BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Jan. 8, 2019 – Following Week 14 of the 2018-19 season, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is proud to recognize four student-athletes as the WCHA Players of the Week, Powered by
GoodWood Hockey. The honorees for games of Dec. Jan. 4-6 are: University of Minnesota Duluth freshman Gabbie Hughes (Forward), Minnesota State freshman Anna Wilgren (Defenseman) and University of Minnesota sophomore Alex Gulstene (Goaltender) and freshman forward Taylor Heise (Rookie).
Gabbie Hughes, Fr., Minnesota Duluth (Lino Lakes, Minn.)
Hughes had an unassisted power play goal in the third period Saturday against Minnesota to tie the game after picking up the first assist 53 seconds into the game. Sunday, the Lino Lakes, Minn. native scored UMD's first two goals -- both tallies cut MSU leads to one -- with the first one coming at 7:14 of the second period and the second just 23 seconds into the third period. Hughes also added the first assist the Bulldogs' insurance goal with just seconds left in regulation. Hughes led all Minnesota Cup scorers and was named to the All-Tournament Team. In addition to having posted the most goals by any WCHA player on the weekend, and tied for first for points among all league skaters, Hughes is tied for fifth in the NCAA on the weekend for points and is tied for second among all rookie scorers nationally. (2.50 PPG)
Honorable Mention: Kiki Radke, Jr., Bemidji State (led the Beavers with three points on a goal and two assists in Bemidji State's non-conference sweep of Union and finished +3 on the weekend with nine shohts on goal); Grace Zumwinkle, So., Minnesota (led the WCHA in goals (3), assists per game (1.50) and shots on goal (10) on the weekend to help the Gophers capture the inaugural Minnesota Cup championship); Corbin Boyd, Sr., Minnesota State (recorded three points on a goal and two assists for the Mavericks in Minnesota Cup competition).
Anna Wilgren, Fr., Minnesota State (Hudson, Wis.)
Freshman defenseman Anna Wilgren recorded a goal and an assist over the weekend at the Minnesota Cup. Wilgren's goal came 5:55 into the second period of the UMD game and was a power play goal to give MSU a 2-0 lead. Wilgren fired a wrist shot from the middle of the ice that went top shelf, past the UMD goaltenders stick. Her assist came during the SCSU game on Corbin Boyd's goal at the end of the second period and gave MSU a 2-1 lead. Wilgren had 13 blocked shots this weekend, including 10 against UMD, and now has a total of 67, which is first in the WCHA and second in the NCAA. Wilgren also helped the Maverick special teams kill off all four Maverick penalties on the weekend and have a penalty killing percentage of .924 (61-66) on the season which is best in the WCHA and second best in the NCAA.
Honorable Mention: Melissa Hunt, Sr., Bemidji State (tied for the WCHA blueliner points lead with two points on two assists and shared the league lead in plus/minus at +4 in the Beavers sweep of Union); Olivia Knowles, Jr., Minnesota (sent the Gophers into the championship game of the Minnesota Cup with an overtime goal against Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals); Kailee Skinner, Fr., Minnesota Duluth (scored her first collegiate goal – which was the game winner – in the third period of the Bulldogs' victory over Minnesota State in the Minnesota Cup; finished the weekend with one goal and two assists); Abby Thiessen, Jr., St. Cloud State (scored two of the Huskies' three goals at the Minnesota Cup over the weekend, including a game-tying goal against Minnesota State in the semifinals).
Alex Gulstene, So., Minnesota (Vancouver, B.C.)
Alex Gulstene made 33 saves on 36 shots faced in the semifinals of the Minnesota Cup, helping Minnesota to a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota Duluth to secure a place in the championship game. Gulstene's .917 save percentage and 2.85 goals against average were fifth among WCHA goaltenders over the weekend, but her performance was critical to Minnesota's berth in the Minnesota Cup championship game. Gulstene earned her 14th win of the season, improving to 14-0-0 on the year.
Honorable Mention: Lauren Bench, So., Bemidji State (recorded the WCHA's only shutout on the weekend, a 3-0 blanking of Union on Friday; the shutout was the fourth of her career, which is tied for third-most in school history); Abigail Levy, Fr., Minnesota State (stopped 53-of-59 shots for the Mavericks in the Minnesota Cup over the weekend).
Taylor Heise, F, Minnesota (Lake City, Minn.)
Taylor Heise recorded five points on two goals and three assists in Minnesota's two Minnesota Cup games. Her five points were tied for tops in the WCHA over the weekend; she led the WCHA with three assists, 1.50 assists per game, 2.50 points per game, 10 shots on goal, and a plus-four rating. In Minnesota's 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota Duluth, Heise recorded a pair of assists setting up Minnesota's second goal to make it 2-1 and Minnesota's overtime game-winning goal. In the Gophers' 5-1 Minnesota Cup championship game win over St. Cloud State, Heise scored the eventual game-winning goal to put Minnesota up 2-0 early in the first period before recording an assist on Grace Zumwinkle's power-play goal and sealing the win with an empty-net goal, her ninth goal of the season. Heise was plus-four for the two games after being on the ice for four of Minnesota's nine goals. Among NCAA rookies, Heise led the way with three assists, was second with five points, and was tied for fifth with two goals. Heise helped the Gophers tie for the league scoring lead with nine goals and a 4.50 goals per game average over the weekend.
Honorable Mention: Ellie Moser, F, Bemidji State (posted a goal on five shots in the Beavers' non-conference sweep of Union); Anna Wilgren, D, Minnesota State (recorded a power play goal and an assist along with 10 shots on goal and 13 blocks for the Mavericks against St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth).
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