WCHA Press Releases

Gophers netminder receives national recognition for November performance
Minnesota's Lauren Bench Honored As National Goaltender Of The Month
Gophers netminder receives national recognition for November performance

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – December 3, 2020 – The Hockey Commissioners Association has named Minnesota redshirt senior Lauren Bench its National Goaltender of the Month for November.

Bench performed superbly in net for Minnesota during the month of November, leading Minnesota to a 3-1-0 record. The redshirt senior goaltender faced more shots (131) and made more saves (126) than any other netminder in the nation, tallying a .962 save percentage that ranks fourth-best in the NCAA.

Bench registered a shutout in her season-opening Minnesota debut against then-No. 5/5 Ohio State, stopping all 36 shots that she faced and becoming one of only five NCAA goaltenders to record a shutout in November. The Eagan, Minn., native also saved 57 of 60 shots when facing the best scoring offense in the country in Minnesota Duluth, backstopping her team to a series sweep. Bench tallied a 1.26 goals against average and a .750 win percentage in November.

The national honor is Bench's first as a Gopher and the first of her career. This month's award marks the first national honor for the WCHA in 2020-21. The other HCA honorees for November were Boston College freshman forward Gaby Roy, who claimed Player of the Month honors and Colgate freshman forward Kalty Kaltounkova, who claimed Rookie of Month honors.

About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League

The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will mark its 22nd season in 2020-21. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 105 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), The Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). The WCHA will grow to eight members with the addition of the University of St. Thomas (Tommies) beginning with the 2021-22 season. For more information, visit wcha.com.