Blais, Rasmussen Honored

     Two Minnesota Duluth women’s players were honored by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with weekly awards Wednesday. Here’ s the release. Further down is the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association women’s preseason poll:

MADISON, Wis. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association today (Oct. 28) announced the women’s players of the week for Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2009. They are Minnesota Duluth forward Emmanuelle Blais on offense, Minnesota Duluth defenseman Jaime Rasmussen on defense, and Minnesota goaltender Noora Räty as rookie.

WCHA Offensive Player of the Week
Emmanuelle Blais
Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth

     Senior forward Emmanuelle Blais tallied four goals and an assist for the No. 5-ranked Minnesota Duluth last weekend to help the Bulldogs sweep WCHA rival and visiting North Dakota.
    The native of Lasalle, Quebec netted her first collegiate three-goal hat trick in last Friday’s (Oct. 23) 4-1 win over the Sioux, including two power-play goals. Trailing 1-0 at the start of the second period, Blais scored at 0:24 to tie the game and then PPGs at 15:11 of period two and at 9:13 of the third to complete her hat trick.
    Last Saturday (Oct. 24), Blais scored UMD’s first goal of the game Saturday, which tied the score just 10 minutes into play. She also had an assist on the Bulldogs’ final goal to give her a total of five points on the weekend. She also fired eight shots on goal and earned a +2 plus/minus rating.
    Blais, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points (7g, 4a) through eight games, is also ranked second in the WCHA for points and goals.
    Also nominated for the award this week were: Erin Cody, F, BSU; Laura May, F, UM; Laura McIntosh, F, OSU; and Mallory Deluce, F, UW.

WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Jaime Rasmussen
Sr., D, Minnesota Duluth

    Minnesota Duluth senior defenseman Jaime Rasmussen registered a goal and four assists last weekend against North Dakota to help the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs to a two-game sweep of their WCHA series in Duluth.
    A product of Garden Grove, Calif., Rasmussen dished out a career-high three assists from the blueline last Friday (Oct. 23) night in the Bulldogs’ 4-1 win over the visiting Sioux.
    The assistant UMD team captain then scored the game-winning goal last Saturday (Oct. 24) on a power blast from the point, before adding an assist on the Bulldogs’ third goal in a 3-1 triumph over UND. In addition to her five scoring points, Rasmussen also fired 12 shots on goal in the series.
    Rasmussen currently is the highest scoring blueliner in the country in Div. 1 women’s hockey with eight points (2g, 6a) through eight games for a 1.00 points per game average. She is also tied for the No. 2 spot in the WCHA with her six assists, and ranks No. 1 in the conference with five (1g, 4a) power-play points.

Wisconsin-River Falls Picked in NCHA

The Wisconsin-River Falls women’s hockey team has been picked to win the 2010 NCHA championship.

In the league’s annual coaches poll, the Falcons picked up six of nine first place votes. Wisconsin-Superior had two first-place votes and was picked No. 2

The Falcons return 17 of 19 letter winners from the 2009 team that won both the NCHA regular season and playoff championships. UWRF finished the season with an overall record of 20-7-3 and were 15-2-1 in league play.

The Falcons are coached by Joe Cranston who starts his 11th season behind the bench. He has a 150-96-20 career record.

UWRF advanced to the NCAA National Championships and upset No. 1 ranked Gustavus Adolphus, 2-1, in a game played in St. Peter, Minn. The Falcons advanced to the NCAA semifinals at Middlebury, Vt., College where they lost, 3-0, to Elmira College. In the game for third place the Falcons lost a 3-2 overtime decision to Middlebury.