UConn's Thompson, Wisconsin's Pankowski score Hockey Player of the Week honors
Each led their teams to unlikely weekend sweeps over conference foes with game winners on both nights.
Thompson's Huskies entered their weekend series against fifth-ranked UMass Lowell with only three wins and riding an eight-game losing streak. By Sunday afternoon, UConn (5-10-0) had started a two-game win streak and snapped the Red Hawks’ nine-game winning streak in the Hockey East matchup. His six power-play goals rank second nationally. Thompson, 6-4 and 185 pounds, graduated from Pioneer High School in Michigan a year early and earned the National Young Leaders award and the Presidential Academic Award.
His dad, Brent Thompson, is a former NHL player who played 121 games with Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes. He could follow in his footsteps, too: The 18-year old is eligible for the June 2016 NHL draft and is projected to be a second- or third-round pick by the NHL Scouting Service.
Pankowski (above and right), a sophomore, led No. 1 Wisconsin to a weekend sweep over third-ranked Minnesota. It was the Badgers’ first sweep in the annual Border Battle since the 2009-2010 season — a streak of 18 losses halted.
She scored the game-winners on both nights, the first in a 3-2 overtime win on Friday and the second was one of two goals she scored in Saturday’s 3-1 victory.
She now has scored a point in 21 straight games, during which time Wisconsin is 20-1 and has outscored opponents, 96-13. The Badgers are 18-0 on the season.
She ranks seventh in the country and fourth in the WCHA in points per game, averaging 1.78. She also ranks seventh nationally in goals per game at 0.78.
Top: Tage Thompson, courtesy of UConn Athletic Communications
Middle: Annie Pankowski, courtesy of David Stluka/UW Athletics