EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 2, 2016 – The nation's leading scorer last week, a sensational goaltender who continues to climb the NCAA's all-time shutout charts and a clutch freshman highlight the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for Jan. 25-31, 2016. The honorees are: North Dakota senior forward Meghan Dufault (Offensive Player of the Week), Wisconsin junior goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens (Defensive Player of the Week) and Minnesota Duluth freshman forward Morgan Morse (Rookie of the Week).
Meghan Dufault, Sr., F
North Dakota (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Dufault was the country's top scorer last week, factoring in nearly 75 percent of North Dakota's offense with a goal and four assists as the eighth-ranked Fighting Hawks secured a five-point weekend. The senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba handed out her first assist in Friday's series opener against Minnesota State, collecting one of two helpers on Layla Marvin's third-period, game-winning goal. Dufault then contributed to four of UND's goals in a 5-5 tie Saturday, drawing the Fighting Hawks even with the first marker of the game before assisting on three others – including a short-handed score and the game-tying goal with less than three minutes left in regulation. In addition to her NCAA-high four assists and five points, she finished the weekend with 10 shots on goal, a WCHA-best 30 face-off wins and a +2 rating. With 76 career helpers, Dufault also passed Michelle Karvinen for fourth in program history. This is Dufault's second WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season and fourth career accolade (including a pair of Rookie of the Week honors).
Also nominated: Dani Cameranesi, Jr., F, Minnesota (scored NCAA-best 12th power-play goal of season and assisted on overtime game-winner in No. 3 UMN's 2-1 win at No. 7 Bemidji State on Friday); Emily Clark, So., F, Wisconsin (tied for NCAA lead with three goals, while adding an assist, in No. 2 UW's sweep of visiting St. Cloud State).
Ann-Renée Desbiens, Jr., G
Wisconsin (La Malbaie, Québec)
Desbiens' latest string of consecutive shutouts – a pair of 3-0 blankings over St. Cloud State – lifted her into third on the NCAA's all-time list with 31 career clean sheets. In addition, Desbiens now has 14 shutouts this season alone, matching her own program record (shared with U.S. Olympian Jessie Vetter). This past weekend, the junior from La Malbaie, Québec stopped all 28 shots she faced – 15 on Saturday and another 13 on Sunday. Desbiens continues to lead the nation in save percentage (.966), goals-against average (0.62) wins (24) and shutouts, while the No. 2 Badgers lead the country in scoring defense (0.57 goals allowed per contest). This is Desbiens' fifth WCHA weekly award of the 2015-16 season (second-consecutive) and her 12th career accolade (including three Rookie of the Week honors).
Also nominated: Sydney Baldwin, So., D, Minnesota (had one goal and one assist, while helping hold No. 7 Bemidji State to two goals on the weekend as No. 3 UMN earned a road sweep); Halli Krzyzaniak, Jr., D, North Dakota (recorded a career-high three points on two goals and one assist in No. 8 UND's 5-5 tie Saturday, while finishing the weekend with a team-leading +4 rating).
Morgan Morse, Fr., F
Minnesota Duluth (Lakeville, Minnesota)
Morse led all NCAA freshmen (and tied for the nation's overall lead) with three goals, including the game-winner Saturday evening for Minnesota Duluth. After entering the weekend with one goal in her first 26 collegiate games, Morse cut into visiting Ohio State's lead with her first score of the weekend – a third-period tally in Friday's series opener. Saturday, the rookie from Lakeville, Minn. bookended UMD's scoring in a 4-3 triumph. Morse gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead 2:16 into the game, then snapped a 3-3 tie with just 1:54 remaining in regulation on a wrist shot from the circle. She finished the series with nine shots on goal and a +2 rating. This is Morse's first career WCHA weekly award.
Also nominated: Sam Cogan, Fr., F, Wisconsin (scored a goal, had two assists and led the WCHA with a +5 rating during No. 2 UW's sweep of St. Cloud State); Charly Dahlquist, Fr., F, North Dakota (tallied an assist and a +1 rating as No. 8 UND earned five points); Jordan McLaughlin, Fr., F, Minnesota State (recorded a career-high three points, with two goals and one assist, as MSU earned a 5-5 tie Saturday at No. 8 North Dakota).