ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association named No. 9 Adrian goaltender Brittany Zeches (Westland, Mich. / Wayne State) its Player of the Year in votes by league coaches, the NCHA announced today.
Zeches proved most valuable to the Lady Bulldogs, recording a nation-best nine shutouts while compiling a tiny 1.47 goals against average.
"Brittany is absolutely relentless in net," said Adrian head coach Chad Davis. "Her desire and passion to play set her apart. She's been so consistent, it's ridiculous."
Zeches' hard work and mental toughness led to some remarkable statistics through the regular season. Her goals against (1.47), save percentage (.947), and winning percentage (.750) all rank in the top ten nationally.
Her sterling goals against and save percentage were achieved while being one of only four goalies to play over 1400 minutes. She started the season with a shutout streak of 130:24 and ended it with a streak of over 170:00. Her most impressive series of the year came on January 11-12 when she stopped 84 shots in a pair of wins over conference foe UW-Superior. Zeches anchored 16 of her team's 19 wins on the year, good for a No. 2 seed in the upcoming O'Brien Cup Playoffs. Adrian will host UW-Stevens Point this Friday and Saturday.
Kusch finished third in NCHA scoring with 29 points and led the conference in power-play goals with six, while Vallee led the NCHA in defenseman scoring with 19 points and finished fourth in assists with 15.
Smith finished 12th in NCHA scoring just eight points back of Kusch with 21, and was sixth and seventh in power-play goals and power-play points, respectively; while Maton finished fifth in defenseman scoring with 13 points.