BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WLUC) -- Both posting career nights in Saturday's victory over then-No. 1 Minnesota State, junior Ben Newhouse (defenseman) and freshman Michael Van Unen (rookie) have been named Players of the Week as announced by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Monday afternoon. Newhouse made headlines with his game-winning goal on Saturday night while Van Unen tallied his first career goal to open the scoring before posting an assist on the Newhouse goal for the first multi-point night of his freshman campaign.
After an assist in Friday's loss to the Mavericks, Newhouse tallied the game-winner on Saturday night, his first as a Wildcat, to lift the team over Minnesota State and secure the upset bid. Newhouse also contributed in large part in the defensive zone to help the team to the split. With a league-leading eight blocked shots, Newhouse posted five on Friday night before sacrificing himself three more times to help the team to allow just one goal on Saturday night against one of the top scoring offenses in the country.
Scoring his first collegiate goal on Saturday night, Van Unen went on to tally an assist on the game-winner as well to post the first multi-point game of his career. His tally at 2:53 of the second period broke the 0-0 stalemate to give the Wildcats their first lead of the weekend. His point per game average (1-1-2) led the team. Stepping in as a forward for the series, the offensive-minded defenseman was very present as he also recorded four blocked shots to help the team to victory. His two points on the weekend ranked third among all WCHA members and first among rookies while his plus three on-ice rating was a league best over the weekend.
This is the first weekly WCHA honor for both Newhouse and Van Unen.
The Wildcats will return to action following the holiday break with a trip to Bowling Green, Ohio January 3-4 as the two teams are set to battle for the first time since the 2019 WCHA Semifinal series last March.