EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 28, 2017 – For their efforts in helping their teams through the league quarterfinals and onto the 2017 WCHA Final Face-Off, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association Players of the Week for games of Feb. 23-26, 2017 are: Wisconsin senior forward Sarah Nurse (Offensive Player of the Week), Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Catherine Daoust (Defensive Players of the Week) and North Dakota freshman forward Emma Nuutinen (Rookie of the Week).
Sarah Nurse, Sr., F
Wisconsin (Hamilton, Ontario)
Nurse enjoyed a seven-point weekend to lift nationally top-ranked Wisconsin back to the WCHA Final Face-Off. The senior from Hamilton, Ontario tallied three points on a goal and two assists in the Badgers' 7-0, Game 1 victory against Minnesota State, before recording a hat trick along with an assist in UW's 6-0 win Saturday. The only NCAA player to record a hat trick over the weekend, Nurse led the country with four goals and ranked second with seven points (one behind linemate Annie Pankowski). She also scored three power-play goals, as the two-time defending league postseason champion Badgers swept their quarterfinal round series of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs. This is Nurse's third WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season and her fourth career honor.
Honorable Mention: Corbin Boyd, So., F, Minnesota State (led the Mavericks with five shots on goal and 14 face-off wins in their series at No. 1 Wisconsin); Julianna Iafallo, Jr., F, Ohio State (her four points led all WCHA skaters who were on the road for a quarterfinal round series, as she tallied a goal and three assists in the Buckeyes' three-game loss at North Dakota); Amy Menke, Sr., F, North Dakota (posted a team-high four points on two goals and two assists, including the game-winning goal in Game 2, as the Fighting Hawks rallied to defeat Ohio State in three games); Ciscely Nelson, Sr., F, Bemidji State (scored the game-winning goal, and assisted on the other, Saturday at Minnesota, helping the seventh-seeded Beavers force a deciding Game 3 on the road).
Catherine Daoust, Jr., D
Minnesota Duluth (L'Île-Bizard, Québec)
Daoust led all WCHA defensemen with four points and a +5 rating, posting a goal and three assists as nationally second-ranked Minnesota Duluth swept St. Cloud State in the quarterfinals of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs. The junior from L'Île-Bizard, Québec opened the series with a goal and assist, while helping the Bulldogs post their seventh shutout of the season in a 5-0, Game 1 triumph. The blue-liner handed out two more assists Friday, helping UMD punch its ticket to the WCHA Final Face-Off with a 6-2 victory. Daoust ranked second among all NCAA defensemen with a 2.00 points a game average over the weekend. This is Daoust's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., G, Wisconsin (the only goaltender in the WCHA with two shutouts during the quarterfinals, she made 31 saves to backstop the Badgers to a sweep of Minnesota State); Jordan Hampton, Sr., D, North Dakota (tallied a goal, eight shots on goal, eight blocked shots and a +1 rating as the Fighting Hawks outlasted Ohio State in three games); Brittni Mowat, Sr., G, Bemidji State (stopped a league-high 98 shots, posting a trio of 30-save games to help the seventh-seeded Beavers force a decisive Game 3 at Minnesota); Kassidy Sauve, RS-So., G, Ohio State (made 95 stops, with a .931 save percentage, to backstop the fifth-seeded Buckeyes to a decisive Game 3 at North Dakota; additionally, she set the OSU single-season record and finished sixth in NCAA history with 1,135 saves); Emma Wittchow, Jr., D, Minnesota State (led all skaters with seven blocked shots during the Mavericks' quarterfinal round series at Wisconsin).
Emma Nuutinen, Fr., F
North Dakota (Vantaa, Finland)
Nuutinen matched teammates Ryleigh Houston and Hallie Theodosopoulos for the WCHA rookie scoring lead with two points; but, it was her goal in overtime of the decisive Game 3 that lifted North Dakota past Ohio State and into the WCHA Final Face-Off. After assisting on the Fighting Hawks' first goal of the game, Nuutinen scored 9:04 into overtime to give UND a 2-1 victory and its seventh-straight trip to the league's playoff championship (a run which started, ironically, with another Game 3 overtime winner, by Monique Lamoureux). The freshman from Vantaa, Finland finished the series with nine shots on goal, tops among WCHA rookies. This is the second WCHA weekly award of Nuutinen's freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Chloe Crosby, Fr., G, Minnesota State (recorded 77 saves – the third-most in the WCHA and the seventh-most nationally – during the Mavericks' quarterfinal series at Wisconsin); Abby Halluska, Fr., F, Bemidji State (tallied five shots on net, while scoring the Beavers' second goal in a 3-2, Game 3 loss Sunday at Minnesota).