Bakala tabbed WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Bakala tabbed WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
MADISON, Wis. -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (WCHA) announced today that Bemidji State University goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., Calgary, Alberta) has been selected as the Red Baron® WCHA Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Beavers to a league series sweep over then-No. 10 Colorado College.

A 5-11, 185-pound senior, Bakala stopped 52 of 55 shots on goal for a .945 series save percentage and posted four shutout periods as the Beavers forged 4-2 and 4-1 victories over the visiting Tigers to remain in contention for a top six finish in the WCHA and a first round home ice playoff berth. Bemidji State is now 3-0-1 over its last four games and 11-4-2 overall since Nov. 19.

Bakala stopped 29 of 31 shots on goal Friday (Feb. 10) in the 4-2 win over CC and then came back with 29 saves, including 15 in the first period, in Saturday’s (Feb. 11) 4-1 triumph as the Beavers completed the sweep.

Through 20 games played and 1,113:53 of action in nets this season, Bakala owns a 9-7-2 record, a 2.48 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.

The WCHA laurel marks the first of the season for Bakala and the fifth occasion the league has selected a member of the BSU hockey program for its weekly honor in 2011-12.  Fellow goaltender Andrew Walsh (Fr., Dawson Creek, British Columbia) was named as the league’s Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 26 and was the WCHA Rookie of the Week Dec. 13 and 20.  They follow Brad Hunt (Sr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia), who earned the league’s weekly defensive award (Oct. 6).

In addition to Bakala, the WCHA named University of Minnesota Duluth forward Connolly Offensive Player of the Week, while Scott Mayfield, of University of Denver, earned the WCHA Rookie of the Week award.

Bemidji State (15-12-3; 9-10-3 WCHA) returns to the road next week (Feb. 17-18), making a trip south to Minneapolis, Minn. to face No. 1 University of Minnesota (19-12-1; 15-8-0 WCHA).  The series will be played at Mariucci Arena with both games slated for a 7:07 p.m. opening face off.