Matt Jurusik (Goaltender), Eric Gotz (Defenseman) and Logan Pietila (Rookie) all took home monthly honors from the WCHA for their efforts in the month of December. Here is what the WCHA release had to say:
WCHA Goaltender of the Month
Matt Jurusik, Sr., Michigan Tech (La Grange, Ill.)
Michigan Tech senior Matt Jurusik tied for the league lead with four wins in December, posting a 4-1-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .925 save percentage. The La Grange, Ill., native was named to the Great Lakes Invitational All-Tournament Team after backstopping the Huskies to the tournament title with a pair of 4-2 wins over No. 18/UR Michigan State and Michigan. The senior netminder stopped 62-of-66 shots in the two wins, including a WCHA period season-high 20 saves in the opening frame of the championship contest with the Wolverines. This is his first WCHA monthly honor.
WCHA Defenseman of the Month
Eric Gotz, So., Michigan Tech (Hermantown, Minn.)
Michigan Tech sophomore Eric Gotz led WCHA and shared the NCAA lead in scoring among defensemen in December with seven points on a goal and six assists for the Huskies. The Hermantown, Minn., native netted the game-winning goal for MTU in a come-from-behind, 4-2, win over No. 18/UR Michigan State in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 30 and added a pair of assists in the tourney to earn a berth on the all-tournament team. Three of his seven points for the month came on the power play (three assists). Gotz also blocked seven shots and was +3 for the month. He enters the new year on a run of 12 points (3g-9a) over his last 12 contests. Gotz ranks fifth in defensemen scoring in the WCHA this season with 13 points on four goals and nine assists. This is his first WCHA monthly award.
WCHA Rookie of the Month
Logan Pietila, Fr., F, Michigan Tech (Howell, Mich.)
Michigan Tech freshman forward Logan Pietila saved his top performance of December for the month’s final day, recording a natural hat trick in Michigan Tech’s 4-2 victory over Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational Championship Game. The Howell, Mich., native led WCHA rookies in goals (three), points (four), game-winning goals (one), and hat tricks (one). Pietila earned MVP honors at the GLI as Tech won the tournament title for the 11th time and first since 2012. He ranks third amongst WCHA rookies with 4 goals this season. This is his first WCHA monthly honor.
The only award not won by a Husky was Forward of the Month which went to Alex Barber who had 7 points while MTU’s Alec Broetzman was an honorable mention with 6 points including 4 goals. These mark the first monthly honors for a Michigan Tech player this season and including weekly awards that makes eight for the Huskies.
Tim is a 2004 graduate of Michigan Tech. He is a co-founder of both Mitch’s Misfits and Tech Hockey Guide. With recent additions to the staff, Tim is again able to focus on his passion, recruiting. He currently works as an environmental engineer and resides in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area.