Plays Of The Week: Rookies and Shot Blocks and Hat Tricks, Oh My!
Young talent dominates this edition of our top Plays of the Week.
There’s a lot of women’s hockey that deserves to be showcased, and we want to highlight the very best every week.
Each week, we’ll ask for you to send us the top plays you see in women’s hockey, whether they be from college games, pro games, international contests or anything in-between using the hashtag #TIGTop4 (It helps us a lot if you include pictures or GIFs of the play).
From the picks you send us, we’ll select our top four, and then it’s up to you to vote for the best women’s hockey play of the week on our Twitter. Here are the top plays after this week’s vote:
4. Skarupa’s two goals/league leading play
You know it’s been a good week in hockey when a rookie who leads the NWHL in goals and points is the fourth-place vote for our play of the week.
Most people knew that Haley Skarupa would be good going into this season, but nobody knew she was going to be THIS good. In just three games, the rookie is already leading the NWHL in goals (5) and points (9) and she’s been a big part of the Connecticut Whale’s success in a year where some thought they might struggle after a few key departures.
Here’s just one of Skarupa’s incredible goals from last week. Here’s hoping to many more for her:
Remember your geometry? Here's your pre-image (#CTWhale 2-0) goal by @skrooops28 #NWHL pic.twitter.com/vhnV0i4Mg4— zach pearce (@molemanfilms) October 24, 2016
3. Lyudmila Belyakova hat trick
*Cue Katy Perry’s “The One Who Got Away”*
Lyudmila Belyakova was not re-signed by the Riveters or approached by any other NWHL team after last year, so she packed her bags and went back to Russia, where she’s playing in the Russian Women’s Hockey League for Tornado Dmitrov, one of the league’s top teams.
And she’s been a superstar so far.
@hctornado wins by a score of 8:1. @belyakova9 with 3 Goals, 1 Assist. Congratulations to the Tornado team on your win today! #tornado #lb9 pic.twitter.com/HCftWiCf2q— Bryan M. Johnson (@xEDGE92x) October 22, 2016
Belyakova scored four points in an 8-1 win last week when she racked up a hat trick and one assist. Gotta think there’s a couple teams wishing they’d signed her now.
2. Grace Bizal’s block
Bizal was the only player on our poll this week who didn’t score a goal to make the cut- instead, she prevented one.
In Boston College’s game against Quinnipiac this weekend, it looked like the Bobcats would have a wide-open net after a cross-ice pass. Bizal quickly spun around after the pass and managed to get her skate on the puck, redirecting it back into the slot and away from the net.
@TheIceGarden BC's Grace Bizal stops a goal with a block. #TIGTop4 pic.twitter.com/tS2tLZH1MN— David F. Pendrys (@davependrys) October 25, 2016
1. Sarah Nurse’s five-goal weekend
Nurse, a 2016 draft pick of the Boston Pride, is one of the top college players this year and has had a good season so far. But this weekend she took it to another level, recording the first four-goal game for Wisconsin since Brooke Ammerman had one in 2012 and picking up another goal for good measure in the team’s second game.
She won the vote pretty handily this week with 34% of the vote, despite a late comeback by Bizal’s play.
ICYMI, #Badgers @nursey16 was on 🔥🔥🔥 this weekend, scoring five goals, including this beauty, in UW's sweep of North Dakota #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/wbi3tqLe4L— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) October 24, 2016
Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s play of the week. See something you think deserves to make the cut? Tweet it at us and use the hashtag #TIGTop4.