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Gophers' Grace Zumwinkle and Skylar Vetter earn WCHA player of the month awards following undefeated January

The collection of WCHA awards being sent to Ridder Arena this season keeps getting bigger and bigger, as a fifth-year forward and a sophomore goalie were honored by the conference.

St. Cloud State vs Minnesota
Sophomore goalie Skylar Vetter started six of the Minnesota Gophers first eight games of the 2022-23 season, as they opened 7-0-1 and she was named the WCHA's goalie of the month for October 2022.
Matt Krohn / Gopher Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — The ability to put the puck in the opponents’ net, while keeping it out of their own, is one of the primary reasons the Minnesota Gophers are in strong contention for a second consecutive WCHA regular season title. This week the WCHA honored the Gophers — who went 8-0-0 in January — for their ability to do those two things well.

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Minnesota Gophers forward Grace Zumwinkle looks for a teammate while Ohio State goalie Andrea Braendli guarded the goalmouth on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
John Autey / The Rink Live

This week the conference honored Gophers forward Grace Zumwinkle and goalie Skylar Vetter as its forward and goalie of the month, respectively, for January.

For Zumwinkle, a fifth-year player who was on the U.S. Olympic Team last season, it was the sixth WCHA monthly honor of her career. In those eight January wins, Zumwinkle tallied a team-high 16 points with eight goals and eight assists.

Ohio State fifth-year senior defenseman Sophie Jaques became the first Buckeye and second defenseman to ever win the Patty Kazmaier Award in its 26 years.
Orono's Lizi Norton is playing in her third-straight Frozen Four this week at Amsoil Arena in Duluth after helping host UMD reach back-to-back Frozen Fours in 2021 and 2022.
The WCHA nabbed six of the 12 spots with Ashton Bell, Sophie Jaques and Taylor Heise being named to the first team
A 25-year veteran of the NCAA, Mark Bedics has worked over 100 NCAA championship events, including the men's and women's NCAA Frozen Four.
A year after losing to UMD in a regional final at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota beat the Bulldogs 3-0 to book a trip to Amsoil Arena next week.
Skylar Vetter's 30 saves, coupled with an exemplary afternoon by defenseman Madeline Wethington, have Minnesota headed north to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2019.
The Bulldogs face Minnesota on Saturday in the NCAA regional final.
Only one maroon and gold team from the State of Hockey can play next week at Amsoil Arena. Will it be the Gophers, or hometown Bulldogs?
Senior defenseman Taylor Stewart scored twice and fifth-year senior goaltender Emma Soderberg posted another shutout for UMD to set up an NCAA regional final rematch with Minnesota on Saturday.
Minnesota Duluth isn't just looking to play in a Frozen Four at home at Amsoil Arena, UMD wants to avenge last season's NCAA title game defeat.

Vetter, a sophomore from Lakeville, Minn., where she played high school boys hockey , was named goaltender of the month for the third time this season and has been named the conference goaltender of the week six times. In January she posted a perfect 7-0-0 record with a 1.20 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Her record stands at 19-3-2 heading into this weekend’s home series with top-ranked Ohio State.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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