BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – December 1, 2020 – 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 the games of Nov. 27-28. The Wisconsin duo of junior Sophie Shirley (Forward) and junior Nicola LaMantia (Defenseman) receive this week's recognition alongside Minnesota's redshirt senior Lauren Bench (Goaltender) and St. Cloud State's freshman goaltender Sanni Ahola (Rookie).
Sophie Shirley, Jr., Wisconsin (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Wisconsin's Sophie Shirley reached a pair of milestones during the Badgers opening weekend at Ohio State. The junior forward notched her 100th career point off an assist in the Badgers' 3-2 setback on Friday night before scoring her 50th and 51st career goals in UW's 5-0 win on Saturday. Shirley became the 27th Badger to tally 100 career points and the 18th to pot 50 career goals. The Saskatoon, Sask., native's two goals were tied for the WCHA lead over the weekend while her three points were tied for the second-most among league players.
Honorable Mention: Emily Oden, Jr., Minnesota: Recorded two points on the weekend, tallying one point in each of Minnesota's road wins over No. 6/6 Minnesota Duluth. Jamie Nelson, Fr., Minnesota State: Recorded the first three collegiate points of her career including two goals in the Mavericks' 4-2 win over St. Cloud State on Saturday. Liz Schepers, Sr., Ohio State: Notched two assists in No. 4/4 Ohio State's 3-2 win over No. 1/1 Wisconsin on Friday.
Nicole LaMantia, Jr., Wisconsin (Wayne. Ill.)
Wisconsin's Nicole LaMantia posted an NCAA-best four assists and a +4 plus/minus rating during the No. 1/1 Badgers series split at No. 4/4 Ohio State last weekend. LaMantia earned an assist in the Badgers' 3-2 setback on Friday night before posting a three-assist game in UW's 5-0 game where she also sported a +4 plus/minus rating. LaMantia's three points on Saturday matched a career-high mark set last year against St. Cloud State on Feb. 2. The Wayne, Ill., native's four points were the most of any WCHA skater over the weekend and her 2.00 points-per-game average leads all NCAA skaters so far this year.
Honorable Mention: Emily Brown, Sr., Minnesota: Scored her first goal of the season in the Gophers' 2-1 win over No. 6/6 Minnesota Duluth in game two of Minnesota's road sweep over the Bulldogs. Charlotte Akervik, So., Minnesota State: Scored her first goal of the season, a game-winning power-play marker to help the Mavericks defeat the Huskies, 4-2, Saturday. Madison Bizal, Jr., Ohio State: Tallied a team-high two points in Ohio State's 3-2 win over No. 1/1 Wisconsin.
Lauren Bench, RS-Sr., Minnesota (Eagan, Minn.)
Minnesota's Lauren Bench earned her first road sweep with the Gophers, backstopping Minnesota to 4-2 and 2-1 wins on the road at No. 6/6 Minnesota Duluth over the weekend. Bench made 26 saves on 28 shots faced in game one before following up with 31 saves on 32 shots faced in game two. For the weekend, Bench led WCHA goaltenders with a 1.50 goals against average. Of six WCHA goalies to play two games, Bench was the lone netminder to earn a pair of wins and post a perfect 1.000 winning percentage over the weekend. Her .950 save percentage ranked second among WCHA goaltenders as well.
Honorable Mention: Calla Frank, So., Minnesota State: Backstopped the Mavericks to their first win of the season, 4-2, over St. Cloud State. Sanni Ahola, Fr., St. Cloud State: Recorded 37 saves to blank Minnesota State in the Huskies' season-opening victory. Kennedy Blair, Sr., Wisconsin: Kept the Badgers in a close 3-2 setback on Friday before stopping all 28 shots she faced in a 5-0 shutout against No. 4/4 Ohio State on Saturday.
Sanni Ahola, Fr., G, St. Cloud State (Helsinki, Finland)
St. Cloud State's Sanni Ahola set the Huskies' program record for most saves in a debut with her 37-save shutout against Minnesota State in SCSU's 1-0 season-opening win on Nov. 27. The freshman goaltender became the first Huskies netminder to record a shutout in her debut since 2004 and is just the second St. Cloud State netminder to achieve the feat. The Helsinki, Finland native set a new career-high with 38 saves the following afternoon against the Mavericks, totaling 75 stops on the weekend.
Honorable Mention: Anne Cherkowski, Fr., F, Minnesota: Scored her first collegiate goal in Minnesota's 4-2 comeback win on the road at No. 6/6 Minnesota Duluth. Sydney Langseth, Fr., F, Minnesota State: Recorded her first three collegiate points and scored her first goal to help Minnesota State earn their first win of the season, 4-2, over St. Cloud State. 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