BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 1, 2018 – Following the final month of the regular season (which included the opening round of league playoffs), the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is proud to recognize its WCHA Players of the Month, Powered by GoodWood Hockey, for February 2018. The honorees are: Ohio State freshman Tatum Skaggs (Offensive), Minnesota senior Sydney Baldwin (Defensive), Bemidji State freshman Kerigan Dowhy (Goaltender) and Ohio State freshman forward Emma Maltais (Rookie).
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Tatum Skaggs, Fr.
Ohio State (Hartland, Wis.)
Skaggs spent the month of February doing what she has done much of the season for No. 5 Ohio State – fill up the scoresheet. The freshman from Hartland, Wis. tied for the WCHA lead with eight points, tallying five goals and three assists in eight games. A clutch performer, she also tied for the WCHA lead with a pair of game-winning goals as the Buckeyes set multiple program victory records.
A third-team All-WCHA selection this season, Skaggs collected three multi-point efforts last month. First, she wrapped up a four-point series against top-ranked Wisconsin with a one-goal, two-assist performance in the Buckeyes' sweep-clinching, 3-1 win Feb. 3. Skaggs then tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-0 victory over Bemidji State (Feb. 16). She also lit the lamp twice (also with the game-winner) in OSU's 5-2 triumph over Minnesota State on Feb. 24, a win that sent the Buckeyes to the WCHA Final Faceoff for the first time since 2013.
Skaggs enters this weekend's WCHA Final Faceoff as the league's top overall goal-scorer with 23, while her 37 points are second behind teammate Emma Maltais. This is Skaggs' second-consecutive WCHA Offensive Player of the Month award.
Honorable Mention: Lindsay Agnew, So., Minnesota (tallied two goals and four assists, averaged 1.00 points per game and finished with a plus-4 rating in helping the No. 7 Gophers back to the WCHA Final Faceoff); Emily Bergland, Jr., Bemidji State (second on the team with five points, led the WCHA with 97 faceoff wins, and netted the game-winning goal in the decisive quarterfinal-round Game 3, sending the Beavers to the Final Faceoff); Sam Cogan, Jr., Wisconsin (led the top-ranked Badgers with five points, helping UW clinch its third-straight WCHA regular season title and an automatic bid to the Final Faceoff); Jordan McLaughlin, Jr., Minnesota State (garnered three goals and two assists for five points, including an assist in the Mavericks' upset win over No. 5 Ohio State on Feb. 9).
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Sydney Baldwin, Sr.
Minnesota (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Baldwin again showed why she is a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, turning in another stellar month. The senior from Minnetonka, Minn. tied for the overall WCHA lead with 1.17 points per game, while she led league blueliners with four goals, seven points, one game-winning goal, 3.00 shots on goal per game and a .222 scoring percentage (18 shots). Her seven points also paced Minnesota, as the No. 7 Gophers went 3-2-1 to return to the WCHA Final Faceoff.
Now a four-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Month this season, Baldwin had at least one point in four of Minnesota's six games in February, including three multi-point games and back-to-back two-goal efforts. She scored twice, including the game-winner, in the Gophers' 5-2 road triumph at St. Cloud State on Feb. 3, then notched two more goals in a 4-3 setback at No. 1 Wisconsin on Feb. 16. Most recently, Baldwin recorded three assists during Minnesota's WCHA Quarterfinals sweep of SCSU. The Gophers' co-captain also ranked fifth in the league with 19 blocked shots last month and tied for fourth among all skaters with a plus-7 rating.
Baldwin in ranks second this season among NCAA Division I blueliners with 32 points (tops in the WCHA), 12 goals (tied) and 92 blocks, while she is tied for sixth with a plus-24 rating.
