Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Gophers' grip on nat'l player of month awards ends; BSU rookie honored

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Bemidji State, Gophers awards and honors, WCHA news Updated: January 6, 2012 - 4:54 PM

Goalie Andrew Walsh of Bemidji State was named the national rookie of the month for December on Friday by the Hockey Commissioners' Association.

Walsh was 4-0-1 last month with a 1.04 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage. He had shutouts in two of his victories and was twice named the WCHA rookie of the week.

He also had a shutout streak of 163 minutes, 2 seconds over four games. Walsh made a career-high 36 saves as the Beavers beat Denver 2-1 on Dec. 10.

In nine games overall, Walsh is 6-2-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He is tied for first in most wins by a rookie goalie and is third nationally in gaa and save pct.

* The national player of the month is forward Spencer Abbott of Maine. Abbott had six goals and nine assists last month as Maine went 4-1-0.

Abbott leads Hockey East in scoring with 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points.

Defenseman Nick Jensen of St. Cloud State was among four honorable mentions. 

* The first two national players of the month were Gophers. Goalie Kent Patterson was picked for the award in October, forward Nick Bjugstad for November. ... Forward Kyle Rau of the Gophers was the national rookie of the month in October.

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