The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to honor four student-athletes as its Players of the Week, presented by Sterling Trophy, for games of Nov. 21-22. The Minnesota duo of senior Grace Zumwinkle (Forward) and redshirt senior Lauren Bench (Goaltender) garners this week's recognition alongside the Minnesota Duluth duo of senior Ashton Bell (Defenseman) and freshman forward Clara Van Wieren (Rookie).
Grace Zumwinkle, Sr., Minnesota (Excelsior, Minn.)
Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle scored three goals in Minnesota's series split with Ohio State. She scored the Gophers' first and third goals in the team's 4-0 game-one win before scoring Minnesota's lone goal in the team's 2-1 loss in game two. Zumwinkle tallied the game-winner in game one just 28 seconds into the contest before extending the team's lead to 3-0 late in the third period. In game two, Zumwinkle again scored early, putting Minnesota up 1-0 just 3:01 into the game before OSU scored two unanswered goals. Minnesota's active career scoring leader, Zumwinkle moved her career total to 127 points (70g-57a) in 115 career games. Her 70 career goals rank 14th all-time in the Gophers record books. This season, she is tied for second in the nation with 1.50 goals per game, tied for seventh in the nation with 1.50 points per game, and tied for first in the nation with one game-winning goal. Among WCHA foes, Zumwinkle is tied for the conference lead with one game-winning goal and three goals and has a league-high 15 shots on goal this season.
Honorable Mention: Anna Klein, Sr., Minnesota Duluth: Ranked second in both the NCAA and the WCHA with four points (3g-1a), helping UMD go up 2-0 against Minnesota State and was one of only a handful of NCAA players that notched a shorthanded goal on the weekend. Madison Oelkers, Jr., Minnesota State: Had a two-point night that featured a game-tying power-play goal and a go-ahead assist to make it 2-2 and then 3-2. Emma Maltais, Sr., Ohio State: Tallied two assists in Sunday's win over Minnesota and took a team-high 11 shots on the weekend.
Ashton Bell, Sr., Minnesota Duluth (Deloraine, Man.)
Minnesota Duluth's Ashton Bell led all scorers in the nation, as well as the WCHA, with five points (1g- 4a) in UMD's series sweep at Minnesota State. Bell also led the NCAA with a +/- rating of +7 and a nation-high two power-play points on a power-play goal and assist in Minnesota Duluth's 5-0 season-opening victory against Minnesota State. The senior caption leads the nation in assists with four on the weekend, and has recorded the most points per game (2.50) of any defenseman in the NCAA.
Honorable Mention: Madeline Wethington, So., Minnesota: Recorded a pair of assists in Minnesota's season-opening series split with Ohio State over the weekend. Taylor Wemple, Jr., Minnesota State: Earned her 11th career assist and first point as a Maverick Saturday against Minnesota Duluth. Madison Bizal, Jr., Ohio State: Blocked three shots and helped Ohio State keep Minnesota scoreless for the final 57 minutes of Sunday's 2-1 victory in Minneapolis.
Lauren Bench, RS-Sr., Minnesota (Eagan, Minn.)
Minnesota's Lauren Bench marked her debut with the Gophers with a 36-save shutout in Minnesota's 4-0 win in game one against Ohio State before following up with 33 saves on 35 shots faced as the Gophers dropped a 2-1 decision to settle for a series split with the Buckeyes. Bench led WCHA goaltenders with a .972 save percentage, 1.02 goals against average and 69 saves over the weekend. She was one of two WCHA goaltenders to record a shutout on the weekend. Nationally, Bench leads the nation with a .972 save percentage, ranks third with a 1.02 goals against average and is one of two goaltenders to record a shutout.
Honorable Mention: Emma Söderberg, Jr., Minnesota Duluth: Backstopped UMD to her first collegiate shutout Friday night (a 5-0 win) and was one of only two goaltenders in the NCAA to win both her games over the weekend. Andrea Braendli, Jr., Ohio State: Made 25 saves, including 14 in the third period, of Ohio State's 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.
Clara Van Wieren, Fr., F, Minnesota Duluth (Okemos, Mich.)
Minnesota Duluth's Clara Van Wieren finished second in the NCAA and first in the WCHA among all rookies in scoring on the weekend with three points (2g-1a). The freshman forward recorded a power-play goal and a game-winning goal in her first two collegiate games in UMD's sweep over Minnesota State. Van Wieren was +3 and had seven shots on goal during the series.
Honorable Mention: Josey Dunne, Fr., D, Minnesota: Scored her first collegiate goal to help Minnesota to a 4-0 win over Ohio State in game one of the series. Jenna Buglioni, Fr., F, Ohio State: Made her collegiate debut this weekend at Minnesota during which she took five shots and blocked two shots.
About Sterling Trophy
Sterling Trophy has grown into a leader in the award and recognition industry in the Twin Cities since its founding in 1999. A family business that started in the basement of the home of founders David Steinbring and Patty Steinbring, Sterling Trophy's has built a proud tradition of quality service and unique products. For more information, visit sterlingtrophy.net