EDINA, Minn. – Oct. 18, 2016 – For their roles in helping their teams to a pair of league sweeps – including two players who combined for three game-winning goals in the third period or overtime – the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Players of the Week for games of Oct. 14-15, 2016 are: Minnesota sophomore forward Sarah Potomak (Offensive Player of the Week), North Dakota senior goaltender Lexie Shaw (Defensive Player of the Week) and North Dakota freshman forward Emma Nuutinen (Rookie of the Week).
Sarah Potomak, So., F
Minnesota (Aldergrove, British Columbia)
Potomak led the No. 2 Gophers with a career series-high three goals – including both game-winners, one in the third period and one in overtime – in Minnesota's home sweep over No. 4 Minnesota Duluth. The sophomore from Aldergrove, British Columbia tallied nine shots on goal, one blocked shot and was on the ice for four of Minnesota's seven goals in the series (including two power-play tallies). Potomak scored twice in the Gophers' 4-3 win in the series opener, once to snap a 2-2 tie in the second period and then, to break a 3-3 deadlock with the winning score at the 13:20 mark of the third. The 2015-16 National Rookie of the Year then sealed the sweep Sunday, scoring the game-winning goal with 1:03 remaining in overtime to lift Minnesota to the 3-2 triumph. This is Potomak's sixth career WCHA weekly award, as she earned five Rookie of the Week accolades during her freshman campaign.
Honorable Mention: Emily Bergland, So., F, Bemidji State (led the WCHA with five points on two goals and three assists, including a four-point effort in No. 10/9 BSU's win Sunday against Ohio State); Sydney McKibbon, Sr., F, Wisconsin (tallied a four-point weekend and a +4 rating, helping the No. 1 Badgers to a nonconference road sweep at then-No. 7 Clarkson); Amy Menke, Sr., F, North Dakota (recorded three assists to help the No. 10 Fighting Hawks to a home sweep of Minnesota State); Lauren Spring, Jr., F, Ohio State (scored two goals, had an assist, blocked a team-high four shots and was +3 as the Buckeyes split a road series at then-No. 8 Bemidji State).
Lexie Shaw, Sr., G
North Dakota (Troy, Mich.)
Shaw continued her hot start, as the NCAA's goals-against average leader totaled 36 saves and a shutout while helping No. 9/10 North Dakota to its first sweep of the season. The senior from Troy, Mich. turned in her second-consecutive shutout with a 17-save performance in Friday's series opener, a 6-0 win over visiting Minnesota State. On Saturday, Shaw extended her career-best undefeated streak to six games, making 19 stops – including eight in the third period and overtime – in a 4-3 Fighting Hawks victory. This is Shaw's second career WCHA weekly award, and first since earning Rookie of the Week accolades on Jan. 22, 2014.
Honorable Mention: Megan Hinze, So., D, Minnesota State (scored two goals in the Mavericks' 4-3, OT loss at No. 9/10 North Dakota); Madison Hutchinson, Sr., D, Bemidji State (tied for the team lead with two goals as No. 10/9 BSU split with visiting Ohio State); Lee Stecklein, Sr., D, Minnesota (recorded three assists, including one on a game-winning goal, and logged three blocked shots in the No. 2 Gophers' sweep of No. 4 Minnesota Duluth).
Emma Nuutinen, Fr., F
North Dakota (Vantaa, Finland)
Nuutinen led all NCAA freshmen with three goals – including Saturday's overtime game-winner and tied for tops among national rookies with four points, helping No. 9/10 North Dakota to a sweep of visiting Minnesota State. Playing in front of the home crowd for the first time, the freshman from Vantaa, Finland scored her first two collegiate goals in the Fighting Hawks' 6-0 win Friday. After tallying the primary assist on her team's opening goal Saturday, Nuutinen gave UND the 4-3 win with her goal at the 3:36 mark of overtime. She finished the series with six shots on goal and a +3 rating.
Honorable Mention: Patti Marshall, Fr., D, Minnesota (scored her first collegiate goal in No. 2 UMN's 4-3 win over No. 4 Minnesota Duluth on Friday); Presley Norby, Fr., F, Wisconsin (her first collegiate goal was the game-winner and part of a three-point day as the No. 1 Badgers won at then-No. 7 Clarkson on Saturday to sweep the series); Kiki Radke, Fr., F, Bemidji State (led the No. 10/9 Beavers with 15 shots on goal, peppering the net during a series split with visiting Ohio State).