EDINA, Minn. – Oct. 5, 2016 – For their efforts in helping their teams go undefeated on the season's opening weekend, the first women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for the 2016-17 season are: Minnesota Duluth senior forward Ashleigh Brykaliuk (Offensive Player of the Week), Ohio State redshirt-sophomore goaltender Kassidy Sauve (Defensive Player of the Week) and North Dakota freshman forward Ryleigh Houston (Rookie of the Week).
Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Sr., F
Minnesota Duluth (Brandon, Manitoba)
Brykaliuk put on an offensive show for Minnesota Duluth, compiling four goals and an assist for a five-point weekend as the host Bulldogs skated to a 3-3 tie and 5-2 victory over then-No. 3 Boston College. The senior from Brandon, Manitoba pulled UMD even three times in Friday night's season opener, netting a goal in each period for her second career hat trick. Her final tally that night, a power-play marker at 14:29 of the third period, allowed the Bulldogs to earn the 3-3, opening-night tie. Saturday, Brykaliuk added a goal and an assist during UMD's four-goal second period, paving the way for the eventual 5-2 triumph. Her four goals tied for most in the NCAA last weekend, while she finished with a +3 rating and 11 shots on goal in the series. This is Brykaliuk's fourth career WCHA weekly award, including one Rookie of the Week accolade.
Honorable Mention: Emily Bergland, So., F, Bemidji State (led the Beavers with three points on two goals – including a game-winner – and an assist in a road sweep at Syracuse); Dani Cameranesi, Sr., F, Minnesota (led the No. 2 Gophers with four points on two goals and two assists during a season-opening sweep of Lindenwood); Maddy Field, So., F, Ohio State (scored both goals of the Buckeyes' 2-0 win Saturday, and had an assist Friday); Amy Menke, Sr., F, North Dakota (recorded two assists in No. 6 UND's season-opening win, while helping the Fighting Hawks kill 14-of-15 penalties); Julia Tylke, So., F, St. Cloud State (has four goals in the Huskies' last three games, including a two-goal effort in Friday's win); Savannah Quandt, Sr., F, Minnesota State (scored her first career-game winning goal Saturday as the Mavericks completed a season-opening sweep of RIT).
Kassidy Sauve, So., G
Ohio State (Whitby, Ontario)
After missing the entire 2015-16 season due to injury, Sauve returned to the Ohio State net and stopped 67-of-68 shots as the Buckeyes opened the Nadine Muzerall era with a road sweep at RPI. The native of Whitby, Ontario was spectacular during the series, allowing only a 6-on-4 power-play goal with three seconds remaining in Friday's 4-1 win. After a 34-save effort Friday, Sauve posted a 33-stop shutout in the Buckeyes' 2-0 win Saturday (her seventh career clean sheet). Of the 17 goaltenders that started both of their team's opening two games, she had the highest save percentage (.985) and posted the lowest goals-against average (0.50) in the country. This is Sauve's third career WCHA weekly award, having won a pair of Rookie of the Week accolades during her 2014-15 freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Taylor Crosby, So., G, St. Cloud State (has stopped 69 shots in her two starts, including a 52-save effort against No. 1 Wisconsin – the sixth-highest single-game total in SCSU history); Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., G, Wisconsin (tied the Badgers' program record for career shutouts with her 39th career clean sheet, a 16-save effort in UW's 6-0 win Sept. 23); Erin Deters, Jr., G, Bemidji State (recorded her second-career shutout with a 28-save effort – including nine on the power play – in a 3-0 win at Syracuse); Gracen Hirschy, Sr., D, North Dakota (tied her career high with three points, factoring in all three goals, in No. 6 UND's season-opening, 3-1 win at Mercyhurst, while also helping the Fighting Hawks kill off 14-of-15 penalties); Anna Keys, Jr., D, Minnesota State (recorded six shots, three blocked shots and two assists – including on Friday night's overtime game-winner, as the Mavericks opened with a sweep of RIT); Sidney Morin, Sr., D, Minnesota Duluth (racked up four assists in UMD's undefeated weekend against then-No. 3 Boston College, including a three-assist game in Saturday's 5-2 win); Megan Wolfe, Sr., D, Minnesota (scored two goals and had a +4 rating as the No. 2 Gophers swept visiting Lindenwood).
Ryleigh Houston, Fr., F
North Dakota (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Houston made her first collegiate goal count, scoring the eventual game-winner Friday as No. 6 North Dakota opened with a 3-1 win at Mercyhurst. The freshman from Winnipeg, Manitoba scored on the power play just four minutes and four seconds into her UND career, giving the Fighting Hawks a 2-0 lead. Houston finished her first series with five shots on goal.
Honorable Mention: Janine Alder, G, St. Cloud State (recorded 24 saves in her first career start, earning her first collegiate win in the Huskies' 4-2 victory over Merrimack); Jincy Dunne, D, Ohio State (after missing the entire 2015-16 season due to injury, the redshirt freshman scored in the first period of her first collegiate game, added an assist in her second and played on the top defensive pairing both games); Sofia Poinar, F, Minnesota State (scored her first collegiate goal Saturday, game-tying strike as Mavericks rallied for 2-1 win and series sweep of RIT); Kiki Radke, F, Bemidji State (had pair of assists in the Beavers' sweep-clinching win Sunday at Syracuse, while finishing the weekend with a +3 rating); Abby Roque, F, Wisconsin (had three points on a goal and two assists in the No. 1 Badgers' season-opening win Sept. 23); Alex Woken, F, Minnesota (recorded her first collegiate points with a goal and assist in the No. 2 Gophers' 6-2 win Saturday over Lindenwood).