BLOOMINGTON, Mn. BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Jan. 2, 2020 – The Men’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to recognize four student-athletes as its Players of the Month. The honorees for December 2019 are: Bowling Green sophomore Alex Barber (Forward) and a trio of Michigan Tech standouts - junior Eric Gotz (Defenseman), senior Matt Jurusik (Goaltender) and freshman forward Logan Pietila (Rookie).
WCHA Forward of the Month
Alex Barber, So., Bowling Green (Dublin, Ohio)
Bowling Green’s Alex Barber led the Falcons and the WCHA in points in the month of December, tallying seven over the five games. Barber tallied multiple points in two outings, including a four-point effort to begin the month against Alabama Huntsville. All three of the Dublin, Ohio, native’s goals in the month came on special teams, two being power-play tallies and one being a short-handed goal. His second goal against Alabama Huntsville and his lone goal against Lake Superior State both served as game-tying goals for the Falcons. Of his four assists, two were also on power plays. Nationally, Barber is currently tied for 19th in the nation for power-play goals with four on the season. This is his first WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Marshall Moise, Jr., Ferris State: Recorded five points on a WCHA-best four goals and one assist in December, with all four tallies coming in league play following his return from injury. Alex Broetzman, So., Michigan Tech: Shared the WCHA lead in goals for the month with four and tied for third in scoring with six points (4g-2a) as the Huskies finished the month with 4-1-1 record and won the Great Lakes Invitational. Marc Michaelis, Sr., Minnesota State: Tied for the WCHA lead in goals with four and tied for third in points with six for the month of December with three of the goals coming on special teams – two on the power play and one short-handed. The shorty was the ninth of his career, the most by a WCHA player since the 2013 realignment.
WCHA Defenseman of the Month
Eric Gotz, So., Michigan Tech (Hermantown, Minn.)
Michigan Tech sophomore Eric Gotz led WCHA and shared the NCAA lead in scoring among defensemen in December with seven points on a goal and six assists for the Huskies. The Hermantown, Minn., native netted the game-winning goal for MTU in a come-from-behind, 4-2, win over No. 18/UR Michigan State in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 30 and added a pair of assists in the tourney to earn a berth on the all-tournament team. Three of his seven points for the month came on the power play (three assists). Gotz also blocked seven shots and was +3 for the month. He enters the new year on a run of 12 points (3g-9a) over his last 12 contests. Gotz ranks fifth in defensemen scoring in the WCHA this season with 13 points on four goals and nine assists. This is his first WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Alec Rauhauser, Sr., Bowling Green: Posted five points on five assists in the month of December, with three coming on the power play. Earned WCHA Defenseman of the Week accolades with a three-assist performance against Alabama Huntsville to open the month. Stands sixth nationally in points per game among blueliners at 0.95.
WCHA Goaltender of the Month
Matt Jurusik, Sr., Michigan Tech (La Grange, Ill.)
Michigan Tech senior Matt Jurusik tied for the league lead with four wins in December, posting a 4-1-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .925 save percentage. The La Grange, Ill., native was named to the Great Lakes Invitational All-Tournament Team after backstopping the Huskies to the tournament title with a pair of 4-2 wins over No. 18/UR Michigan State and Michigan. The senior netminder stopped 62-of-66 shots in the two wins, including a WCHA period season-high 20 saves in the opening frame of the championship contest with the Wolverines. This is his first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Eric Dop, Jr., Bowling Green: Posted a 2-2-1 mark in December with back-to-back wins over Alabama Huntsville and Lake Superior State. The victory over the Lakers was his third shutout of the season, one shy of the BGSU single-season record. Dryden McKay, So., Minnesota State: Led the WCHA in goals against average in December with a mark of 1.65 along with a league-high four wins and two shutouts, giving him five whitewashes on the season and nine for his career.
WCHA Rookie of the Month
Logan Pietila, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (Howell, Mich.)
Michigan Tech freshman forward Logan Pietila saved his top performance of December for the month’s final day, recording a natural hat trick in Michigan Tech’s 4-2 victory over Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational Championship Game. The Howell, Mich., native led WCHA rookies in goals (three), points (four), game-winning goals (one), and hat tricks (one). Pietila earned MVP honors at the GLI as Tech won the tournament title for the 11th time and first since 2012.
He ranks third amongst WCHA rookies with 4 goals this season. This is his first WCHA monthly honor.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, is marking its 68th season of men’s competition in 2019-20. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.