EDINA, Minn. – Bemidji State University forward Kyle Bauman has been selected as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman defender Tommy Muck has been tabbed as the league’s Rookie of the Week for the roles the duo played in Bemidji State WCHA series sweep of Michigan Tech, Feb. 3-4.
Bauman scored a goal in both victories as the Beavers moved within three points of clinching their first-ever MacNaughton Cup. The junior from Apopka, Fla., capped Bemidji State’s three-goal, third-period comeback in Friday’s 4-2 win, posting his 10th goal of the season into an empty net at the 19-minute mark. He then needed just one minute to light the lamp in Saturday’s series finale, scoring 60 seconds into the contest to jump-start the Beavers toward an eventual 3-0 triumph. Bauman’s two scores came on just four shots, as he tied for the WCHA weekend goals lead. This is Bauman’s first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and his third career honor, including a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades.
Muck was a factor on both ends of the ice during Bemidji State’s sweep of Michigan Tech, leading the WCHA with six blocked shots and tying for the league lead with three points. The freshman from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. helped catapult the Beavers’ series-opening victory with a career-high three assists – all in the third period as BSU erased a 2-1 deficit and won, 4-2. He posted his first helper 3:45 into the third to tie the game, added another on the eventual game-winning goal from Leo Fitzgerald at the 5:52 mark and finished the outburst with an assist on an empty-net goal at the 19-minute mark. He added a shot on goal, helped Bemidji State hold the Huskies to just two goals for the series and tied for second in the WCHA with a +3 rating. This is Muck’s first career WCHA weekly award.
In addition to Bauman and Muck, Northern Michigan University goaltender Atte Tolvanen earned the league's defensive player of the week honor.
This week’s awards mark the eighth and ninth of the 2016-17 season for BSU. In addition to goaltender Michael Bitzer’s four weekly awards (Oct. 17 and 31, Nov. 14 and Dec. 21), Brendan Harms earned the Nov. 21 honor, freshman Zack Whitecloud was named rookie of the week Oct. 8, and Phillip Marinaccio was the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Nov. 8.
Bemidji State (17-11-3; 17-4-2-2 WCHA) hits the road Feb. 10-11 for a WCHA series at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. The teams open the series at 7:07 p.m. Friday with a 7:07 p.m. opening face off set for Saturday at Von Braun Arena in Huntsville, Ala. BSU needs just one win to secure the regular-season championship with four games to play.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.