BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 1, 2021 – The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is proud to honor four student-athletes as the WCHA Players of the Week presented by Sterling Trophy after their fantastic on-ice performances for the games of Feb. 26-27. A pair of Bulldogs in Minnesota Duluth juniors Gabbie Hughes (Forward) and Emma Söderberg (Goaltender) take home this week's awards alongside Wisconsin senior Grace Bowbly (Defenseman) and St. Cloud State's freshman netminder Sanni Ahola (Rookie).
Gabbie Hughes, Jr., Minnesota Duluth (Lino Lakes, Minn.)
Minnesota Duluth's Gabbie Hughes led all players in scoring in the Bulldogs' four-point WCHA grab against then-No. 1/1 Wisconsin with a staggering four goals and one assist for five points. The junior forward led the nation and the WCHA as the only player to record five points and score four goals last weekend for a NCAA-high 2.00 goals per game and 2.50 points per game, and she also racked up a nation-best 34 face-off wins. Hughes is in the midst of a seven-game scoring tear, having posted 13 points over those seven skates, including nine goals to go with four assists including at least two goals in her last three games. This week's honor is the seventh of Hughes' career.
Honorable Mention: Daryl Watts, Sr., Wisconsin: Recorded two goals and two assists while leading UW to its second-straight WCHA regular-season title. Jenniina Nylund, Jr., St. Cloud State: Scored two goals, including Friday's overtime winner, and added an assist to lead SCSU to its first WCHA series sweep since 2018.
Grace Bowlby, Sr., Wisconsin (Edina, Minn.)
Wisconsin's Grace Bowlby posted another two-point weekend for Wisconsin while helping UW to the WCHA regular-season title. Bowlby posted two assists in UW's 4-3 comeback win on Saturday to clinch the Julianne Bye Cup. Her assist and point totals were tied for the most by a WCHA defenseman over the weekend while her nine shots on goal led all NCAA blueliners. This is the fifth weekly honor of Bowlby's career.
Honorable Mention: Hannah Bates, Sr., St. Cloud State: Posted the highest-scoring defenseman weekend of the 2020-21 Huskies campaign, tallying three points on three assists.
Emma Söderberg, Jr., Minnesota Duluth (Järved, Sweden)
Minnesota Duluth's Emma Söderberg led the WCHA with 71 saves on 77 shots to help the Bulldogs split with then-No. 1/1 Wisconsin while playing every minutes of both games. Söderberg's save total ranked third in the NCAA over the weekend, and she also had the third-best save percentage in the nation among goaltenders that played two games. The junior netminder stopped a career-high 45 shots in Saturday's overtime loss to the Badgers, and after Friday's 4-2 win, is now 2-2 against teams ranked in the top-three in 2021. This is Söderberg's third career weekly honor.
Honorable Mention: Emma Polusny, Sr., St. Cloud State: Stopped 26 of 27 shots she faced in Saturday's finale at Bemidji State, guiding SCSU to its first WCHA sweep since 2018.
Sanni Ahola, Fr., G, St. Cloud State (Helsinki, Finland)
St. Cloud State's Sanni Ahola backstopped the Huskies to a 3-2 overtime win on Friday, helping SCSU earn its first WCHA series sweep since 2018. The freshman netminder recorded 31 saves on 33 shots in the overtime win, picking up the fourth victory of her freshman campaign. The Helsinki, Finland native made four saves in overtime to keep the period tied until teammate Jenniina Nylund scored the game-winner. This marks the third weekly honor of Ahola's career.
Honorable Mention: Lacey Eden, Fr., F, Wisconsin: Enjoyed another multi-point weekend for the Badgers, as she posted two points to help UW earn the WCHA regular-season title.
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