Bowling Green (Macomb, Mich.)
Bednard made his lone appearance of the weekend in Friday's series finale, playing a key role as Bowling Green rallied for a 4-2 victory over No. 17 Bemidji State on national television. After yielding two goals in the first period, the Florida Panthers draft pick turned aside 12 shots over the final two stanzas as the Falcons scored four unanswered for the win. The freshman from Macomb, Mich. was huge during the second period with 10 stops, including turning aside a breakaway opportunity, while BGSU scored twice to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead against the WCHA leaders. This is the first career WCHA weekly award for Bednard, who is now 4-1-0 in his last five starts.
Honorable Mention: Max Humitz, Fr., F, Lake Superior State (turned in a three-point night, with an even-strength goal, power-play strike and assist, as the Lakers fell 6-4 Saturday at Northern Michigan); Justin Kapelmaster, Fr., G, Ferris State (totaled 22 saves through 65 minutes in a 2-2 tie Saturday at Alaska Anchorage, then stopped both shootout attempts as the Bulldogs earned the extra league point); Dylan McCrory, Fr., F, Bemidji State (opened the scoring Friday, helping the No. 17 Beavers to a 2-1 road win at Bowling Green); Alex Smith, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (had a goal and assist in the Huskies' 4-2, nonconference road win at No. 12 Notre Dame).