|Emma Nuutinen leads all freshmen in the WCHA with seven goals, while Ryleigh Houston leads the WCHA freshmen with three game-winning goals.|
|Senior goaltender Lexie Shaw is tied for third among the nation’s goalies with six shutouts this season.|
|The Fighting Hawks are undefeated (10-0-3) when scoring the first goal of the game.|
|Last year’s leading scorer, Amy Menke, returns for her senior season, and needs two more points to become UND’s seventh 100-point scorer.|
|Six of UND’s seven defensemen have scored goals this season, and the D-corps has totaled 45 of UND’s 132 points this season.|
After an idle weekend, North Dakota begins the 2017 year with a conference series against Minnesota State this weekend, Jan. 13-14, in Mankato, Minn. Both Friday’s and Saturday’s contests will begin at 2 p.m. (CT).
UND enters the weekend leading the overall series with a 27-24-7 record against the Mavericks. The Fighting Hawks are also 9-0-1 against MSU in the past 10 games, and have out-scored Minnesota State 39-13 in that span. Amy Menke leads the Fighting Hawks with 14 career points against the Mavericks, with three goals and 11 assists, but defenseman Gracen Hirschy leads UND with four career goals against MSU. In net, Lexie Shaw holds a 5-1-0 record against MSU, with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
Live stats for the weekend’s games will be available at MSUMavericks.com, while live video streams of the games will be available through Stretch Internet.
Receive real-time updates during all UND women’s hockey games by following @UNDWHockey. Additional in-game updates and commentary is provided by junior goaltender Annie Chipman via her gameday twitter account @Chips_Corner.
Last Time Out
The Fighting Hawks ended the 2016 calendar year with a split against Lindenwood on Dec. 16-17 in Wentzville, Mo. North Dakota won the first game, 5-0, but ended up dropping the second game, 4-1. It marked the first loss in program history to Lindenwood.
Five different players scored for UND in the first contest. Amy Menke opened the scoring with her third shorthanded goal of the year. Rebekah Kolstad added the second goal of the game, while Taylor Flaherty scored her first collegiate goal to put UND up 3-0 before the end of the second period. Kayla Gardner and Ryleigh Houston added their names to the score sheet in the third period to seal the 5-0 win for UND. Lexie Shaw made 11 saves in net to record her sixth shutout of the season.
In the series finale, the Lions out-hustled UND to begin the contest and netted two quick goals in the first period for a 2-0 lead. Marissa Salo scored on a two-on-one break in the first two minutes of the second period to respond for UND. However, Lindenwood scored on the power play just minutes later to recapture its two-goal lead. The Lions then scored on an empty net to seal the 4-1 win. Lexie Shaw started the contest for UND, but Kristen Campbell made her second appearance in net, finishing the contest with five saves and no goals allowed.
If You Ain’t First, You’re Last
The Fighting Hawks are undefeated (10-0-3) when scoring the first goal of the game. On the flip side, UND is winless when its opponents score first (0-7-2).
Senior Lexie Shaw currently ranks second among WCHA goaltenders with a 1.44 goals-against average and fourth with a .933 save percentage. She has also played a major role in UND’s penalty kill which ranks fifth in the nation with a .916 efficiency.
Shaw was named the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Month for October. She posted three shutouts in that span, including a 21-save effort against national-ranked Bemidji State. She made a season-high 38 saves, conceding just one goal, against No. 1 Wisconsin on Oct. 22. Shaw was also instrumental in helping UND post the nation’s second-best penalty-kill percentage at .957 (44-for-46), making a total of 55 saves on the PK over the month.
The Fighting Hawks rank seventh nationally among senior scoring, as the UND senior class has totaled 60 points so far this season. Amy Menke is also tied for the national lead with three shorthanded goals on the year.
Starting off Strong
North Dakota’s freshman class ranks first in the WCHA, and third in the nation, with 49 points on the season, stemming from 22 goals and 27 assists. All eight freshman skaters have already recorded a point, and the class is led by Ryleigh Houston who has 14 points from five goals and nine assists, ranking third among freshmen in the WCHA.
Houston was also named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Month for December. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native led all conference freshmen with three goals during the final month of 2016. She also tallied one assist for a total of four points through UND’s six games in December. Of her three goals, one was scored on the power-play and another was a game-winner. She finished the month with 17 shots on net, a +1 plus/minus rating and three blocked shots.
Six of UND’s seven defensemen have scored goals this season, with both Gracen Hirschy and Jordan Hampton leading the group with three goals each. Hirschy also leads in overall points with 12. Additionally, the UND defensemen have totaled 35 assists, and have generated one third of UND’s scoring this season.
Senior forward Amy Menke the top-10 scoring list at UND, and sits in seventh place with 98 career points. She is just two points shy of becoming the seventh 100-point scorer in program history.
North Dakota has only lost twice in its last 19 games (4-2-13) that have gone into overtime. The last overtime game that UND lost was on Oct. 17, 2014 to then-No. 8 Bemidji State.
North Dakota earned 13 points for the No. 10 spot in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
(see page 4 for complete poll information)