EDINA, Minn. – Nov. 22, 2016 – A quartet of excellent league series last weekend resulted in every team earning points and several standout individual performances. The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Nov. 18-19, 2016 are: Wisconsin junior forward Annie Pankowski (Offensive Player of the Week), Minnesota State sophomore goaltender Katie Bidulka and Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney (Co-Defensive Players of the Week), and Bemidji State freshman forward Haley Mack (Rookie of the Week).
Annie Pankowski, Jr., F
Wisconsin (Laguna Hills, Calif.)
Pankowski tallied Wisconsin's first natural hat trick since 2012, leading the top-ranked Badgers to a 4-1 win at No. 3 Minnesota Duluth in Saturday's series finale. The junior from Laguna Hills, Calif. scored an even-strength goal, a power-play marker and a short-handed strike, becoming only the fifth Badger in program history to collect a hat trick with the three types of goals. Returning to the UW lineup after missing the previous four games while playing with the U.S. National Team at the Four Nations Cup, Pankowski's three goals led the WCHA last weekend and matched six others for tops in the NCAA. This is Pankowski's first WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and her sixth career honor (including three Rookie of the Week accolades).
Honorable Mention: Lindsey Coleman, Jr., F, Minnesota State (assisted on one goal and scored the game-winner in the Mavericks' 2-1 victory Saturday over visiting Ohio State – Minnesota State's first in WCHA play since Feb. 2, 2015); Ryleigh Houston, Fr., F, North Dakota (extended her point streak to four games with an assist in both games as the No. 7 Fighting Hawks played No. 2 Minnesota to a pair of ties); Kelly Pannek, Jr., F, Minnesota (led Minnesota with three assists and a shootout-winning goal as the No. 2 Gophers earned four points at No. 7 North Dakota); Summer Thibodeau, Jr., F, Bemidji State (had a goal and assist in the Beavers' 6-2 win Friday over visiting St. Cloud State).
Katie Bidulka, So., G
Minnesota State (Oakville, Ontario)
Bidulka started both games in net against Ohio State, including the Mavericks' 2-1 win in Saturday's series finale – Minnesota State's first in WCHA play since Feb. 2, 2015. The sophomore from Oakville, Ontario made 20 stops in that contest, including seven in the third period as Minnesota State held on for the home win. Bidulka finished the weekend with 44 saves, a .936 save percentage and a WCHA-best 1.50 goals-against average. This is Bidulka's first career WCHA weekly award.
Maddie Rooney, So., G
Minnesota Duluth (Andover, Minn.)
Rooney made an NCAA-high 88 saves on 93 shots, helping No. 3 Minnesota Duluth split its series with top-ranked Wisconsin. The sophomore from Andover, Minn. made 45 stops Friday night, including allowing UMD to successfully weather a 20-to-3 shots-on-goal onslaught in the first period. The result was a 4-1 win for the Bulldogs, their first over a No. 1 team since 2012. Rooney then made 43 saves in UMD's loss Saturday, but finished the series with a WCHA-high .946 save percentage. This Rooney's second-straight WCHA weekly honor, after earning her first career award last week.
Honorable Mention: Melissa Hunt, So., D, Bemidji State (tallied a career-high two points with a goal and assist in the Beavers' 6-2 win Friday over St. Cloud State); Lexie Shaw, Sr., G, North Dakota (totaled 60 saves and a .938 save percentage as the No. 7 Fighting Hawks finished an undefeated weekend against No. 2 Minnesota); Lee Stecklein, Sr., D, Minnesota (had an assist, six blocked shots and a shootout-winning goal to help the No. 2 Gophers earn four points at No. 7 North Dakota).
Haley Mack, Fr., F
Bemidji State (East Grand Forks, Minn.)
Mack led WCHA rookies with three points last weekend, tied for the second-most among all league skaters. The freshman from East Grand Forks, Minn. totaled a career-high three assists Friday, helping Bemidji State set a season-high for goals in a 6-2 win over visiting St. Cloud State. Mack, who topped all NCAA rookies with the three helpers, set up the Beavers' first, fourth and fifth goals. She finished the weekend leading Bemidji State with 10 shots on goal and a +2 rating. This is Mack's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Nikki Cece, Fr., G, Wisconsin (earned her first career victory Saturday, stopping 19-of-20 shots as the No. 1 Badgers won, 4-1, at No. 3 Minnesota Duluth); McKenzie Sederberg, Fr., D, Minnesota State (led Mavericks' rookies with two shots and a +1 rating, while adding a blocked shot in the 2-1 win over Ohio State); Hallie Theodosopoulos, Fr., F, North Dakota (had a career-high two point outing in a 2-2 tie Saturday vs. No. 2 Minnesota, assisting on the first goal before scoring the second for the No. 7 Fighting Hawks).