EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 3, 2017 – As the calendar flipped to 2017, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) once again produced several outstanding individual and team efforts, including those of the three student-athletes honored with monthly accolades for January. Minnesota Duluth senior forward Lara Stalder has been named Offensive Player of the Month, Wisconsin senior goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens garnered Defensive Player of the Month honors and Ohio State redshirt-freshman defenseman Jincy Dunne is the league's Rookie of the Month.
Lara Stalder, Sr., F
Minnesota Duluth (Luzern, Switzerland)
Stalder was sensational in January, ranking among the WCHA and NCAA leaders in several offensive categories, leading Minnesota Duluth to an undefeated 5-0-1 record and a climb to No. 2 in the national polls. The senior from Luzern, Switzerland produced an NCAA-best 2.67 points-per-game, tying for the WCHA lead with 16 points overall on eight goals and eight assists. She tied for tops nationally for goals, goals per game (1.33) and +/- rating (an outstanding +16), while leading all skaters with an average of 7.83 shots per contest. Stalder also sat atop the WCHA leaderboard with an average of 1.33 assists per game, and tied for the league lead with a pair of game-winning goals.
A three-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week during the month, Stalder tallied a point in all six games and factored in each of the Bulldogs' five game-winning goals (two goals and three assists). She opened the month with her first weekly award following a six-point series (3g-3a) in UMD's historic sweep of then-No. 2 Minnesota (Jan. 13-14), then tallied a hat trick and another six-point weekend at Bemidji State (Jan. 20-21). Stalder closed the month with a one-goal, three-assist weekend as the Bulldogs swept visiting Ohio State (Jan. 27-28).
Stalder is currently tied for third nationally by averaging 1.65 points per game, tallying 43 (17g-26a) in 26 contests. She is tied for seventh in goals per game (0.65) and ranks fourth for assists per contest (1.00). This is Stalder's first career WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Emily Bergland, So., F, Bemidji State (tied for sixth in the WCHA with four goals, tied for second with a .667 face-off percentage and led the Beavers with five points); Corbin Boyd, So., F, Minnesota State (either led or tied for the Mavericks' team lead with two goals, three assists, five points and 56 face-off wins, while compiling a +3 rating); Charly Dahlquist, So., F, North Dakota (tallied a point in four-of-six games, while leading the Fighting Hawks with three goals); Maddy Field, So., F, Ohio State (tallied seven points on two goals and five assists, logged a six-game point streak and finished the month with a +8 rating); Annie Pankowski, Jr., F, Wisconsin (tied for the WCHA lead with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists, recorded at least one point in all seven games and helped the top-ranked Badgers to a perfect 7-0-0 month); Kelly Pannek, Jr., F, Minnesota (collected 11 points on five goals and six assists, had a point in six-of-seven games and led the WCHA with 113 face-off wins).
Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., G
Wisconsin (La Malbaie, Québec)
Desbiens continued her stellar play in net for top-ranked Wisconsin, winning all six of her starts and earning a NCAA-high three shutouts. The only goaltender in the country to make at least five starts and finish January undefeated, Desbiens paced the NCAA with a 0.67 goals-against average and ranked second with a WCHA-best .962 save-percentage.
The senior from La Malbaie, Quebec opened the month with consecutive shutouts in the Badgers' sweep of visiting St. Cloud State (Jan. 13-14), including a 2-0 blanking in front of a U.S. women's hockey-record 15,369 fans at the Kohl Center on Jan. 14. Desbiens then backstopped UW to a pair of one-goal home wins over North Dakota (Jan. 21), before wrapping up the month with a shutout during the Badgers' sweep over visiting Minnesota State (Jan. 27-28).
This is the third career WCHA monthly honor for Desbiens, who currently leads the NCAA in five categories: wins (20), winning percentage (.932), goals-against average (0.72), save percentage (.958) and shutouts (11).
Honorable Mention: Anna Keys, Jr., D, Minnesota State (led the Mavericks and ranked second in the WCHA with 20 blocked shots, while pacing Minnesota State defensemen with two assists); Halli Krzyzaniak, Sr., D, North Dakota (had two goals and three assists to tie for third among WCHA blue-liners with five points, while leading the Fighting Hawks with 17 blocked shots); Kassidy Sauve, RS-So., G, Ohio State (led the WCHA – by 64 – and ranked second nationally with 256 saves, while ranking fifth in the NCAA with a .948 save percentage during her WCHA-high 468:55 in net); Lee Stecklein, Sr., D, Minnesota (tied for the WCHA scoring lead among defensemen and tied for fourth nationally with seven points, helping the No. 2 Gophers to a 4-2-1 month).
Jincy Dunne, RS-Fr., D
Ohio State (O'Fallon, Mo.)
Dunne excelled on both ends of the ice for Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes eclipse their 2015-16 victory total during the month. Defensively, her 17 blocked shots led WCHA freshmen and tied for third nationally among first-year skaters. On the offensive side, Dunne tied for fourth among WCHA rookies with four points (2g-2a) and was on the ice for nine Ohio State goals, most among league freshmen.
The native of O'Fallon, Mo. opened the month by factoring in both game-winning goals in Ohio State's road sweep at Penn State (Jan. 6-7), scoring the winner in the series opener and assisting on the deciding marker in the finale. She also helped the Ohio State defense hold opponents to two goals-or-less in five-of-eight games, including three-of-six WCHA contests.
This is the first career WCHA monthly award for Dunne, who ranks third among all league skaters (tied for seventh nationally) with 62 blocked shots as a redshirt-freshman.
Honorable Mention: Janine Alder, Fr., G, St. Cloud State (posted a .941 save percentage, a 2.31 goals-against average, two wins, and a shutout against then-No. 7 Colgate, while logging a 40-save and 59-stop effort for the Huskies); Ryleigh Houston, Fr., F, North Dakota (led WCHA freshmen with five assists, six points and an average of 1.00 points per game, while logging a .556 face-off percentage and +3 rating for the Fighting Hawks); Jordan Jackson, Fr., D, Minnesota State (led Maverick rookies and ranked second among WCHA freshmen with 11 blocked shots, while recording her first career assist); Haley Mack, Fr., F, Bemidji State (ranked second among WCHA rookies with a .568 face-off percentage, while leading Beaver freshmen with one goal); Alexis Mauermann, Fr., F, Wisconsin (led UW rookies and ranked second among WCHA freshmen with five points, tallying two goals and three assists for the top-ranked Badgers).