A slightly edited WCHA news release:
Defensive Player of the Week: Alex Kangas, Jr., G, Minnesota
Alex Kangas was the Gophers' goalie in a tie and victory against defending league champion North Dakota last weekend.
A 6-2, 195-pound junior from Rochester, Minn., Kangas stopped 64 of 68 shots in the weekend series against the Fighting Sioux for a .941 saves percentage as the host Golden Gophers rallied for a 3-3 overtime tie last Friday before claiming a 5-1 victory Saturday. Minnesota is 7-1-1 over its last nine games.
An Atlanta Thrashers’ (NHL) draftee, Kangas also helped Minnesota hold the nation’s sixth-ranked power-play scoreless on all 10 of their man-advantage opportunities in the series, stopping 10 shots during North Dakota’s power-play chances.
Kangas had 30 saves in the 3-3 tie last Friday as Minnesota scored the game-tying goal at 17:56 of the third period. He then stopped 34 of 35 shots on goal last Saturday in Minnesota’s 5-1 victory.
Over his last eight starts between the pipes, Kangas is 6-1-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .918 saves percentage. On the season, he is 10-7-1 with a 2.52 GAA and .914 saves percentage.
Rookie of the Week: Zach Budish, Fr., F, Minnesota
Budish, a 6-3, 220-pound freshman right winger from Edina, Minn., had a goal and two assists last weekend against the Sioux.
A draftee of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, Budish tallied a pair of assists in last Friday’s 3-3 overtime tie against North Dakota, including an assist on Jacob Cepis’ game-tying goal with just 2:04 left in regulation.
Budish then scored the game-winning goal in last Saturday’s 5-1 Minnesota win, getting an unassisted goal at 14:51 of the second period that put the Golden Gophers ahead 2-0.
He finished the weekend series with five shots on goal while earning a plus/minus rating of +2.
This season, Budish has scored five goals and set up five others for 10 points while playing in all 24 of Minnesota’s games.
North Dakota forward Danny Kristo, who had two goals against the Gophers on Friday, and St. Cloud State forward David Eddy were also nominated for the award. Both are freshmen.
Offensive Player of the Week: Kevin Clark, Sr., F, Alaska Anchorage
Alaska Anchorage right winger Kevin Clark, a 5-9, 171-pound senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, led the Seawolves to a road sweep of Michigan Tech.
Clark assisted on the game-opening goal Friday and then scored once himself in the third period as Alaska Anchorage defeated MTU, 6-2.
Last Saturday, Clark had his first collegiate hat trick and also contribute one assist for a career-best-tying four points, leading the Seawolves to a 5-4 triumph.
Clark has moved into the team scoring lead for Alaska Anchorage this season with 12 goals, eight assists and 20 points. He also has a team-leading four power-play goals.
Also nominated for this award was Gophers junior Jacob Cepis, who scored the tying goal with 2 minutes left in regulation in a 3-3 overtime tie with North Dakota. He also had a goal, his fourth in six games, on Saturday.