BLOOMINGTON, Mn. Following Week 12 of the 2018-19 season, the men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is proud to recognize four student-athletes as its Players of the Week. The honorees for games of Dec. 28-31, 2018 are: Lake Superior State University senior Diego Cuglietta (Forward), junior Collin Saccoman (Defenseman) and senior Nick Kossoff (Goaltender), and Ferris State University freshman defenseman Cooper Zech (Rookie).
WCHA Forward of the Week
Diego Cuglietta, Sr., Lake Superior State (Kamloops, British Columbia)
Cuglietta was named the Great Lakes Invitational Most Valuable Player after leading Lake Superior State to its first GLI title in program history. The senior form Kamloops, British Columbia led the nation with four goals, posting consecutive multi-goal efforts – including the overtime winner in the Lakers’ semifinal victory over Michigan State. After tying the score with a first-period, power-play marker in Sunday’s contest vs. the Spartans, Cuglietta played the OT hero by lighting the lamp 3:05 int the extra session. He then scored the LSSU’s first goal of the all-WCHA championship game, giving the Lakers a 1-0 lead over Michigan Tech. Cuglietta helped seal the outcome with an empty-net goal as Lake State defeated the Huskies, 6-3, to hoist the trophy at the 54th GLI. In addition to his goal-scoring exploits, Cuglietta tallied nine shots on net and a plus-3 rating. This is Cuglietta’s first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State (had a three-point weekend with an assist and two goals, including the tie-breaking, third-period game-winner Saturday in the Bulldogs’ nationally-televised, 3-2 nonconference road win at Minnesota); Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State (continued his recent surge with a goal and an assist in Saturday night’s game at Northern Michigan); Aaron Miller, So., Bemidji State (had a hand in three of the six Beavers goals in a nonconference road series at Air Force, with an assist and two markers).
WCHA Defenseman of the Week
Collin Saccoman, Jr., Lake Superior State (Stillwater, Minn.)
Saccoman was a force on both ends of the ice for first-time Great Lakes Invitational champion Lake Superior State, leading the entire country with 11 blocked shots and topping the WCHA with a plus-4 rating as the Lakers defeated Michigan State and Michigan Tech. The junior from Stillwater, Minn. blocked seven shots against the Spartans and four against the Huskies in the championship game, earning All-Tournament Team honors at the 54th GLI. Saccoman also tallied a pair of assists in the Lakers’ semifinal win, setting up LSSU’s final two regulation goals in the eventual 4-3, overtime triumph over the Spartans. This is Saccoman’s first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his second career honor.
Honorable Mention: Justin Baudry, Sr., Bemidji State (had a hand in the Beavers’ first two goals Saturday, helping BSU earn a 3-3 nonconference road tie at Air Force); Nate Kallen, Jr., Ferris State (paced WCHA blueliners with three points on a goal and two assists, including a helper on the game-winning goal Saturday as the Bulldogs posted a 3-2, nonconference road win at Minnesota).
WCHA Goaltender of the Week
Nick Kossoff, Sr., Lake Superior State (West Des Moines, Iowa)
The only WCHA goaltender to earn a pair of victories last week, Kossoff backstopped Lake Superior State to the first Great Lakes Invitational championship in program history. The senior from West Des Moines, Iowa made 29 saves in the Lakers’ 4-3, overtime win over Michigan State in the semifinals, including a combined 15 stops over the third period and extra session. Kossoff then turned aside 18 shots in Lake State’s 6-3 triumph over Michigan Tech in the GLI Championship Game, finishing the 54th GLI with 47 saves. This is Kossoff’s first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his third career honor.
Honorable Mention: Robbie Beydoun, So., Michigan Tech (ranked second in the WCHA with 70 saves, including a career-high 36 stops – and three more in the shootout – as the Huskies advanced to the GLI Championship Game following a 2-2, semifinal-round tie vs. Michigan); Roni Salmenkangas, Fr., Ferris State (led the WCHA with 71 saves, including a brilliant, career-best 44-stop performance in the Bulldogs’ 3-2, nonconference road win Saturday at Minnesota); Jake Theut, Sr., Alabama Huntsville (stopped 41-of-43 shots against No. 11 Northeastern last Saturday, an outstanding performance in the Chargers’ narrow, 2-0 setback).
WCHA Rookie of the Week
Cooper Zech, D, Ferris State (South Lyon, Mich.)
Zech continued his recent hot stretch, tying for the WCHA rookie lead with two points (tied for second among league defensemen) in Ferris State’s nonconference road series at Minnesota. The freshman blueliner from South Lyon, Mich. scored a power-play goal an added an assist, while blocking a pair of shots as the Bulldogs earned a split against the host Gophers. This is Zech’s second WCHA weekly award of his freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Jacob Nordqvist, F, Lake Superior State (his lone point of the 54th GLI was a big one, as he assisted on Diego Cuglietta’s overtime winner against Michigan State in the semifinals, helping the Lakers on to their first GLI title); Owen Sillinger, F, Bemidji State (scored the game-tying goal with 4:02 remaining in regulation Saturday, helping the Beavers earn a 3-3, nonconference road draw at Air Force).