UMD, UConn goalies sweep Player of the Week honors

In a weekend of outstanding goalie performances our ASN Players of the Week faced a little more volume and, on paper, a little stiffer competition to take home the honor.

So this week we’ll give a little honorable mention shoutout to to Miami (Ohio) goalie Jay Williams, who recorded his first two shutouts of the season in a weekend sweep of Colorado College, and to Wisconsin’s Ann-Renee Desbiens, who needed just 23 saves in picking up her 17th and NCAA record-setting 18th shutout of the season.

Glimmering weekends for both, particularly with Williams helping Miami get above .500 for the first time (15-14-3) since Nov. 7. The Hawks are tied for fourth with Minnesota-Duluth — where men’s Player of the Week Kasimir Kaskisuo (right) backstopped the Bulldogs to a pair of huge road wins at then No. 2 (Pairwise) St. Cloud State.

Duluth, the preseason favorite, is 13-14-5 on the season and their Finnish goalie made a career-high 49 saves in the series opener and 25 more in Saturday’s win to complete the sweep and maintain a fourth-place tie for the final home-ice playoff spot.

The Huskies entered the weekend scoring at a 4.35 goals per game clip, second in the nation and left averaging 4.16 goals per game. (Still second).

St. Cloud had been tied with North Dakota for the NCHC lead, but by virtue of UND’s sweep at Omaha and UMD’s sweep, the only way SCSU can earn a share of the Penrose Cup is if it sweeps Colorado College this weekend and UND is swept at home by Western Michigan.

In other words, Kaskisuo played a huge role in determining the conference champion and the Bulldogs are picking up speed heading into this weekend’s showdown and the NCHC tournament.

Perhaps the most sparkling goaltending of the performance of the weekend and maybe the season was delivered Saturday by UConn senior goalie Elaine Chuli (right), our women's Player of the Week who kicked out 69 shots in a 4-3 triple overtime win over New Hampshire. The Huskies advanced to the second round of the Hockey East playoffs this weekend.

UConn is just 17-14-5, but Chuli has a sparkling .943 save percentage (fifth in the nation) and 2.2 goals-against average (20th). The matchup with New Hampshire was a showdown of the fourth- and fifth-seeded Hockey East teams.

Chuli also had 29 saves in Friday’s 2-1 win in the series opener.

Above: Kasimir Kaskisuo courtesy UMD Athletic Department

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