BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – December 3, 2020 – The women's league of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to honor four student-athletes as the WCHA Players of the Month presented by Sterling Trophy after their outstanding on-ice performances during the month of November. Minnesota's duo of junior Grace Zumwinkle (Forward) and redshirt senior Lauren Bench (Goaltender) collect this season's first monthly honors alongside the Minnesota Duluth pair of senior Ashton Bell (Defenseman) and freshman forward Clara Van Wieren (Rookie).
Grace Zumwinkle, Sr., Minnesota (Excelsior, Minn.)
Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle led the Gophers in scoring with four points (3g-1a) through the team's first four games of the season on the way to a 3-1-0 record in November. Her 24 shots on goal were tops in the league, and her one game-winning goal was tied for the WCHA's best. Following the team's season-opening split with then-No. 5/5 Ohio State, Zumwinkle received the eighth WCHA weekly award of her career as the season's first WCHA Forward of the Week. The Excelsior, Minn., native earned the honor for scoring three of Minnesota's five goals against the Buckeyes. This is Zumwinkle's fourth career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Anna Klein, Sr., Minnesota Duluth: Recorded at least a point in all four games in November, and her four goals are tied for the NCAA lead. Emma Maltais, Sr., Ohio State: Assisted on both Ohio State goals in a 2-1 win at Minnesota and added another one five days later in a 3-2 victory over No. 1/1 Wisconsin.
Ashton Bell, Sr., Minnesota Duluth (Deloraine, Man.)
Minnesota Duluth's Ashton Bell leads all players nationally, as well as in the WCHA, with seven points, and owns an NCAA-high of five assists. The senior captain has a 1.75 points-per-game average, as well as a 1.25 A/GP average. The Deloraine, Man., native ranks second nationally and first in the WCHA with a +7 plus/minus rating. She posted two power-play points, including a goal and assist during November. This is Bell's first WCHA monthly honor.
Honorable Mention: Madeline Wethington, So., Minnesota: Recorded three assists in Minnesota's opening four games of the season, helping the Gophers to a 3-1-0 record during the month of November. Madison Bizal, Jr., Ohio State: Had a team-best two points in Ohio State's 3-2 win over No. 1/1 Wisconsin with a goal and an assist
Lauren Bench, RS-Sr., Minnesota (Eagan, Minn.)
Minnesota's Lauren Bench led the Gophers to a 3-1-0 record during the month of November. She earned back-to-back WCHA Goaltender of the Week plaudits after backstopping the Gophers to a season-opening split with then-No. 5/5 Ohio State, including a 36-save shutout in her Gopher debut, and combining for 57 saves on 60 shots in a road sweep over Minnesota Duluth. Bench led WCHA goaltenders with a .962 save percentage, 1.26 GAA. 126 saves on 131 shots faced, three wins, and a .750 winning percentage in November. The Eagan, Minn., native was one of four league and five NCAA netminders to pick up a shutout in November. This is Bench's second career WCHA Goaltender of the Month honor.
Clara Van Wieren, Fr., F, Minnesota Duluth (Okemos, Mich.)
Minnesota Duluth's Clara Van Wieren ranks second in the NCAA among rookies with two goals and is tied for first among WCHA newcomers. With a total of three points in four contests, the freshman forward is tied for third nationally and tied for the WCHA lead in points. The Okemos, Mich., native is the only WCHA rookie to have already posted a power-play goal and a game-winning goal, and boasts a league-high 0.75 points per game. This is Van Wieren's first career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Anne Cherkowski, Fr., F, Minnesota: Tied for the WCHA lead among rookies with three points (1g-2a) during the month of November. Jenna Buglioni, Fr., F, Ohio State: Notched the game-winning goal in Ohio State's 3-2 victory over No. 1/1 Wisconsin.
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