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NWHL Prospect Pipeline - Whale Draft Pick LaGue Rewriting Record Books at Robert Morris

By Reid Nichols, 01/18/19, 12:00PM EST

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Prospect Profile - Maggie LaGue (22nd Overall Pick, Connecticut Whale)

Maggie LaGue is a defender from Barre, Vermont playing for Robert Morris University. Prior to joining Robert Morris, LaGue played for the North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) white team where she served as a captain. As captain, she helped lead the team to two Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) championships and the 2014 Challenge Cup title. Her senior year, LaGue recorded 30 points and was invited to play in the JWHL All-Star Game. Additionally, LaGue, participated in four United States National Player Development Camps and played in the camp’s all-star game once.

As a freshman at Robert Morris, LaGue, recorded 22 points in 38 games. Her 20 assists lead Robert Morris rookies and were good for fifth among all players in the College Hockey America conference. She also finished eighth in the nation in blocked shots with 80. In November, she registered three points (all assists) in a game to tie for ninth in Robert Morris single-game history. The same week, she was named College Hockey America Rookie of the Week. At the end of the season, LaGue was named to the All-CHA Rookie Team.

LaGue continued her solid production as a sophomore as she matched her freshman point total in three fewer games. She also finished the season with a career-high three goals and a plus-five rating. Her 19 assists were good for third on the Robert Morris squad and her 0.53 assists per game tied for third in Robert Morris history. The 0.53 average was also the best by a defender in program history. LaGue was a crucial part of the Robert Morris power play as her 12 power-play assists were tied for second in the nation.

Last year, as a junior, LaGue recorded a career-high 25 points in 32 games. Her 22 assists ranked third on the Robert Morris team and fourth in the CHA. Additionally, her 25 points ranked fifth on the team. LaGue also finished the season with 0.78 points per game and finished eighth among all defenders in the nation in points per game as well as 20th in the nation in assists per game with a 0.69 average. During the season, LaGue broke several Robert Morris records. She became the first defender in Robert Morris history to record 50 career assists with a tally against Colgate in December. Additionally, her plus28 plus-minus rating set a new Robert Morris record for single-season plus-minus rating by a defender.

This season, LaGue has continued her production with 15 points in 22 games, good for a 0.68 points-per-game average. Her four goals have already set a career high. LaGue was drafted by the Connecticut Whale 22nd overall in the NWHL draft in December. She will graduate at the end of the school year with a major in finance and a minor in accounting.

3 Stars of the Week

3. Olivia Zafuto (D), Colgate University, Buffalo Beauts (18th overall, 2018)

  • Zafuto helped Colgate to a win and a tie against two ECAC opponents this weekend. In Friday’s 5-2 win over Quinnipiac, Zafuto scored the opening goal on the power play. Her goal came on one of her six shots on net during the game. The next day, Colgate tied Princeton, 4-4, as Zafuto recorded two assists. Zafuto’s assists came in the third period to help Colgate tie up the game. Her second assist was on a goal with just ten seconds left in the game to send the game to overtime.

2. Katelyn Rae (F), Merrimack College, Connecticut Whale (12th overall, 2018)

  • Rae’s four-point weekend included a hat trick and one assist in two games against the University of Vermont. In a 4-1 win on Friday, Rae recorded an assist, two shots on goal, and a plus-two rating. Her assist came on the power play on the first goal of the game. On Saturday, Rae scored a hat trick in a 5-4 loss. Each of Rae’s goals came at even strength and increased her goal total for the season to 17 goals. Additionally, Rae had five shots on net and tied the team lead with a plus-four rating.

1. Megan Keller (D), Boston College, Buffalo Beauts (3rd overall, 2018)

  • Keller had four points this weekend for the Eagles as they tied their weekend series against Northeastern. In a 4-1 loss on Friday, Keller had an assist on BC’s only goal of the game and two shots on net. On Saturday, BC came firing back in a 7-5 win and Keller had three points. Her stat line included two goals, one assist, four shots on net, and a plus-three rating. Keller scored the first two goals of the game to give BC a 2-0 lead early in the first period. Later, in the third period, she picked up the primary assist on the game-winning goal for BC.

Recognitions

  • Loren Gabel of Clarkson scored her sixth career hat trick this weekend to tie the Clarkson record for career scoring. Her 181st point in just 142 career games tied the record. Gabel was drafted by the Buffalo Beauts eighth overall in the 2018 NWHL draft.
  • Jessie Eldridge, a forward for Colgate, was named a nominee for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award. She is one of four female nominees out of a total of 17 nominees from both divisions of NCAA hockey. Eldridge leads the Raiders in scoring this season and has made an impact off the ice with her participation in Colgate’s Learn to Skate program, the local community’s Pathfinder Village for young adults with Down syndrome, and the Colgate Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In the 2018 NWHL draft, Eldridge was selected 13th overall by the Buffalo Beauts.
  • Annie Pankowski, a forward for Wisconsin, was also named a nominee for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian award. Pankowski volunteers with OccuPaws, an organization that pairs service dogs with the visually impaired in Wisconsin. Additionally, Pankowski houses and trains dogs herself and is involved with classroom-oriented organizations. Pankowski was drafted first overall by the Metropolitan Riveters.

Must-See Matchup: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

Last week’s must-see matchup between Quinnipiac and Colgate showcased four NWHL draft picks. Colgate handily won the game between ECAC opponents 5-2. Buffalo Beauts draft pick Olivia Zafuto opened the scoring for Colgate on the power play midway through the first period. On another power play later in the first period, Boston Pride draft pick Bailey Larson picked up a primary assist. Larson added her second assist of the game on the game-winning goal early in the second period to extend Colgate’s lead to 3-0. After conceding a 4-0 lead to Colgate, Quinnipiac fought back late in the second period to close the gap to 4-2. Then, Larson picked up her third assist of the game with an empty netter late in the third period to seal the win for Colgate. Melissa Samoskevich, a Connecticut Whale draft pick, recorded 11 shots on goal but was unable to get one by the Colgate goalie.

This week’s must-see matchup is a weekend series between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The top two teams in the WCHA will fight it out in what should be two exciting games featuring five different NWHL draft picks. On Friday, January 18, the two teams play at 7:07 PM CT time with a rematch on Saturday at 4:07 PM CT. Kelly Pannek of Minnesota and Sophia Shaver of Wisconsin were both drafted by the Minnesota Whitecaps. Nicole Schammel of Minnesota was drafted by the Buffalo Beauts, Emily Clark of Wisconsin was drafted by the Boston Pride, and Annie Pankowski of Wisconsin was drafted first overall by the New York Riveters. The five 2018 draft picks represent four out of the five NWHL teams.