Ohio State Sweeps Weekly WCHA Honors, Sauve is NCAA's First Star

By Aubrey Nelson on February 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Ohio State's Tatum Skaggs, Kassidy Sauve, and Emma Maltais make it a Buckeye sweep of the weekly WCHA awards.

The latest round of weekly women’s hockey honors are out and once again Ohio State features prominently. And by “features prominently,” I mean “wins everything.” Buckeyes swept the conference accolades and claimed the nation’s top star.

2017-18 WCHA Weekly Honors Buckeye Winners
Offensive Player of the Week Maddy Field, Jr. F (2x)
  Tatum Skaggs, Fr. F (2x)
  Lauren Boyle, Jr. D
  Emma Maltais, Fr. F.
  Liz Schepers, Fr. F
Defensive Player of the Week Kassidy Sauve, Jr. G (4x)
Rookie of the Week Emma Maltais, Fr. F (3x)
  Tatum Skaggs, Fr. F (2x)
  Liz Schepers, Fr. F

After sweeping No. 1 Wisconsin, Kassidy Sauve reigns supreme as the NCAA’s First Star of the Week and the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week. Tatum Skaggs brings home WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors. Emma Maltais racks up another WCHA Rookie of the Week nod.

All three women were major factors in the Buckeyes’ success last week. Led offensively by the dazzling rookie duo and backstopped brilliantly throughout by Sauve, Ohio State completed the first regular season sweep of Wisconsin (by any team) since 2014.

2017-18 NCAA Weekly Honors Buckeye Winners
First Star of the Week Kassidy Sauve, Jr. G (2x)
Second Star of the Week Lauren Boyle, Jr. D

Let’s start with the Whitby Whitewash. Sauve shut the Badgers out on Friday with a 26 save effort. It was the first time Wisconsin had been blanked this season.

2017-18 WCHA Monthly Honors Buckeye Winners
Offensive Player of the Month Tatum Skaggs, Fr. F
Defensive Player of the Month Kassidy Sauve, Jr. G
Rookie of the Month Emma Maltais, Fr. F (3x)

She nearly repeated the feat on Saturday, stopped 34 of the 35 shots she faced. All series long the junior goaltender was the backbone of a stout Buckeye defense which stymied the Badgers at almost every turn. This is the fourth weekly conference honor of the season for Sauve and the second time she has taken the top national accolade.

Skaggs and Maltais, along with linemate Charly Dahlquist, provided all the offense in the series. Skaggs personally had a hand in every single goal, assisting on three goals and cementing the series sweep with an empty netter on Saturday.

The fabulous freshman also deserves a round of applause for her defensive work in the series. Skaggs blocked six shots last week, more than any other skater in the conference. Five of those blocks came in Saturday’s sweep-clinching win, perhaps none more important than the two she thwarted during the Badgers final extra-attacker press.

As for Maltais, she set the goal lights flashing in both games of the series. The remarkable rookie netted the game winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 victory. She then opened the scoring on Saturday and contributed the primary assist on Dahlquist’s game winner. This is the fifth weekly conference laurel for Skaggs and the fourth for Maltais.

Sauve, Skaggs, Maltais, and the rest of the Buckeyes finish up their regular season road schedule this week at Minnesota State. Games are currently set for 7pm ET Friday and 3pm ET Saturday. Ohio State closes out 2017-18 next week at home against Bemidji State.

Spring Named Hockey Humanitarian Finalist

Senior forward Lauren Spring survived the latest round of cuts for the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award. She joins four other finalists under consideration for the title of college hockey’s “finest citizen.” Head coach Nadine Muzerall had high praise for the self-less veteran, saying, “Lauren sets the standard for what we want our players to be on and off the ice. She’s worked hard to push this team to new heights as a player, and she’s inspired the team to do more in the community. She lives Buckeye hockey through and through, we’re honored to have her on our team and we’re incredibly proud of her.” Hear Lauren's thoughts on the honor here.

Scarlet and Gray at the Olympic Games

Three Buckeye hockey alums will represent their respective countries at the 2018 Olympics. Another will be your guide for the puck portion of the winter games. Natalie Spooner skates for Team Canada. Annie Svedin takes the ice for Team Sweden. Minttu Tuominen competes with Team Finland. Former OSU star and gold medalist Tessa Bonhomme is part of NBC’s Olympic hockey broadcast team.

  • The sweep of Wisconsin boosts Ohio State (19-7-4, 12-4-4-3 WCHA) up to No. 5 in both polls.
  • The Buckeyes are No. 5 in the PairWise rankings. It’s a ways off yet but, barring massive conference tournament upsets or a reshuffling of the seeds due to travel, this would mean a first round NCAA tourney match at No. 4 Colgate.
  • The men’s hockey Bucks hold on at No. 6 in the polls despite a split with Michigan State. They are No. 6 in the PairWise rankings as well.
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