MINNEAPOLIS – Three Golden Gophers have picked up WCHA monthly awards for the final month of the season as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced its Player of the Month awards, Powered by GoodWood Hockey, for March 2018.
Olivia Knowles (Defensive), Grace Zumwinkle (Rookie), and Sidney Peters (Goaltender) earned WCHA monthly awards after the Gophers defeated No. 5 Ohio State and No. 1 Wisconsin to win the WCHA Final Faceoff crown and earn the program’s 11th straight and 16th overall NCAA Tournament bid in March. Minnesota then fell to Wisconsin in the NCAA quarterfinal round, and the Gophers wrapped up the month with a 2-1-0 record in three games played.
Defensive Player of the Month: Olivia Knowles
Freshman defense Olivia Knowles led WCHA defensemen with two points, two assists, 0.67 points per game, and 0.67 assists per game during the month of March. Knowles assisted both game-winning goals in the WCHA Final Faceoff, first setting up Grace Zumwinkle in Minnesota’s 2-0 WCHA semifinal win over No. 5 Ohio State. Knowles then set up Taylor Williamson's go-ahead, game-winning goal in the Gophers' 3-1 win over Wisconsin in the WCHA championship game, breaking a 1-1 tie early in the second period.
Rookie of the Month: Grace Zumwinkle
Freshman forward Grace Zumwinkle recorded three points on two goals and one assist, had 13 shots on goal, and was plus-three in three games during March. She scored both goals in Minnesota's 2-0 WCHA semifinal win over No. 5 Ohio State, giving the Gophers the 1-0 lead early in the second period before sealing the win with an empty net goal with one minute remaining. She then picked up an assist on Nicole Schammel’s empty net goal in the Gophers’ 3-1 win over No. 1 Wisconsin in the championship game. Zumwinkle was named to the WCHA Final Faceoff All-Tournament Team.
Zumwinkle's three points were tied for third in the league among all players during the month of March, and she was one of four WCHA players to record multiple goals. Among WCHA rookies, Zumwinkle led the WCHA in goals (2), points (3), goals per game (0.67), points per game (1.00), and game-winning goals (1). Her plus-three rating was second only to teammate Taylor Wente (plus-four), and Zumwinkle's 13 shots on goal were third among WCHA rookies.
Goaltender of the Month: Sidney Peters
Redshirt senior goaltender Sidney Peters earned a 33-save shutout in the team’s 2-0 WCHA semifinal win over No. 5 Ohio State before making 31 more saves in the Gophers’ 3-1 win over No. 1 Wisconsin in the championship game. Peters was named the WCHA Final Faceoff Most Outstanding Player after combining for 64 saves on 65 shots faced in two WCHA Final Faceoff games, going 2-0-0 to lead the Gophers into the NCAA tournament after securing the league's automatic berth. Peters made 35 more saves against the Badgers just six days later but Minnesota fell 4-0 in the NCAA quarterfinal round.
For the month, Peters led the WCHA with a .667 winning percentage at 2-1-0. She was one of two WCHA netminders to record two wins in the month and one of three to secure a shutout. Peters ranked second in the league with a .952 save percentage and third in the league with a 1.67 goals against average for the month of March. Nationally, her save percentage ranked fifth and her goals against average ranked sixth.
WCHA Players of the Month: March 2018
Offensive: Baylee Wellhausen, Sr., Wisconsin
Defensive: Olivia Knowles, Fr., Minnesota
Goaltender: Sidney Peters, RS-Sr., Minnesota
Rookie: Grace Zumwinkle, Fr., F, Minnesota
Gophers' 2017-18 WCHA Monthly Award Recipients
Sydney Baldwin, Defensive (October)
Sydney Baldwin, Defensive (November)
Grace Zumwinkle, Offensive (December)
Sydney Baldwin, Defensive (January)
Sydney Baldwin, Defensive (February)
Olivia Knowles, Defensive (March)
Sidney Peters, Goaltender (March)
Grace Zumwinkle, Rookie (March)
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)
The Women’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won a record 16 national championships in 18 seasons since its inception in 1999 (including 15 of a possible 17 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Award winners, 95 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team Division 1 conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit www.wcha.com.
About GoodWood Hockey
Family owned and operated in Saint Paul, Minn., GoodWood Hockey is focused on providing unique, high quality, socially-responsible apparel to the growing hockey community. The only hockey-inspired clothing company that specializes in items for the entire family, GoodWood Hockey aims to become a household name in homes across North America through providing excellent products backed by exceptional customer service. Through their philanthropic division, GWH: Hockey for Good, the brand aims to provide support and solutions to global issues through a variety of charities and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.goodwoodhockey.com.
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