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Gophers Hockey: Kyle Rau, Nate Schmidt Earn WCHA Weekly Awards

For the second straight week, the WCHA has honored two University of Minnesota hockey players with awards for their on-ice performance.

As part of their roles in the Gophers' road sweep over Nebraska-Omaha, sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt (undrafted) was named co-WCHA Defenseman of the Week with Frankie Simonelli (undrafted) of Wisconsin. His teammate, freshman forward Kyle Rau (Florida Panthers), was named WCHA Rookie of the Week.

Schmidt was honored for his three assists en route to handing the Mavericks their first regular season home sweep since 2008. Nate helped start off the scoring Friday with a 50 foot breakout pass to freshman Sam Warning. It continued Saturday with assists on the first two Gopher goals, bringing his total on the year to 30.

Rau's second consecutive Rookie of the Week award (and third total) came after scoring two goals in Saturday's 3-2 win and having three points in two games. He now has 34 points in 32 games and Rau's 16 goals lead all freshmen in the country. Kyle was also nominated for the WCHA Player of the Week award for his efforts but lost to J.T. Brown (undrafted) of Minnesota-Duluth.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.