Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff --
Happy New Year and welcome back to the D3hockey.com Team of the Week feature here on D3hockey.com. Our list this week is comprised wholly of two conferences: The UCHC and the MIAC as both leagues produced some of the more stellar performances recently.
How it works: Each week, Sports Information Directors from across the country submit week-long performances they've deemed worthy of being placed among the best in the nation in the week that was. For award purposes, a normal week will run from Monday to Sunday. System and email nominations will close at 8pm Monday in all subsequent editions, and any games played on deadline day are incorporated into the following week. Breaking precedent slightly, we accepted Monday's games as part of the award week, and considered all games played from December 11th on due to the sparse slate between then and now.
Once we get the school and league nominations, check out conference weekly releases, and pick the brains of our own staff to get the clearest picture we can, we select among top performances by position. It's an elite group. Three forwards, two defensemen, one goaltender. Nothing else. To get here, means you're one of best performers on the ice at your position in the week that was.
To be clear, we aren't just looking at raw numbers. We're also looking to incorporate players that contributed in the pivotal moments, season defining wins, and stunning upsets that make our brand of hockey so exciting.
Don't see a player here? Think they would have made the cut? Encourage your school's Sports Information Director to nominate deserving players each week. From now, through the week following conference championship games, SIDs can submit their nominations from Sunday evening until 8pm on Mondays utilizing their PrestoSports login at http://d3football.com/nominations/award-status. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, weekly releases from our member conferences are also accepted. Generally, we operate on this premise... it's that good, we'll find you.
Now that we've explained the process, let's get to it. Here is your D3hockey.com National Team of the Week:
Amanda DiNella, Gustavus Adolphus, Senior
DiNella helped guide the Gusties to a 3-1 victory Saturday over No. 9 UW-Eau Claire. DiNella made 15 saves in the second period, and 36 in the contest while just allowing the one goal to help guide the Gusties to the victory. In her two contests versus Eau Claire, who came into Saturday's contest 7th in the nation in goals per game (4.00), DiNella has made 87 saves while just allowing three goals, for a save percentage of .967.
Meg Lahey, Elmira, Senior
Lahey scored her first goal of the season, the game-winner on a power play, in Sunday's 3-0 victory over No. 3/3 Norwich. Added an assist on EC's second goal for a season-high-tying 2 points vs. the Cadets. On defense, she helped shutout the Cadets by holding them 0-2 on the power play. She also played a vital role on the blue line in Monday's 4-1 upset win over No. 1/2 Plattsburgh, holding the Cards to a single goal, just the second time they've been held to 1 or fewer goals in a game this season.
Jillian Rowland, Chatham, Senior
Rowland scored two goals against Trine this past weekend to help Chatham split the weekend. Also tallied 16 shots on the weekend.
Leah Schwartzman, Hamline, Senior
Schwartzman had a hand in 10 of the 18 goals Hamline scored in three victories over four days last week. The senior notched one goal and three assists in a 6-2 victory over 12-2-1 Saint Anselm last Thursday before tallying two goals and four assists in a two-game series with St. Norbert over the weekend. Hamline boasts the top five overall scorers in the MIAC this year, with Schwartzman's 10-point weekend vaulting her into a tie with teammate Molly Garin for the third-most points (16) among conference competitors this season.
Bri Stafne, Bethel, Sophomore
Stafne scored three goals in leading the Royals to a weekend sweep of Northland College. Her shorthanded goal on Friday night was the only score of the game until the final four minutes when the Royals scored their other three goals to open the game up. She assisted on Bethel's other non-empty net goal. On Saturday, Stafne's first goal was of the spectacular variety, creating a breakaway and putting a pair of great moves on the Northland goalie to tie the game at 1-1. Her second goal gave Bethel a 3-1 lead to give them breathing room early in the third period.
Katie Granato, Elmira, Senior
Named East-West Hockey Classic MVP after logging four points (3g-1a) in wins over No. 3/3 Norwich and No. 1/2 Plattsburgh State...Dished out one assist on a power-play goal in EC's 3-0 shutout win over Norwich, the second victory of the year for the Soaring Eagles in a rematch of last season's national title game...Recorded her third hat trick of the year on Monday in a 4-1 upset of the Cardinals, extending her active point streak to six consecutive games...Scored once on the power play for the game's first goal...Made it 3-0 EC midway through the third, before stealing the puck at Elmira's blue line and going the distance for an empty-netter to seal the win...Moved into sole possession of fourth place in EC history for career goals (64)...Leads the country in scoring with 17 goals and 1.31 goals per game.