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December 5, 2012
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UMD's Hickel, UM's Raty, OSU's McKinnon Named WCHA Women's Players of the Week

WCHA Offensive Player of the Week
Zoe Hickel - Sophomore, Forward
University of Minnesota Duluth

photo University of Minnesota Duluth forward Zoe Hickel, who scored both game-winning goals as the Bulldogs swept a two-game conference road series at Bemidji State last weekend, has been named the WCHA Women's Offensive Player of the Week for December 5.

A sophomore right winger from Anchorage, Alaska, Hickel had two goals and one assist, fired 10 shots on goal and earned a +3 plus/minus rating in the two victories. She also extended her career-best point-scoring streak to six games during which she has four goals, four assists and eight points. In the series opener last Saturday (Dec. 1), Hickel's outburst helped Minnesota Duluth recover from a two-goal deficit by scoring the game-winning goal on the power-play at 7:11 of the third period and lead her club to a 4-2 triumph. She was named the Second Star of the Game. Then in game two of the series last Sunday (Dec. 2), Hickel had two points in the first two periods, assisting on the game-opening goal in the first and then netting the game-winner at 11:22 of the second while earning First Star of the Game accolades.

In 15 games played this season, Hickel ranks as the Bulldogs' top scorer with 12 points (7g, 5a).

Also nominated: Amanda Kessel, F, UM; Hokey Langan, F, OSU; Michelle Karvinen, F, UND; Alex Nelson, F, SCSU.


WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Noora Räty - Senior, Goaltender
University of Minnesota

photo Veteran University of Minnesota goaltender Noora Räty, who yielded just one goal while posting back-to-back victories as the defending national champions swept visiting league rival Wisconsin last weekend, been named the WCHA Women's Defensive Player of the Week for December 5. She also earned the honor on Oct. 24.

A senior from Espoo, Finland, Räty stopped 41 of 42 shots on goal in the two-game series at Ridder Arena for a .976 save percentage, logged five shutout periods and blanked the Badgers on all eight of their power-play chances while earning Third Star of the Game honors both days. In the first game, a 4-1 Minnesota victory last Saturday (Dec. 1), Räty allowed one goal in the third period and denied 22 UW shots, including a remarkable glove save while lying on the ice early in the second period when the score was still knotted 0-0. She came back on Sunday (Dec. 2) and shutout Wisconsin 2-0 while making 19 saves as the Golden Gophers boosted their 2012-13 record to a perfect 18-0-0. It was her seventh shutout of the season and the 33rd of her collegiate career, six behind the NCAA record of 39. The two victories also give Räty 92 career wins, which is eight from tying the NCAA record of 100.

In 898:39 of action between the pipes this season, Räty ranks No. 1 overall among WCHA goaltenders with a 0.73 goals-against average, first in winning percentage at 1.000 with a 16-0-0 mark, and first in save percentage at .963.

Also nominated: Danielle Butters, G, MSU; Monique Lamoureux, D, UND; Chelsea Knapp, G, OSU.


WCHA Rookie of the Week
Julia McKinnon - Freshman, Forward
Ohio State University

photo Ohio State University forward Julia McKinnon, who netted a game-winning goal and put 12 shots on goal as the visiting Buckeyes earned five points in a two-game conference series at Minnesota State last weekend, is the WCHA Women's Rookie of the Week for December 5.

A freshman right winger from Kelowna, British Columbia, McKinnon scored the game-winning goal last Saturday (Dec. 1) in Ohio State's 4-3 victory over the host Mavericks, tallying the deciding marker on a power-play at 14:01 of the second period. She was named the Second Star of the Game. The two teams played to a 0-0 overtime tie in the series opener last Friday (Nov. 30).

McKinnon has now scored at least one goal in five consecutive series for the Buckeyes and she has produced eight goals, four assists and 12 points in her first 18 collegiate games. Her eight goals are third best among first-year players in the WCHA.

Also nominated: Maryanne Menefee, F, UM; Becca Kohler, F, UND.