Gophers Rau, Schmidt receive two of WCHA's weekly awards
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- February 28, 2012 - 5:42 PM
Kyle Rau keeps collecting awards.
The Gophers freshman, for the second week in a row and third time this season, was named the WCHA's rookie of the week. Sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt, another Gopher, was picked co-defensive player of the week.
Rau, a 5-8, 175-pound left winger on the Gophers' top line, scored two power-play goals as they beat Nebraska Omaha 3-2 last Saturday at CenturyLink Center. The night before, in a 3-2 overtime victory, he had the key assist on Nick Bjugstad's game-tying goal in the third period.
The Gophers were the first team to sweep UNO at home since Jan 11-12, 2008.
Rau, of Eden Prairie, ranks second nationally in rookie scoring with 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points. He also is tied for second among all Division I players with a plus-23 rating. He has six game-winning goals and seven goals on power plays.
Schmidt had assists on three of the Gophers' six goals against Nebraska Omaha. He also blocked a team-high five shots.
His three assists pushed his season total to 30. Schmidt is 5-11, 194 pounds, and played high school hockey for St. Cloud Cathedral.
The other co-defensive player of the week is sophomore defenseman Frankie Simonelli of Wisconsin, the Gophers opponent this weekend.
Simonelli had a goal and two assists as the Badgers beat Bemidji State twice by 4-2 scores last weekend for their first road sweep of the season.
UMD FORWARD BEST ON OFFENSE
Sophomore forward J.T. Brown of Minnesota Duluth was named the WCHA's offensive player of the week.
After missing two games with an upper body injury, Brown scored three minutes into overtime to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 victory over Colorado College last Friday. He also had the game-winning goal and an assist when UMD beat CC 5-2 the next night.
Brown, of Burnsville, had 19 shots on goal in the series, including a team single-game high of 10 this season the second night.
Brown has a plus-27 rating, the highest in Division I hockey. He is tied for fifth among WCHA players in overall scoring with 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points.
Rau and defenseman Justin Schultz of Wisconsin were among the other nominees for this award.
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