WCHA announces players of the week

Nick_BjugstadFrom the WCHA …
Red Baron WCHA Offensive Player of the Week
Nick Bjugstad • Junior, Forward, University of Minnesota

MADISON, Wis. – University of Minnesota forward Nick Bjugstad, who tallied six scoring points in Mariucci Classic victories over Air Force and top-ranked Boston College last weekend, is the Red Baron® WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for January 3. He also earned the weekly award on Oct. 16 for his efforts against Michigan State.

A 6-6, 220-pound junior from Blaine, Minn., Bjugstad scored two goals and set up four others in the two holiday tournament games at Mariucci Arena, had five shots on goal and earned a +3 plus/minus rating as the Golden Gophers improved to 13-3-3 overall and moved into the No. 1 ranking in this week’s polls. After earning two assists in a 4-0 triumph over Air Force last Saturday (Dec. 29), he came back with a career-high four points (2g, 2a) in a 8-1 victory over BC on Sunday (Dec. 30) as Minnesota won the Mariucci Classic. He scored the game-opening goal on a power-play at 2:52 of the first period and then had his second of the game at 13:53 to stake UM to a 3-0 lead. For his efforts, Bjugstad was named to the all-tournament team.
A draftee of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, Bjugstad ranks second on his team in scoring so far this season, with 10 goals, nine assists and 19 points in 19 games. For his 88-game collegiate career at Minnesota, he has 43 goals, 38 assists and 81 points.
Also nominated: Shawn Ostrow, F, DU; Alex Petan, F, MTU; Johnny McInnis, F, MSU.
 
Red Baron WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Pheonix Copley • Freshman, Goaltender, Michigan Technological University

MADISON, Wis. – Michigan Technological University goaltender Pheonix Copley, who posted back-to-back shutouts over Michigan and Western Michigan and earned tournament MVP honors while leading the Huskies to the Great Lakes Invitational tournament championship in Detroit last weekend, has been named the Red Baron® WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for January 3.

A 6-3, 175-pound freshman from North Pole, Alaska, Copley became the first Michigan Tech goaltender to record consecutive shutouts since Bob McManus in 1955-56 as the Huskies prevailed 4-0 and 4-0 at Joe Louis Arena to earn the school’s first GLI title since 1980.  He stopped all 38 shots on goal last Saturday (Dec. 29) to help Tech defeat the Wolverines, 4-0. He then turned in 32 more saves in a 4-0 victory over No. 7-ranked Western Michigan in the championship game on Sunday (Dec. 30). He held the two opponents a combined 0-for-12 on the power-play, including :39 seconds of 5-on-3 during a critical time in the title game.
In nine games played between the pipes as a rookie this season, Copley owns a 3.30 goals-against average, a 3-6-0 record and a .892 save percentage.
Also nominated: Juho Olkinuora, G, DU; Adam Wilcox, G, UM; Tyler Elbrecht, D, MSU.
 
Red Baron WCHA Rookie of the Week
Adam Wilcox • Freshman, Goaltender, University of Minnesota

MADISON, Wis. – University of Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox, who keyed a stellar defensive effort in wins over Air Force and Boston College that helped the Golden Gophers capture the Mariucci Classic championship and earned him tournament MVP honors last weekend, has been named the Red Baron® WCHA Rookie of the Week for January 3. He also earned the weekly award on Nov. 13 for his efforts at Alaska Anchorage.

A 6-0, 186-pound freshman from South St. Paul, Minn., Wilcox stopped 50 of 51 shots on goal for a .980 save percentage, posted five shutout periods, and held his the Falcons and Eagles to a combined 1-of-7 on the power-play as he backstopped the Golden Gophers to their first Mariucci Classic title since 2008-09. After turning aside all 18 shots in a 4-0 shutout (his third of the season) over Air Force last Saturday (Dec. 29), Wilcox came back with a career-high 32 saves in Minnesota’s 8-1 triumph over Boston College, earning him Mariucci Classic MVP and all-tournament team accolades.
A draftee of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Wilcox sports a 12-2-3 record in nets this season, with a 1.63 goals-against average and .927 save percentage over 1,064:23 of action.
Also nominated: Quentin Shore, F, DU; Jujhar Khaira, F, MTU.
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About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 20-plus years of experience.

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