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January 6, 2012
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Bemidji State's Andrew Walsh Tabbed as National College Rookie of the Month
Maine's Spencer Abbott Named National Player of the Month
National Rookie of the Month Andrew Walsh of Bemidji State

WAKEFIELD, Mass. University of Maine forward Spencer Abbott, who led the nation with 15 points in the month, is the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Division I Player of the Month for December.

A 5-10, 175-pound senior from Hamilton, Ontario, Abbott scored six goals and added nine assists for 15 points in December. He averaged 1.20 goals per game and 3.00 points per contest. Abbott finished the month +4 plus/minus rating and 26 shots on goal in five games leading Maine to a 4-1-0 record. Abbott, who was named Hockey East Player of the Week on December 5, tallied five goals and added four assists for nine points in the two-game series vs. Vermont in Burlington on Dec. 2 and 3. He scored the game-winning goal in each game against the Catamounts.

He was named the Shawn Walsh Memorial Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Florida College Classic, as he recorded six points (1g, 5a) in two games. Abbott recorded points in four of the five games he played in and recorded at least three points in all four games of those contests, which included a hat trick on Dec. 2nd at Vermont.

In 17 games overall this season, Abbott leads Hockey East with 29 points (11g,18a), averaging 1.71 points per game, both of which rank second nationally among Division I skaters.

Andrew Walsh, a freshman goaltender at Bemidji State University, is the choice as HCA National Rookie of the Month for December.

Walsh posted a 4-0-1 record in five starts between the pipes for BSU in the month of December, posting a 1.04 goals-against average, a .961 saves percentage and two shutouts. Twice named the WCHA Rookie of the Week, he helped the Beavers log an impressive 6-1-1 team record and in his four victories, he allowed just two goals on 109 shots for a .981 saves percentage and a 0.50 goals-against average. He also put together a shutout streak of 163:02 over four games.

On December 10, Walsh made a career-high 36 saves in a 2-1 triumph over nationally-ranked Denver. On Dec. 16, Walsh recorded his first collegiate shutout with a 20-save, 3-0 win over visiting Alabama-Huntsville and then came back the next night (Dec. 17) with a second straight shutout over the Chargers, this time a 27-save effort in a 5-0 victory.

Through nine games played this season, Walsh sports a 6-2-1 record and leads Bemidji State with a 1.87 GAA and .935 SV%, ranking third in the nation in both categories. He is also tied for most wins by a rookie goaltender among Div. 1 players and ranks seventh in the country with a .722 winning percentage.

HCA Commissioners' Choice Awards - December 2011

National Player of the Month
Spencer Abbott, F, Maine, HEA

National Rookie of the Month
Andrew Walsh, G, Bemidji State, WCHA

Honorable Mention Player of the Month
Brooks Ostergard, G, Robert Morris, AHA
Austin Smith, F, Colgate, ECACH
Jared Coreau, G, Northern Michigan, CCHA
Nick Jensen, D, St. Cloud State, WCHA

Honorable Mention Rookie of the Month
Matt Ginn, G, Holy Cross, AHA
Nick Oddo, F, Ohio State, CCHA
Patrick McNally, D, Harvard, ECACH
Stephen Buco, F, UMass-Lowell