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BSU’s Bitzer, G. Fitzgerald honored by WCHA

WCHA Offensive Player of the Week
Blake Pietila – Senior, Forward
Michigan Technological University

playerPietila had three points, including Friday’s overtime game-winner, in Michigan Tech’s WCHA sweep of visiting Alaska. The senior from Brighton, Mich. helped jump-start the Huskies’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit by assisting on MTU’s first third-period goal, then netted the game-winning score 2:46 into the extra stanza. His second period, power-play strike Saturday tied the contest 2-2 en route to a 3-2 MTU victory. The New Jersey Devils’ draft pick has a goal in three straight games (four goals and an assist), and now has 10 goals and nine assists overall this season.

Also nominated: Bryce Gervais, Jr., F, Minnesota State; Stephen Perfetto, Sr., F, Lake Superior State

WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Michael Bitzer – Freshman, Goaltender
Bemidji State University

playerBitzer earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after backstopping Bemidji State to a pair of wins and the North Star College Cup championship at the Xcel Energy Center. The freshman from Moorhead, Minn. allowed just one goal in 120 minutes of play against a pair of top-10 opponents, stopping 54-of-55 shots faced for a .982 save percentage. Bitzer collected a career-high 28 saves in a 4-0 shutout over No. 7 Minnesota Duluth in the opener, before posting 26 saves in the 3-1, Championship Game victory over No. 1 Minnesota State.

Also nominated: Jon Jutzi, Jr., D, Minnesota State

WCHA Rookie of the Week
Gerry Fitzgerald – Freshman, Forward
Bemidji State University

playerFitzgerald collected two points and finished with a +3 rating, helping Bemidji State to victories over the No. 7 and No. 1 teams in country at the North Star College Cup. The rookie from Port Alberni, British Columbia assisted his brother, Leo, on a goal early in the second period of a 4-0 win over Minnesota Duluth on Friday, then scored the game-winning goal – the second of his collegiate career – in Saturday’s 3-1, Championship Game triumph over top-ranked Minnesota State.

Also nominated: Gordon Defiel, G, Lake Superior State; Joel L’Esperance, F, Michigan Tech

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