BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Oct. 16, 2017 – Impressive efforts from every inch of the ice, including some to spark important wins over ranked opponents, highlight the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Oct. 10-14, 2017. The honorees are: Lake Superior State senior J.T. Henke (Offensive), Minnesota State junior Daniel Brickley (Defensive), Bemidji State senior Michael Bitzer (Goaltender) and Bowling Green freshman forward Cameron Wright (Rookie).
J.T. Henke, Sr.
Lake Superior State (Trenton, Mich.)
Henke tied for the WCHA lead (and was tied for second nationally) with five points, tallying a goal and four assists as Lake Superior State gave then-No. 15/13 Michigan Tech all it could handle during the Great Lake State Weekend. In fact, the senior from Trenton, Mich. factored in all five LSSU goals during the series. Friday night, he assisted on all three Laker tallies in a narrow, 4-3 defeat. Saturday, Henke almost single-handedly lifted LSSU to a 2-2 tie against the ranked Huskies, scoring the game's first goal before assisting on the tying strike with 11:16 remaining in regulation. He finished the weekend tied for second in the WCHA with a plus-3 rating. This is Henke's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Gerry Fitzgerald, Sr., F, Bemidji State (led the Beavers to a season-opening, 5-2 victory over then-No. 5/9 Minnesota Duluth, posting a goal and two assists in the contest); Gavin Gould, So., F, Michigan Tech (scored a pair of goals in the Huskies' 4-3 victory Friday at Lake Superior State); Kylar Hope, So., F, Alaska (totaled three points in a hard-fought series at then-No. 6/4 St. Cloud State, tallying his first collegiate goal Friday and a one-goal, one-assist effort Saturday); Zeb Knutson, Sr., F, Minnesota State (had a goal and two assists, and paced the WCHA with a +4 rating, as the Mavericks earned a road sweep at No. 2 Boston University).
Daniel Brickley, Jr.
Minnesota State (Sandy, Utah)
Brickley excelled on both ends of the ice in helping Minnesota State to an impressive nonconference road sweep at then-No. 2 Boston University. The senior from Sandy, Utah tied for the lead among NCAA defensemen with three assists and was tied for second with four points, while compiling a team-high six blocked shots (tied fourth nationally) and a +3 rating (tied for seventh among NCAA blue-liners). All four points came during the series-opening, 6-3 Mavericks victory, as he tied the game 2-2 late in the first period with a power-play goal and added a trio of helpers. His defensive effort then sparked Saturday's 3-0, shutout triumph. This is Brickley's first WCHA weekly award of the 2017-18 season and third of his career.
Honorable Mention: Alec Rauhauser, So., D, Bowling Green (picked up an assist in all three of the Falcons' games last week, while tallying five blocked shots); Mitch Reinke, So., D, Michigan Tech (picked up three assists during the Huskies' five-point weekend at Lake Superior State, including on the game-winner Friday and both Tech goals Saturday); Zach Whitecloud, So., D, Bemidji State (collected a pair of assists on the power play in the Beavers' 5-2 victory over then-No. 5/9 Minnesota Duluth, while collecting five blocked shots over the win and tie).
Michael Bitzer, Sr.
Bemidji State (Moorhead, Minn.)
Bitzer backstopped Bemidji State to a 5-2 win and scoreless tie against then-No. 5/9 Minnesota Duluth, posing 72 saves, a 0.96 goals-against average and a .973 save percentage over 125:00 in net. The senior from Moorhead, Minn. collected 27 saves in the Beavers' season-opening victory Friday, before recording a career-high 45 saves en route in Saturday's 0-0 draw. His 17th career shutout – an ongoing Bemidji State record and the most by an active NCAA men's goaltender – included 11 saves in the first period, 16 in the second, 14 in the third and four more in the first, official overtime. The Beavers were outshot by a 45-27 margin but survived for the series win over the Bulldogs due to Bitzer's heroics. This is Bitzer's first WCHA weekly award of the 2017-18 season and his 12th career honor, including a pair of Rookie accolades and nine Defensive awards.
Honorable Mention: Eric Dop, Fr., Bowling Green (picked up his first collegiate win in his first start, tallying 27 saves in the Falcons' 4-1 victory over Michigan State last Friday); Patrick Munson, Jr., Michigan Tech (made 44 saves in leading the Huskies to a five-point weekend at Lake Superior State); Jason Pawloski, Jr., Minnesota State (stopped all 26 shots he faced in the Mavericks' sweep-clinching, 3-0 road win at No. 2 Boston University); Atte Tolvanen, Jr., Northern Michigan (was sensational in the Wildcats' WCHA road sweep at Ferris State, recording a league-best 75 saves on 77 shots, eclipsing the 40-save mark Friday and making 35 stops in a 1-0 shutout victory Saturday).
Cameron Wright, Fr., F
Bowling Green (Newmarket, Ontario)
Wright opened his Bowling Green career with goals in consecutive games and points in each of his first three collegiate contests. The freshman from Newmarket, Ontario tallied the Falcons' lone goal Tuesday at Western Michigan, put BGSU on top, 3-0 en route to a 4-1 victory Friday over Michigan State and then tallied an assist in Saturday's road contest against the Spartans. Wright finished his first official week of collegiate competition with nine shots on goal and an even rating on the ice, while his 1.00 points-per-game average tied for tops among WCHA rookies.
Honorable Mention: Adam Brady, So., F, Bemidji State (opened his collegiate career by netting a third-period goal that put the Beavers ahead of then-No. 5/9 Minnesota Duluth en route to a 5-2 victory); Trey deGraaf, Fr., F, Alaska Anchorage (scored his first career goal Friday at Colorado College); Steven Jandric, Fr., F, Alaska (posted two assists on the weekend as the Nanooks skated at then-No. 6/4 St. Cloud State); Jake Jaremko, Fr., F, Minnesota State (assisted on both game-winning goals, both on the power play, as the Mavericks swept a road series at then-No. 2 Boston University); Mareks Mitens, Fr., G, Lake Superior State (backstopped the Lakers to a 2-2 tie against then-No. 15/13 Michigan Tech in his collegiate debut, making 40 saves – including 10 in the third as LSSU rallied to tie the game); Greyson Reitmeier, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (scored his first collegiate goal Friday for the game-winning tally at Lake Superior State); Adam Roeder, Fr., D, Northern Michigan (scored his first collegiate goal in the Wildcats' series-opening win Friday at Ferris State).