MADISON, Wis. -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (WCHA) announced Wednesday that Bemidji State University women’s hockey forward Kaitlyn Tougas (Fr., Thunder Bay, Ont.) has been selected WCHA Rookie of the Week for her efforts in the Beavers’ nonconference series against the University of Maine Nov. 9-10.
Tougas continued to be one of Bemidji State’s top offensive producers as a top-six forward against Maine last week. In the weekend’s first game, the rookie forward was one of the key cogs in the team's ability to build a lead in the first period as she opened the scoring and assisted on fellow freshman Hanna Moher's (F, Milton, Ont.) first career goal to make it 2-0 just 2:52 later. In addition to registering two points, which tied her for the most among WCHA rookies on the weekend, she set up several other scoring chances and was the team's most efficient shooter, unleashing just two of BSU's 60 shots.
The Thunder Bay, Ont. native, who had a plus-one rating on Friday, tacked on two more shots on goal in a 2-2 tie in the second game of the weekend on Saturday. Tougas, a natural winger, was also very effective in the faceoff circle, winning seven of eight draws on the weekend. She is now tied for sixth in scoring among the league's freshmen with five points in 10 games. That mark also makes her the second-highest scoring Beaver.
The WCHA award marks the first time the league has selected a member of the Beavers for a weekly honor in 2012-13. The last BSU player to earn a conference player of the week award was Montana Vichorek, who took home the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award for the week of Feb. 22, 2012. Vichorek was the last player to receive the accolade in 2011-12. Rachael Kelly (So., F, Rosemount, Minn.) was the last Beaver to receive a WCHA weekly top rookie honor when she won it for the second time in her freshman campaign on Jan. 11.
In addition to Tougas, the WCHA named St. Cloud State University forward Julia Gilbert its Offensive Player of the Week, while SCSU goaltender Julie Friend earned the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award. The Huskies swept Lindenwood University last weekend.
With last weekend’s 4-3 loss and 2-2 tie against the Black Bears, Bemidji State (2-6-2, 1-4-1-0 WCHA) completed nonconference play for the 2012-13 season and will complete its campaign with 22 consecutive WCHA contests. That stretch begins this weekend with a Saturday-Sunday, Alumni Weekend series at the Sanford Center against the University of North Dakota.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).