Kossoff and Saccoman Named WCHA Players of the Week

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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) – Nick Kossoff and Collin Saccoman have been named Western Collegiate Hockey Association Players of the Week, as announced by conference officials on Monday.

Kossoff and Saccoman earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week and WCHA Defenseman of the Week honors, respectively, for their roles in Lake Superior State’s (23-11-2) sweep of Bemidji State (4-2, 3-1) in the quarterfinals of the WCHA Playoffs over the weekend. It was the Lakers’ first-ever WCHA playoff series victory and their first playoff series win since defeating Alaska at home in two games during the 2011-12 season, when the Lakers were in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Kossoff (17-6-2), a senior from West Des Moines, Iowa who is majoring in kinesiology, had a 2-0-0 record in two starts over the weekend. He led all WCHA netminders in saves (68) and save percentage (.958), while tying for the WCHA lead in wins (2) and win percentage (1.000) to help Lake Superior State to a sweep of Bemidji State in the quarterfinals of the WCHA Playoffs. In addition, his 1.50 goals against average ranked second in the conference. Kossoff began the weekend with 29 saves and a .935 save percentage on Friday. He then tallied 39 saves and a .975 save percentage on Saturday. In Saturday’s series-clinching victory, 17 of Kossoff’s saves came in the third period, while the Lakers scored twice in the final period to win 3-1.

Saccoman (10-15--25), a junior defenseman from Stillwater, Minnesota who is majoring in criminal justice, led NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey with nine blocked shots, while leading WCHA blueliners in points (3), points per game (1.50) and goals per shot on goal percentage (.500) on the week. Saccoman also tied for the lead amongst WCHA defensemen in goals (1), assists (2), goals per game (0.50), assists per game (1.00), power-play assists (2) and power-play points (2). With his nine blocked shots, Saccoman moved into a tie for the most blocked shots in the WCHA this season (92), which is also tied for the second-most in the nation. He began the weekend with two assists, six blocked shots and a +1 rating on Friday. Saccoman’s first assist came on sophomore defenseman Lukas Kaelble’s goal, scored at 18:29 of the second period, which broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Lakers a lead they would not relinquish. He then assisted on the game-winning goal, scored by senior winger Anthony Nellis at 9:49 of the third period. In Saturday’s win, Saccoman blocked another three shots and he scored an empty-net insurance goal at 19:22 of the 3rd period to seal the victory.

Saccoman has been named WCHA Defenseman of the Week three times this season and WCHA Defenseman of the Month twice. This is the second time that Kossoff has been named WCHA Goaltender of the Week in 2018-19.

With the series win over Bemidji State, Lake Superior State advances to the WCHA Semifinals. They will travel to face top-seeded Minnesota State this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary). All three games are set to begin at 8:07 p.m. EDT.