Honorable Mention: Jincy Dunne, RS-So., Ohio State (led the WCHA with a plus-11 rating and seven assists, while also blocking 15 shots as the No. 5 Buckeyes set team victory records and advanced to the Final Faceoff); Alexis Joyce, Sr., Bemidji State (led the team and tied for the WCHA blueliner lead with seven points, while pacing the league with 27 blocked shots to help the Beavers advance to the Final Faceoff); Anna Keys, Sr., Minnesota State (ranked second in the WCHA with 24 blocked shots, tied fort het team lead with five points, and scored the game-winning goal in the Mavericks' Feb. 2 win over Bemidji State); Mekenzie Steffen, So., Wisconsin (recorded four assists and 14 blocked shots, helping the top-ranked Badgers clinch the WCHA regular season title and advance to the Final Faceoff).
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Kerigan Dowhy, Fr.
Bemidji State (The Pas, Manitoba)
With just three collegiate starts to her name before Feb. 17, Dowhy took the reins for the regular season finale and hasn't looked back, guiding Bemidji State to a 3-1-0 record and a trip to the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff. In those four starts, the freshman posted the WCHA's second-best save percentage (.941) and third-best goals-against average (1.51) in February, along with her first collegiate shutout. She led NCAA rookie netminders with a .750 winning percentage, while her save percentage and GAA both ranked second.
A native of The Pas, Manitoba, Dowhy backstopped the Beavers to a 2-1 upset win at No. 5 Ohio State in the final regular season game, then to a three-game victory over host Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA Quarterfinals. She made 28 saves against the Buckeyes, then 29 stops in a 2-1 win over the Bulldogs in her postseason debut. After BSU dropped the second contest at UMD, Dowhy turned in a sparkling, 24-save effort in a 3-0, Game 3 win at AMSOIL Arena.
This is Dowhy's first WCHA monthly award.
Honorable Mention: Kristen Campbell, So., Wisconsin (tied for the league lead with three wins and two shutouts, while ranking second with a 1.49 goals-against average as the top-ranked Badgers advanced to the Final Faceoff after clinching the WCHA regular season crown); Kassidy Sauvé, RS-Jr., Ohio State (led the WCHA with a .976 save percentage and a 0.76 goals-against average, while also tying for the league lead with two shutouts for the No. 5 Buckeyes).
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Emma Maltais, Fr., F
Ohio State (Burlington, Ontario)
Among the WCHA's overall leaders with 24 assists this season, Maltais spent February lighting the lamp, as her five goals tied Skaggs for the league rookie lead and tied for second overall. The freshman also tied for the WCHA lead with two game-winning goals, helping No. 5 Ohio State set multiple program victory records and advance to the Final Faceoff.
Maltais tallied at least a point in six of eight February games, including a three-point series (1g-2a) as the Buckeyes opened the month by sweeping top-ranked Wisconsin. The Burlington, Ontario native factored in both game-winning goals (1g-1a) against the Badgers, before netting the tie-breaking, game-winner in a 3-2 road win Feb. 10 at Minnesota State. She scored a goal in both games of OSU's quarterfinal-round sweep of Minnesota State, leading the Buckeyes back to the WCHA Final Faceoff for the first time since 2013.
Now a four-time WCHA monthly award-winner this season, the league's 2017-18 Rookie of the Year enters Final Faceoff with a league-leading 40 points (16g-24a) overall – the most by an Ohio State skater since two-time Olympic medalist Natalie Spooner collected 50 in 2011-12.
Honorable Mention: Paige Beebe, Fr., F, Bemidji State (tied for the league rookie lead four assists, along with 17 shots on goal, as the Beavers advanced to the WCHA Final Faceoff); Brittyn Fleming, Fr., F, Minnesota State (paced the Mavericks with 40 face-off wins and tied for the WCHA rookie lead with four assists, including a pair of helpers in the Mavericks' 4-1 win over No. 5 Ohio State on Feb. 9); Brette Pettet, Fr., F, Wisconsin (tied for the league rookie lead with four assists, including a pair of helpers as the top-ranked Badgers clinched the WCHA regular season title with a win over Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 9); Emma Polusny, Fr., G, St. Cloud State (made a league-best 188 saves, averaging more than 30 per start, while posting two wins, a 2.66 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage); Grace Zumwinkle, Fr., F, Minnesota (ranked third among WCHA rookies with five points, while posting a plus-5 rating and helping the No. 7 Gophers back to the Final Faceoff).