Rookies Recognized by NCAA, WCHA

By Aubrey Nelson on January 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm
Buckeye super rookies Andrea Braendli and Sophie Jaques

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Highlights, awards, potential No. 1 NCAA tournament seeding, there are a lot of good things in the Buckeye hockey world. Here’s a rundown of all the excellent news.

Rookies Honored by WCHA, NCAA

Women's Hockey Week Awards and Accolades
Andrea Braendli, Fr. G No. 3 WCHA Rookie of the Week
Andrea Braendli, Fr. G No. 4 WCHA Goalie of the Week
Charly Dahlquist, Sr. F No. 5 WCHA Forward of the Week
Emma Maltais, So. F No. 5 WCHA Forward of the Month
Emma Maltais, So. F No. 6 WCHA Forward of the Week
Jincy Dunne, RS-Jr. No. 7 WCHA Defenseman of the Week
Tatum Skaggs, So. F No. 8 WCHA Forward of the Week
Jincy Dunne, RS-Jr. No. 8 WCHA Defenseman of the Week
Andrea Braendli, Fr. G No. 8 WCHA Rookie of the Week
Andrea Braendli, Fr. G No. 16 NCAA Third Star of the Week
Andrea Braendli, Fr. G No. 16 WCHA Goalie of the Week
Sophie Jaques, Fr. D No. 16 WCHA Defenseman of the Week

Freshman netminder Andrea Braendli is the big winner this week. She was dubbed both the WCHA’s Goalie of the Week and the NCAA’s No. 3 Star. This is her fourth conference honor and her first national recognition. 

It’s impossible to overstate how key Braendli was to the Bucks’ upset of No. 1 Wisconsin last Friday. The Zurich, Switzerland native turned aside all 32 shots she faced to shutout the Badgers’ top-ranked offense. This included many big-time denials late in the game with the desperate visitors pressing hard for an equalizer. 

Braendli took heavy fire in Saturday’s rematch but held the Buckeyes in the game into the third period. She stopped another 45 shots for a series total of 72. The rookie goaltender owns a 1.79 GAA this season along with a .939 save percentage and three shutouts. 

Fellow freshman Sophie Jaques is the WCHA’s Defenseman of the Week. She was also a key contributor in shutting down the high-flying Badgers on Friday. The young blue liner blocked four shots in the victory and assisted on the game-winning goal. She added another goal and assist in Saturday’s contest. This is the first career conference honor for Jaques. 

Sophomore forward Emma Maltais was an honorable mention for WCHA Forward of the Week. The laurel went instead to Bemidji State sophomore Lydia Passolt (two goals and an assist in a split with Minnesota-Duluth). Minnesota forward Taylor Heise (four assists in a sweep of Minnesota State) was the conference’s Rookie of the Week. 

Braendli, Jaques, and the rest of the Buckeyes are on the road this week visiting Minnesota-Duluth. The Bucks swept the Bulldogs in Columbus back in November. OSU will want to make sure UMD doesn’t return the favor. Games are set for Friday at 8pm ET and Saturday at 5pm ET. 

Buckeyes Among Hockey’s Best Humans 

Lost in the shuffle of a huge week on the ice was the announcement that two Buckeyes have been nominated for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The honor goes to a student-athlete who improves both their team through on-ice contributions and their community through leadership in volunteerism. 

This year’s 17 nominees include senior defenseman Tommy Parran from Ohio State’s men’s team and senior forward Jacyn Reeves from the women’s team. OSU is one of two schools that boast multiple nominees. 

Both players are deserving of the honor. Each is a notable contributor on the ice. Off the ice, besides personal volunteer service and a role with Peer Educators, Parran is the Director of Community Service for the Ohio State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Reeves has been a driving force behind community service for her team. She has also logged over 300 volunteer hours at food pantries, Ronald McDonald House, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the 2nd and 7 Foundation. Finalists for the awards will be announced in February.

Men’s and Women’s Hockey Ranked in Top-5

The women’s hockey Bucks make a big move up the national polls this week, coming in at No. 5 in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. Even more impressive, last week’s split with No. 1 Wisconsin boosts the Buckeyes up to No. 5 in the PairWise, which mimics the NCAA tournament selection process.

Leaving aside Saint Anselm (as the NCAA does) that makes the Bucks the fourth team that counts. OSU is flirting with not only making a return to the NCAA tournament but coming back as a top seed.

After splitting with Michigan last week the Buckeye men slid a bit to No. 4 in the USCHO poll and No. 5 in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. The Bucks also dropped in the Pairwise. They are now No. 5, just outside a No. 1 NCAA tourney seeding.

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