EDINA, Minn. – Dec. 1, 2016 – The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) once again had a bevy of outstanding individual and team performances last month, including those of the three student-athletes honored with monthly accolades for November 2016. Minnesota junior forward Kelly Pannek has been named Offensive Player of the Month, Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney garnered Defensive Player of the Month honors and Wisconsin freshman forward Abby Roque is the league's Rookie of the Month.
Kelly Pannek, Jr., F
Minnesota (Plymouth, Minn.)
Pannek led the NCAA in November with 18 points, 13 assists and averages of 3.00 points- and 2.17 helpers-per-game, respectively. The junior from Plymouth, Minn. tallied a point in all six games, logged five multi-point efforts – including four games with three-or-more – and helped No. 2 Minnesota to a 4-0-2 mark last month. In addition to her NCAA-leading numbers in November, Pannek also paced the WCHA in power-play points (6), power-play assists (4), short-handed goals (1), game-winning goals (2) and face-off wins (73). She was also second in the league with an average of 0.83 goals-per-game, two power-play goals and a +12 rating. Pannek now has at least one assist in 14-of-16 games this season, including 12-straight contests.
A two-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week during November, Pannek garnered her first weekly honor after an eight-point series (2g-6a) in the Gophers' sweep of Minnesota State (Nov. 4-6). She then ended the month with a second accolade, following a seven-point series (3g-4a) in a pair of wins against Bemidji State. In between, Pannek handed out three assists and scored a shootout-winning goal as the Gophers earned four points at No. 9 North Dakota.
This is Pannek's second career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Lindsey Coleman, Jr., F, Minnesota State (led the Mavericks with two goals – including a WCHA game-winner – three assists, five points and a .200 shot percentage); Amy Menke, Sr., F, North Dakota (recorded a three-game point streak, all against ranked opponents, to open the month and led the No. 9 Fighting Hawks with 20 shots on goal in November); Annie Pankowski, Jr., F, Wisconsin (in just four games played, ranked second among WCHA skaters with six goals scored and tied for first with two game-winning goals, helping the No. 1 Badgers go 3-1-0 upon her return from the Four Nations Cup); Lara Stalder, Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth (led the No. 4 Bulldogs, and tied for third in the WCHA, with nine points – including eight assists); Summer Thibodeau, Jr., F, Bemidji State (had two points on a goal and assist, while blocking seven shots).
Maddie Rooney, So., G
Minnesota Duluth (Andover, Minn.)
Rooney was among the top-10 nationally for wins (tied for sixth with four), winning percentage (tied for eighth at .750, 4-1-1), save percentage (seventh at .948) and goals-against average (10th at 1.64), all despite playing four-of-six games against ranked opponents (and four-of-six contests on the road). The junior from Andover, Minn. made at least 30 saves in three games, twice crested the 40-stop mark and finished November with a WCHA-high 181 saves (fourth-most among NCAA goaltenders).
Rooney earned consecutive WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors after backstopping the Bulldogs to a 2-1-1-0 mark and seven points at No. 9 North Dakota and against No. 1 Wisconsin. She totaled 54 saves during a UMD win and tie in Grand Forks, N.D. (Nov. 12-13), then led the NCAA with 88 stops at home against the Badgers (Nov. 18-19). Rooney made a season-high 45 saves Nov. 18 as the Bulldogs defeated UW, 4-1, for their first victory over a top-ranked team since 2012. She then wrapped up her month with a 39-save weekend at Harvard, as No. 4 Minnesota Duluth made the lengthy trip to Boston and came away with the sweep.
This is Rooney's first career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Gracen Hirschy, Sr., D, North Dakota (was second on the No. 9 Fighting Hawks with five points, while leading the WCHA with 19 blocked shots); Madison Hutchinson, Sr., D, Bemidji State (tied for the team lead with 11 blocked shots, while scoring one goal); Anna Keys, Jr., D, Minnesota State (tied for fourth among WCHA defensemen with one goal, while blocking eight shots); Maddie Rolfes, Jr., D, Wisconsin (tied for tops among WCHA defensemen with six points, while pacing league blue-liners with five assists – including three on game-winning goals); Kassidy Sauve, RS-So., Ohio State (ranked second in the WCHA with a .962 save percentage and 1.01 goals-against average, helped the Buckeyes match a program-record with three-straight shutouts, and helped OSU tie for third nationally by allowing just 1.17 goals-per-game).
Abby Roque, Fr., F
Wisconsin (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
Roque, one of three freshmen pegged by coaches as WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year, enjoyed a breakout month in November with a league-rookie best eight points and six assists, respectively. The freshman from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. ranked fifth among all WCHA skaters for points, while she impressively led the league with a .659 face-off percentage (58-for-88). Roque tallied at least one point in five-of-six games, helping top-ranked Wisconsin to a 5-1-0 record last month.
The forward earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors to open the month, tallying five points (2g-3a) as the Badgers swept Bemidji State. Roque's first career multi-point game in the Nov. 6 contest against the Beavers, tallying two goals and two assists. She also earned the game-winning assist in Wisconsin's 3-0 win over Cornell on Nov. 25.
Honorable Mention: Jincy Dunne, RS-Fr., D, Ohio State (led WCHA freshmen defensemen with three points, while pacing all league rookie skaters – and ranking fifth overall – with 13 blocked shots); Kayla Friesen, Fr., F, St. Cloud State (tied for third among WCHA freshmen with a team-high five points and was second with two goals); Ryleigh Houston, Fr., F, North Dakota (led the No. 9 Fighting Hawks with a +4 rating, six assists and seven points, including five against ranked opponents); Haley Mack, Fr., F, Bemidji State (led the Beavers with three points during November and was second with 16 shots on goal); McKenzie Sederberg, Fr., D, Minnesota State (tied for sixth among WCHA freshmen with five blocked shots, while pacing Maverick rookies with an even rating).