Oct. 16, 2012
University of Minnesota forward Nick Bjugstad, who scored both game-winning goals while boosting the host and top-ranked Golden Gophers to a season-opening sweep over visiting Michigan State last weekend, has been named the Red Baron® WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for October 16.
Centering Minnesota's top line that included left winger Kyle Rau and right winger Christian Isackson, Bjugstad led the trio to a combined for nine scoring points over the weekend. A 6-6, 220-pound junior from Blaine, Minn., and a draftee of the NHL's Florida Panthers, Bjugstad notched the game-winning goal and added an assist in defending MacNaughton Cup champion Minnesota's 5-1 victory over Michigan State last Friday (Oct. 12) night at Mariucci Arena, earning First Star of the Game honors. He then came back on Saturday (Oct. 13) to again tally the game-winner as Minnesota completed the sweep of the Spartans with a 7-1 triumph.
An All-WCHA First Team and All-American Second Team honoree a year ago, Bjugstad also fired five shots on goal in the series and earned a +4 plus/minus rating. The two-point night last Friday was his 17th career multi-point game, with Minnesota holding a 14-1-2 record in those games while his two game-winners upped his collegiate total to six winners. In 71 collegiate games, Bjugstad has 35 goals, 30 assists and 65 points.
The award marks Bjugstad's second career WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor. The forward also earned the distinction as a sophomore on Nov. 1, 2011 after factoring into five goals in a Minnesota home-and-home split with St. Cloud State that included his first career hat trick. Bjugstad has also previously earned a pair of WCHA Rookie of the Week honors in 2010-11.
The WCHA also named Colorado College's Mike Boivin as the Red Baron® WCHA Defensive Player of the Week and Minnesota Duluth's Austin Farley as the Red Baron® WCHA Rookie of the Week.
Minnesota opens WCHA play this weekend with a two-game series at Michigan Tech.
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