BLOOMINGTON, Mn. The Men’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to recognize four student-athletes as its Players of the Week for games of Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Northern Michigan senior Darien Craighead (Forward), Minnesota State junior Connor Mackey (Defenseman), Bemidji State junior Zach Driscoll (Goaltender) and Alabama Huntsville freshman forward Liam Izyk (Rookie) earn this week’s honors.
WCHA Forward of the Week
Darien Craighead, Sr., Northern Michigan (Surrey, B.C.)
Northern Michigan senior Darien Craighead scored his second career hat trick in the Wildcats’ 5-2 win over Ferris State Friday evening, extending his point streak to three games (5g-2a/7pts.) and concluding the month of January with 13 points scored over the nine-game stretch. The Surrey, B.C., native peppered the Bulldog net on Saturday night and finished the weekend with six shots on goal and a +3 rating. His three goals and hat trick performance led the league while his three goals tied for the third-most nationally on the weekend. This is his second career WCHA weekly honor, the first coming a week ago.
Honorable Mention: Hunter Wendt, So., Ferris State: Led the Bulldogs in scoring against No. 15/15 Northern Michigan with two points on a pair of assists, both of which came on FSU’s two goals on Saturday. Dallas Gerads, Jr., Minnesota State: Registered three points on a goal and two assists as No. 3/3 Minnesota State picked up five of six points at Alaska Anchorage. Scored once and added an assist on Friday and assisted on the game-tying goal at 19:59 of the third period on Saturday.
WCHA Defenseman of the Week
Connor Mackey, Jr., Minnesota State (Tower Lakes, Ill.)
Minnesota State junior Connor Mackey led the WCHA – and all NCAA blueliners - in scoring with five points on the weekend. The Tower Lake, Ill., native recorded a goal and four assists at Alaska Anchorage, potting the game-winning goal Friday and assisting on another score. On Saturday, with the No. 3/3 Mavericks trailing 2-0 late in the third period and skating with an extra attacker, Mackey assisted on MSU’s goals at 19:04 and 19:59 to send the game into overtime, where the Mavericks would go on to earn the extra WCHA point with a goal in the 3-on-3 period. This is Mackey’s third career WCHA weekly honor and his second in as many weeks.
Honorable Mention: Will Cullen, So., Bowling Green: Contributed a goal and an assist in the Bowling Green attack at Bemidji State over the weekend, netting the lone score for the Falcons on Friday and assisting on BGSU’s opening goal on Saturday. Finished the weekend at +1 with seven shots on goal. Ben Newhouse, Jr., Northern Michigan: Posted three assists to lead all Wildcat defenders in scoring and finished +1 with four shots on goal in NMU’s home sweep of Ferris State.
WCHA Goaltender of the Week
Zach Driscoll, Jr., Bemidji State (Apple Valley, Minn.)
Bemidji State’s Zach Driscoll turned aside 56-of-59 shots he faced, helping BSU to a WCHA series sweep over Bowling Green. Following a 29-save performance in Friday’s 4-1 victory, the Apple Valley, Minn., native made 27 saves to extend the Beavers winning streak to three games and give BSU its 10th home victory of the season. In addition, he backstopped a penalty-kill unit that held BGSU to 1-for-5 on the man advantage in the series. He finished the weekend 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .949 save percentage to lead the league in GAA and rank second in save percentage. This is his fifth WCHA weekly honor and his second this season.
Honorable Mention: Mark Sinclair, Jr., Alabama Huntsville: Led all WCHA netminders – and ranked fifth nationally - with 69 saves on a league-high 74 shots faced to help the Chargers to a home split with Michigan Tech. His .932 save percentage ranked No. 3 in the league. Nolan Kent, So., Northern Michigan: Stopped 51-of-55 shots to lead No. 15/15 Northern Michigan to a home sweep of Ferris State. Also posted an assist on Saturday’s game-winning goal.
WCHA Rookie of the Week
Liam Izyk, Fr., F, Alabama Huntsville (Blackie, Alta.)
Alabama Huntsville freshman forward Liam Izyk tied for first amongst WCHA rookies this weekend with three points on one goal and two assists as the Chargers split with Michigan Tech. His 17 faceoff wins also ranked No. 3 amongst WCHA newcomers. The Blackie, Alta., native posted his first career multi-point performance with a short-handed goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Michigan Tech, the first win over the Huskies in program history. He also assisted on the lone UAH goal on Friday. This is Izyk’s first career WCHA weekly honor.
Honorable Mention: Elias Rosén, Fr., D, Bemidji State: Tied for the lead among Beaver defenders in points with two on a pair of assists as BSU swept visiting Bowling Green to increase his team lead in assists to 15. Michael Van Unen, Fr., D, Northern Michigan: Recorded his first career three-point game with three assists in Northern Michigan’s 5-2 win over Ferris State on Friday.