BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Nov. 5, 2018 – After men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) teams made statements in both nonconference and league play, the WCHA Players of the Week for Nov. 2-3, 2018 are: Minnesota State University junior Charlie Gerard (Forward), Michigan Technological University senior Keegan Ford (Defenseman), Northern Michigan University senior Atte Tolvanen (Goaltender) and Lake Superior State University freshman defenseman Jacob Nordqvist (Rookie).
Charlie Gerard, Jr., Minnesota State (Rocky River, Ohio)
Gerard had four points on a goal and three assists, helping lead now-No. 3/4 Minnesota State to a two-game, nonconference sweep of then-No. 10/8 Minnesota. The junior from Rocky River, Ohio scored the deciding goal, had two assists and was +3 in Friday’s 5-1 win in Minneapolis, as his marker at 15:41 of the first period gave the Mavericks a 2-1 lead and stood as his first collegiate game-winner. Gerard then assisted on the game-tying, power-play goal in Saturday’s contest, setting the stage for a 2-1 home win over the Golden Gophers. In extending his point streak to four games, Gerard helped Minnesota State sweep its in-state rivals for the first time since Dec. 3-4, 2010. His three assists last weekend tied for the WCHA lead, while he was tied for second in points. This is Gerard’s first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Kruse, So., Bowling Green (tallied a two-point game on a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win for No. 9/10 Falcons on Friday vs. Northern Michigan); Troy Loggins, Sr., Northern Michigan (scored his first goal of the season Friday and added an assist Saturday, helping the Wildcats to a series split at No. 9/10 Bowling Green); Jake Lucchini, Sr., Michigan Tech (had two goals and one assist in the Huskies’ 4-1 road win Saturday at Alabama Huntsville); Anthony Nellis, Sr., Lake Superior State (led the WCHA with five points, tied for the third-best total nationally, including a four-point effort Friday in the Lakers’ 5-2 nonconference win over then-No. 12/13 Michigan); Coale Norris, So., Ferris State (tied for the WCHA lead with three assists and added a +4 rating, helping the Bulldogs to a nonconference split with Michigan State).
Keegan Ford, Sr., Michigan Tech (Waunakee, Wis.)
Ford tied for the WCHA defenseman scoring lead with three points in Michigan Tech’s league road sweep at Alabama Huntsville. The senior from Waunakee, Wis. assisted on the game-winning tally each night (2-1 and 4-1 Tech victories), while scoring his first goal of the season in Saturday’s contest for a multi-point effort. Ford added three blocked shots and a +2 rating during the series, while his goal came on his lone shot for the weekend. This is the first career WCHA weekly award for Ford, who began his career at the University of Wisconsin.
Honorable Mention: Connor Frantti, Sr., Northern Michigan (scored his first goal of the season Saturday, which stood as his first career game-winner, helping the Wildcats to a 2-0 win and split at No. 9/10 Bowling Green); Nate Kallen, Jr., Ferris State (led all NCAA skaters with a +6 rating, while adding two assists and two blocked shots as the Bulldogs split a nonconference series with Michigan State).
Atte Tolvanen, Sr., Northern Michigan (Vihti, Finland)
Tolvanen held the nation’s top-ranked offensive team, which entered the series averaging over five goals a game, to just three on the weekend as Northern Michigan earned a WCHA road split at then-No. 9/10 Bowling Green. The senior from Vihti, Finland was outstanding Saturday night, blanking the Falcons 2-0 on 35 saves for his 10th career shutout – tied for the second-most in NMU program history. He also posted 24 stops in Friday’s 3-1 loss, as the league’s saves leader has at least 20 in each game this season. Among WCHA goaltenders with two starts last weekend, Tolvanen was tops with a .952 save percentage, third with a 1.51 goals-against average and second with 59 saves. This is Tolvanen’s first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his ninth career honor.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green (posted a 1.53 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage, helping the No. 9/10 Falcons split with visiting Northern Michigan); Mathias Israelsson, Sr., Minnesota State (stopped 38-of-40 shots in the No. 3/4 Mavericks’ nonconference sweep of then-No. 10/8 Minnesota, as his 1.00 goals-against average led WCHA netminders that made two starts); Henry Johnson, So., Bemidji State (recorded his first collegiate shutout Friday at Alaska Anchorage, making 18 stops in the Beavers’ 2-0 road win); Matt Jurusik, Jr., Michigan Tech (led WCHA goaltenders that made two starts with a 1.00 goals-against average, while posting a .950 save percentage in the Huskies’ road sweep at Alabama Huntsville); Nick Kossoff, Sr., Lake Superior State (stopped 28-of-30 shots Friday, backstopping the Lakers to a 5-2 win over then-No. 12/13 Michigan); Roni Salmenkangas, Fr., Ferris State (dazzled in his lone start, with 27 saves in the Bulldogs’ 4-1 nonconference home win over Michigan State).
Jacob Nordqvist, D, Lake Superior State (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Nordqvist had a terrific Great Lake State Weekend, tying for the WCHA scoring lead among defensemen and topping all rookie skaters with three points – including the game-winning goal Friday in Lake Superior State’s 5-2 victory over then-No. 12/13 Michigan. The freshman from Gothenberg, Sweden lit the lamp just 39 seconds into the second period Friday, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead with his first collegiate goal. He then added a pair of assists Saturday in a 5-3 loss. Nordqvist matched Ferris State’s Cooper Zech for the NCAA rookie lead with a +4 rating, while his three points were tied for second nationally. This is Nordqvist’s first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Garrett Klee, F, Northern Michigan (picked up his first collegiate point, assisting on the game-winning goal Saturday in the Wildcats’ 2-0 victory Saturday at No. 9/10 Bowling Green); Julian Napravnik, F, Minnesota State (had two assists, with a helper in each game, as the No. 3/4 Mavericks swept a nonconference series with then-No. 10/8 Minnesota); Owen Sillinger, F, Bemidji State (tied for the NCAA rookie lead with two goals, scoring both Beavers’ tallies in a 2-0 road win Friday at Alaska Anchorage); Colin Swoyer, D, Michigan Tech (scored his first collegiate goal, the game-winner Friday, while adding an assist Saturday to help the Huskies sweep host Alabama Huntsville); Hunter Wendt, F, Ferris State (scored twice in Friday’s contest, while finishing the weekend with a +3 rating and a WCHA-rookie best five blocked shots, helping the Bulldogs to a nonconference split with Michigan State).