BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Nov. 6, 2017 – A weekend of series splits provided a bevy of impressive performances throughout the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), with Player of the Week honors for games of Nov. 2-4, 2017 going to: Bemidji State senior Gerry Fitzgerald (Offensive), Ferris State junior Ryker Killins (Defensive), Northern Michigan junior Mathias Israelsson (Goaltender) and Bowling Green freshman goaltender Eric Dop (Rookie).
Gerry Fitzgerald, Sr., F
Bemidji State (Port Alberni, British Columbia)
Fitzgerald was the WCHA's top scorer last weekend, finishing with four points (1g-3a) as Bemidji State earned a road split in Fairbanks against the Nanooks. The senior from Port Alberni, British Columbia turned in a pair of two-point efforts, factoring in four of the Beavers' six goals on the weekend. In Saturday's 3-2 BSU comeback victory, Fitzgerald assisted on Charlie Combs' tying goal late in the second period, then broke the 2-2 deadlock with his own power-play strike, the game-winner, 11:45 into the third. He also had a pair of assists in Friday's 4-3 overtime loss, while his three helpers tied for the league lead. This is Fitzgerald's first WCHA weekly award of the 2017-18 season and his third career honor (including two Rookie of the Week accolades).
Honorable Mention: Austin Azurdia, Sr., F, Alaska Anchorage (scored twice in the third period Saturday, including the game-winner, as the Seawolves won, 4-1 at Lake Superior State); Troy Loggins, Jr., F, Northern Michigan (led the Wildcats to a 4-1 win Saturday over then-No. 9 Minnesota State, scoring two goals and adding an assist); Mitch Maloney, Sr., F, Ferris State (tallied a pair of goals in the Bulldogs' split at Michigan, including the tying, third-period goal Friday to set up FSU's overtime win); Brennan Saulnier, Sr., F, Alabama Huntsville (posted a league-high 12 shots on goal and lit the lamp each night in the Chargers' series at Arizona State, including the game-winner in Saturday's 3-1 UAH victory); John Schilling, Jr., F, Bowling Green (scored both goals for the Falcons on Friday at then-No. 20 Michigan Tech, giving BGSU a 2-1 win – its first over the Huskies since Nov. 14, 2015).
Ryker Killins, Jr., D
Ferris State (Wawa, Ontario)
Killins' lone point of the weekend was huge, as he scored the overtime winner Friday to give Ferris State its first victory at Michigan's historic Yost Ice Arena since 2006. The junior from Wawa, Ontario lit the lamp 2:26 into the extra session, capping the Bulldogs' comeback in a 3-2 victory over their in-state rivals. He finished the nonconference series with nine shots on goal and was even on the ice, as Ferris State split the series. This is Killins' first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Justin Baudry, Jr., D, Bemidji State (collected three points in the Beavers' road split at Alaska, tallying an assist, scoring a goal in each game and helping the BSU penalty-kill unit go a perfect 6-for-6 on the weekend); Kurt Gosselin, Jr., D, Alabama Huntsville (had a three-point series at Arizona State, scoring a goal in the opener and collecting two assists in the Chargers' 3-1 victory in the series finale); Alec Rauhauser, So., D, Bowling Green (had an assist each night as the Falcons earned five points at then-No. 20 Michigan Tech, helping on the game-winning goal Friday and the game-tying goal Saturday).
Mathias Israelsson, Jr., G
Northern Michigan (Ytterby, Sweden)
Israelsson made his first start of the season Saturday night and responded with a brilliant effort against then-No. 9 Minnesota State, leading Northern Michigan to a 4-1 victory. The Mavericks entered the contest averaging a league-best 3.25 goals per game, but Israelsson held them to a lone goal by turning aside 23-of-24 shots. The junior from Ytterby, Sweden made 12 saves in the third period alone, helping the Wildcats hold on to a two-goal lead until the waning minutes, when an empty-net strike provided the final margin. His .958 save percentage for the night was the best among WCHA goaltenders last weekend, while the victory lifted Northern Michigan to No. 20 in the USCHO.com poll – the Wildcats' first appearance in the poll since Dec. 1, 2014. This is Israelsson's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Justin Kapelmaster, So., G, Ferris State (made 42 saves in 62:24 Friday at Yost Ice Arena, leading the Bulldogs to a thrilling, 3-2 overtime win over in-state rival Michigan – Ferris State's first in Ann Arbor since 2006); Devin Kero, Jr., G, Michigan Tech (posted a 1.95 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in his first two games of the season, making 50 stops against Bowling Green); Olivier Mantha, Sr., G, Alaska Anchorage (backstopped the Seawolves to a road split at Lake Superior State with a WCHA-high 65 saves, including 34 in a 4-1 victory Saturday).
Eric Dop, Fr., G
Bowling Green (Lewis Center, Ohio)
Dop repeats as WCHA Rookie of the Week after his second-straight stellar performance in a 2-1 Bowling Green victory, this time last Friday night at then-No. 20 Michigan Tech. Manning the net for the Falcons in a rematch of the 2017 WCHA Championship, the freshman from Lewis Center, Ohio stopped 21-of-22 shots. A game-high nine of Dop's saves came in the third period, as the Falcons held on to the one-goal margin throughout the final 20 minutes. In fact, the lone goal he allowed in the contest came on a first-period power play. Dop's WCHA honors the last two weeks are the first of his career.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Combs, Fr., F, Bemidji State (had a two-point weekend, including the game-tying, power-play goal Saturday as the Beavers rallied for a 3-2 win and split at Alaska); Jack McNeely, Fr., D, Minnesota State (had an assist in both games as the Mavericks split at Northern Michigan, running his point streak to three-straight contests); Coale Norris, Fr., F, Ferris State (scored a key goal in the Bulldogs' eventual 3-2, overtime win Friday at Michigan, tying the game 1-1 in the first period).