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Five NCAA standout stars from January play

These players made an impact in the first month of 2021

David Stluka/Wisconsin

It’s been a very weird, very unique season so far, and I’ve wondered just about every day why we are playing games, but we are, in fact, playing them. Here are five players who turned in noteworthy performances over the last month:

Élizabeth Giguère, Senior, Forward, Clarkson

The reigning Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner has been scoring at her usual dynamic pace this season for Clarkson. Through 11 games in January, she notched seven goals, eight assists, and 15 points. It was also a historic month for her: against LIU on Jan. 11, she became Clarkson’s all-time leading scorer with her 214th career point.

Kiara Zanon, Freshman, Forward, Penn State

The Nittany Lions are ranked for the first time in program history, and Zanon’s stellar freshman season is a big reason why. Penn State had two major series this month: one against Robert Morris and another against Mercyhurst, two teams who have long since owned the top spot in College Hockey America. The Nittany Lions swept both series, and Zanon tallied a two-point game each weekend to lead the way.

Daryl Watts, Senior, Forward, Wisconsin

Watts has scored in all but two games so far this season. She’s been a point-producing machine for the Badgers, piling up points seemingly at will. She scored at over a two-points-per-game clip in the month of January with 10 goals, eight assists, and 18 points in eight games. Watts notched a six-point outing against St. Cloud State last weekend, and before that, she put up a four-point game against Minnesota as Wisconsin handily swept the Gophers.

Maude Poulin-Labelle, Junior, Defender, Vermont

The Catamounts only played four games this month, but the only player to score at a higher pace in January than Poulin-Labelle was Daryl Watts, which is pretty good company. The offensive-minded defender has stepped her game up this season to lead Vermont in all facets. The Catamounts have played the second-fewest games in Hockey East, but they’re 5–1–0 so far this year, and that’s largely due to Poulin-Labelle’s play on the blue line. She had a three-point outing against Holy Cross on Jan. 2 and tallied assists on all three goals in a 3–2 overtime win against UConn on Jan. 9. She picks up the assist on the OT winner below after a heads-up play to feed Theresa Schafzahl at the net front:

Kayle Osborne, Freshman, Goaltender, Colgate

It’s been a weird season for every team, but perhaps none more so than the squads in the ECAC, since there are just four of them competing this year. Even so, Colgate has resoundingly landed in first place, and Osborne was a big part of that success in January.

Through six games, she’s posted a .965 save percentage, 0.82 goals-against average, and a perfect 6–0–0 record. She’s having a stellar freshman season so far and recorded two shutouts this month, including a 21-save performance in her last outing against St. Lawrence. She helped Colgate to back-to-back overtime wins against St. Lawrence and notched a season-high 34 saves in a 4–1 win over Clarkson on Jan. 16.