BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Nov. 1, 2018 – With the first full month of the 2018-19 campaign completed, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is proud to honor some of its many early-season standouts. The WCHA Players of the Month, Powered by
GoodWood Hockey, for September/October 2018 are: Ohio State University sophomore Emma Maltais (Forward), University of Minnesota sophomore Emily Brown (Defenseman), Minnesota State University freshman Abigail Levy (Goaltender) and University of Wisconsin freshman forward Sophie Shirley (Rookie).
Emma Maltais, So., Ohio State (Burlington, Ontario)
Maltais, the 2017-18 WCHA Rookie of the Year, picked right up where she left off with a WCHA-best 15 points, the second-best total nationally. A true playmaker, the Burlington, Ontario native is second in the country with a WCHA-best 11 assists, while adding four goals (including a power-play strike and a short-handed marker) for No. 4 Ohio State.
The sophomore sensation has collected at least a point in eight of 10 games, while five of her assists have set up game-winning goals for the 7-3-0 Buckeyes. Maltais has six multi-point efforts, including three-straight two-point contests (1g-5a) to open the season in wins at Quinnipiac (Sept. 28-29) and vs. then-No. 8 Colgate (Oct. 5). She also had two points (1g-1a) in a victory vs. Minnesota State (Oct. 12), a goal and a helper in a 3-2 road win at now-No. 2 Minnesota (Oct. 10) and a one-goal, two-assist effort in a road triumph at No. 10 St. Lawrence (Oct. 27).
Maltais is also tops in the WCHA with 1.50 points-per-game and 1.10 assists-per-contest. This is her fifth career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Abby Roque, Jr., Wisconsin (the first NCAA skater with a hat trick this season, she posted a team-best 14 points and a +10 rating to help the top-ranked Badgers go 9-1-0); Nicole Schammel, RS-Sr., Minnesota (opened the season on a nine-game scoring streak and finished the month with 12 points to lead the second-ranked Gophers); Julia Tylke, Sr., St. Cloud State (had a 10-point month for the Huskies, capping it with the game-winning goal against then-No. 5 Minnesota Duluth).
Emily Brown, So., Minnesota (Blaine, Minn.)
Brown was a force on both ends of the ice and on special teams for No. 2 Minnesota, leading WCHA defensemen with two goals, one power-play marker and three power-play points, while blocking 13 shots for a Gophers defense that allowed just 1.60 goals-per-game. The sophomore also proved to be a clutch player, as both of her goals were game-winners (tied for the most nationally for a blueliner and tied for third among all NCAA skaters).
A native of Blaine, Minn., Brown compiled six points in the season's opening weeks, adding four assists to go along with her two goals (which tied for sixth-best among NCAA Division I defensemen). Both of her game-winning goals came against ranked opponents: First, in a season-opening, 4-2 win over then-No. 10 Mercyhurst (Sept. 28); then, the game's only goal in a 1-0 triumph at No. 1 Wisconsin (Oct. 27). Brown also assisted on the game-winning marker of a 6-2 victory at St. Cloud State on Oct. 12, one of her two helpers in that game.
This is Brown's first career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Jincy Dunne, RS-Jr., Ohio State (OSU's captain led WCHA defensemen with eight points and seven assists, while adding 19 blocked shots for the fourth-ranked Buckeyes); Maddie Rolfes, Sr., Wisconsin (ranked second among WCHA blueliners with a +9 rating, while adding five assists – a career-high three of which came in the top-ranked Badgers' 4-1 win over No. 2 Minnesota to end the month).
Abigail Levy, Fr., Minnesota State (Congers, N.Y.)
A true freshman, Levy has played 99.7-percent of her team's minutes in net and has been nothing short of sensational in leading Minnesota State to its best start (4-3-0) since the 2012-13 season. Over the first month of her collegiate career, she posted a WCHA-best .954 save percentage (seventh nationally among D-I goaltenders) and two shutouts (tied for second in the NCAA), along with a 1.52 goals-against average (second in the league and 10th in the country) and 228 saves (third in the WCHA and fifth in the NCAA).
A three-time WCHA weekly award honoree, Levy's highlights include shutouts in her collegiate debut (a 22-save effort in a 2-0 victory over Rensselaer on Sept. 29) and on the road at Bemidji State (25 saves over 65 minutes Oct. 27). She also posted back-to-back 42-save games on the road at No. 4 Ohio State (Oct. 13-14), and a 30-stop contest Oct. 26 at BSU.
Levy and the Minnesota State penalty-kill unit are a perfect 20-for-20 this season.
Honorable Mention: Andrea Braendli, G, Ohio State (took over the Buckeyes' net for the third game of the season and has not looked back, ranking second in the WCHA with 232 saves and a .947 save percentage for No. 4 OSU); Kristen Campbell, Jr., Wisconsin (posted an NCAA-best nine wins, including three against ranked opponents, while ranking second in the WCHA with a 1.35 goals-against average for the top-ranked Badgers); Alex Gulstene, So., Minnesota (went a perfect 5-0-0 in five starts, including four against nationally-ranked opponents, while posting a WCHA-best 1.20 goals-against average and two shutouts, along with a .945 save percentage); Emma Polusny, So., St. Cloud State (posted a 3-2-0 record, while making 192 saves with a .928 save percentage); Maddie Rooney, Jr., Minnesota Duluth (led the NCAA with 278 saves thanks to a trio of 40-plus save efforts, while posting a .930 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average for the No. 7 Bulldogs).
Sophie Shirley, F, Wisconsin (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Shirley made her presence felt immediately in the college game, leading all WCHA rookies with 10 points off an NCAA-freshmen-best six goals in September and October. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native also as the most goals of any Badgers skater, helping No. 1 Wisconsin open with a 9-1-0 mark.
One of four NCAA rookies with a pair of game-winning goals this season (coming in back-to-back games against Princeton), Shirley was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week and the NCAA Third Star of the Week on Oct. 23 after a three-goal weekend against the Tigers. Her 10 points rank second nationally among freshmen, while her four first-period goals are tied for the best mark in the NCAA among all skaters. Shirley, the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL), also added a one-goal, one-assist effort in UW's 4-1 win over No. 2 Minnesota on Oct. 28. Finally, among NCAA rookies that have taken at least 15 shots on goal, Shirley is tied for first with a .250 shooting percentage (lighting the lamp six times).
Honorable Mention: Andrea Braendli, G, Ohio State (took over the Buckeyes' net for the third game of the season and has not looked back, ranking second in the WCHA with 232 saves and a .947 save percentage for No. 4 OSU); Jenniina Nylund, F, Ohio State (led WCHA freshmen with seven assists and ranked second with nine points, contributing four multi-point efforts for the Huskies – including two against ranked opponents).
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