EDINA, Minn. – Nov. 3, 2016 – With an exciting first month of the 2016-17 season in the books, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is honoring three of its top performers with monthly accolades for September/October 2016. Minnesota sophomore forward Sarah Potomak has been named Offensive Player of the Month, North Dakota senior goaltender Lexie Shaw garnered Defensive Player of the Month honors and Wisconsin freshman forward Presley Norby is the league's Rookie of the Month.
Sarah Potomak, So., F
Minnesota (Aldergrove, British Columbia)
Potomak, the 2016 WCHA and National Rookie of the Year, was among the NCAA's top – and most clutch – playmakers during the opening month of the 2016-17 campaign. The sophomore from Aldergrove, British Columbia led the nation in points (18), game-winning goals (5), hat tricks (1), and plus-minus (+15), while she tied for the NCAA lead with nine goals. Among WCHA skaters, she was tops in goals, goals per game (0.90 – fifth NCAA) and points per game (1.80 – second NCAA). Her nine assists tied for second both in the league and among NCAA skaters, while her 0.90 assists per game mark was second in the WCHA (10th nationally).
A consistent performer, Potomak has at least one point in nine of 10 games, helping No. 2 Minnesota to a 9-1-0 overall record, along with a 7-1-0 mark in WCHA play. Potomak has factored in the winning score in seven Gophers victories (5g-2a), including a remarkable run in which she scored the tie-breaking, game-winning goal in the third period or overtime to cap Minnesota comeback triumphs in four-straight games (Oct. 14 and 15 against Minnesota Duluth and Oct. 21 and 22 at Ohio State).
This is Potomak's third career WCHA monthly award, as she was honored as the league's Rookie of the Month twice during the 2015-16 season.
Honorable Mention: Emily Bergland, So., F, North Dakota (led the Beavers with a nine points on the strength of four goals and five assists); Maddy Field, So., F, Ohio State (one of six WCHA underclassmen with four-plus goals, she finished with four scores and two assists); Amy Menke, Sr., F, North Dakota (led the No. 9 Fighting Hawks with 10 points on seven assists and three goals – including a NCAA-high two short-handed markers); Sarah Nurse, Sr., F, Wisconsin (leads the top-ranked Badgers with nine goals – tied for most in the NCAA – and 13 points, while posting a +11 rating); Lara Stalder, Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth (had seven goals and seven assists, along with three game-winning goals and two winning helpers, leading the Bulldogs to a 6-2-2 start and No. 3 national ranking).
Lexie Shaw, Sr., G
North Dakota (Troy, Mich.)
In her first month as a collegiate starter, Shaw led the WCHA – and ranked fourth in the NCAA – with a .947 save percentage, helping North Dakota rank in the top-10 nationally for scoring defense. The senior from Troy, Mich. went 6-2-1 during the season's opening month, while also ranking among the WCHA and NCAA leaders with a 1.31 goals-against average (third / sixth), three shutouts (second / tied for third) and six wins (tied for third / tied for sixth). She also helped UND post the nation's second-best penalty-kill percentage at .957 (44-for-46), making a total of 55 saves in that scenario.
Shaw made at least 20 saves in six of her nine starts, a big reason why the Fighting Hawks enter November with a 6-3-1 overall record, a 5-3-0 mark in WCHA play and a No. 9 national ranking. Among her top efforts were a 25-save shutout in a 1-0 win at St. Cloud State on Oct. 7 and a 47-stop weekend, including a shutout, in UND's sweep of then-No. 10 Bemidji State on Oct. 28-29. Shaw also stopped 38-of-39 shots in a 2-0 setback to top-ranked Wisconsin (Oct. 22), while she twice earned WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors (Oct. 18 and Nov. 1).
This is Shaw's first career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Brittni Mowat, Sr., G, Bemidji State (ranked sixth in the WCHA with a 2.00 goals-against average and .930 save percentage); Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., G, Wisconsin (NCAA-best 0.89 goals-against average and nine wins, while ranking second nationally with four shutouts and eighth with a .943 save percentage); Kassidy Sauve, RS-So., Ohio State (two-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week leads the NCAA with 364 saves and ranks second in the WCHA with a .943 save percentage).
Presley Norby, Fr., F
Wisconsin (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Norby, one of three freshmen pegged by coaches as WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year, enjoyed a stellar start to her Wisconsin career with a league rookie-best 10 points in 10 games. The freshman from Minnetonka, Minn. has scored one goal and leads all NCAA rookies with nine assists, while also ranking third among national freshmen for points, tied for fourth with a +8 rating and fifth with an average of 1.00 points per game (tops in the WCHA). Norby's nine helpers are also tied for second among all WCHA skaters and tied for fourth nationally.
Norby has recorded at least a point in five of her first 10 games, including a pair of multi-point efforts against ranked teams. She scored the game-winning goal and added two assists in UW's 4-1 win at No. 7 Clarkson (Oct. 15), while she recorded four assists in a 5-2 triumph at North Dakota (Oct. 23). Norby has played a key role for the top-ranked Badgers, who enter November with a 9-0-1 overall record and atop the WCHA at 7-0-1-1 (23 points).
Honorable Mention: Janine Alder, Fr., G, St. Cloud State (two-time WCHA Rookie of the Week ranks fourth in the WCHA with a .939 save percentage and fifth with a 1.94 goals-against average); Sydney Brodt, Fr., F, Minnesota Duluth (ranked second among WCHA freshmen and tied for seventh nationally with an average of 0.90 points per game, helping the Bulldogs ascend to a No. 3 national ranking); Jincy Dunne, RS-Fr., D, Ohio State (leads NCAA freshmen with 22 blocked shots, while contributing one goal and four assists); Patti Marshall, Fr., D, Minnesota (leads NCAA rookie defensemen with six points, five assists and a +14 rating, and is in the top-10 nationally among all freshmen skaters in those categories, helping the No. 2 Gophers to a 9-1-0 mark); Emma Nuutinen, Fr., F, North Dakota (led WCHA freshmen, and ranked second nationally, with five goals, while tying for the NCAA rookie lead with a pair of game-winning strikes for the No. 9 Fighting Hawks); Kiki Radke, Fr., F, Bemidji State (tallied two assists, while leading the Beavers by averaging 2.88 shots on goal per game.