Gophers forward Nick Bjugstad is the WCHA's offensive player of the week. He had two game-winners -- the fifth and sixth of his career --as the U beat Michigan State 5-1 and 7-1.
He also had one assist in the series and his llne had nine points.
Bjugstad has 35 goals, 30 assists and 65 points in 71 games. This is his fourth weekly WCHA award. He was the rookie of the week twice as a freshman and was named offensive player of the week once as a sophomore.
The five other nominees were Matt Bailey, F, Alaska Anchorage; Archie Skalbeck, F, Colorado College; Milos Gordic, F, Michigan Tech; Mike Seidel, F, Minnesota Duluth and Chase Grant, F, Minnesota State.
Colorado College senior defenseman Mike Boivin, Delta, British Columbia, is the defensive player of the week.
He had two assists, 12 shots on goal and earned a +1 plus/minus rating as the Tiger swept Clarkson by 5-4 scores twice. Gophers junior goalie Michael Shibrowski was the lone other nominee. He had a shutout against the Spartans until the closing minutes the first game.
UMD forward Austin Farley, Niles, Ill., is the rookie of the week. Farley had a goal and two assists as the Bulldogs beat Ohio State 6-2 on Friday. He also had an assist the second game which UMD lost 3-2.
Gophers defenseman Brady Skjie and CC forward Hunter Fejes also were nominated.
DU LOADED ON DEFENSE
Denver coach George Gwozdecky could go with a three-man rotation in the nets if he wanted to.
“Any successful team has to be strong down the middle,” Gwozdecky said during Pioneers' media day. “We have three outstanding goaltenders in Sam Brittain, Adam Murray and Juho Olkinuora all returning, and all of whom give us a chance to win any game.
"We’re going to be extremely strong on the blueline with great depth, not only with the incoming talent we have, but from our returning players as well, led by captain Paul Phillips. And last but not least, we’re going to be pretty strong down the middle up front. Nick Shore and Shawn Ostrow, just to name a few of our outstanding centermen. What we don’t know is where we’re going to get the offense from our wings. We’re hoping the guys like Ty Loney, Daniel Doremus, Chris Knowlton and Zac Larraza, just to name a few, will be able to add the firepower we need.”
Denver was picked to finish third in the WCHA and is No. 7 and 8 in the two national polls.
“The history of the [Denver] program has a lot of success, and a lot of tradition,” Gwozdecky said. “No matter where you go and no matter what year it is, I think people know DU is going to have one of the top teams in the conference and one of the top teams in the country.
"They’ll look at [this year’s] team a little differently, but I think no matter who is playing for us, and no matter who is in our lineup, we’re capable of winning any game that we’re in.”
Phillips talked about how the Pioneers are not overlooking anyone, including UMass-Lowell this weekend.
“We’re stressing the importance of these games, because last season we had some lapses in nonconference games,” Phillips said. “[The game against] Alabama Huntsville comes to mind, and that will not happen this year. It can’t happen this year. That’s a focal point for us going forward.”
* Referee Peter Friesema has been suspended indefinitely by the WCHA pending a review of an off-ice incident that occurred at the Anchorage International Airport on Sunday.