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NWHL Prospect Pipeline - Whitecaps' Pick Bizal Concluding Impressive Career on BC Blueline

By Reid Nichols, 02/15/19, 2:15PM EST

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Draft Pick Profile - Grace Bizal (Minnesota Whitecaps, 19th overall)

Grace Bizal, a defender currently playing for Boston College, is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. Before deciding to attend BC, Bizal played high school hockey for Hopkins. During her four years in high school, Bizal earned all-state honors three times and all-conference honors four times. Her senior season, Bizal recorded 26 goals and nine assists for 35 points and was named a finalist for the Minnesota “Ms. Hockey” award. Bizal also played club hockey for the Jr. Whitecaps in Minneapolis.

Internationally, Bizal was a member of the United States Under-18 team in 2014 and 2014. After earning a silver medal at the U18 World Championships in 2014, Bizal returned to the team in 2015 to help the United States win a gold medal in Buffalo.

Her freshman year at BC, Bizal recorded 11 points in 41 games. Defensively, Bizal earned a spot on one of the top ranked defensive units in the country. The Eagle’s 1.24 goals-against average was good for third-best in the country and their 14 shutouts broke a single-season program record. Bizal’s plus-minus rating by the end of the season was also an impressive plus-34.

As a sophomore, Bizal scored the first two goals of her career and added 13 assists for a total of 15 points in an injury-shortened season of 28 games. Bizal continued to serve a key part of one of the top defensive groups in the country. BC allowed 1.54 goals against per game, good for third in the country and had a 91.6 penalty-kill percentage, good for second best in the country. Additionally, Bizal received some recognition from USA Hockey as she was invited to participate in the USA Hockey Women’s National Team Festival before the season started.

Last year, Bizal recorded a career-high three goals. She also posted 11 assists for a total of 14 points. Defensively, she blocked a career-high 64 shots and continued to serve a key role in the ninth lowest team goals-against average in the country (2.00 goals per game). Bizal has come across some injury trouble again this season as she has not played in a game since the beginning of December. Before getting injured, she was off to a season of personal bests. Her 12 points in 20 games were on pace to smash her previous personal best point total of 15 points. In December, Bizal was drafted 19th overall by her home state Minnesota Whitecaps. Additionally, she will graduate from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at the end of the school year. 

3 Stars of the Week

3. Lauren Boyle (D), Ohio State University, Minnesota Whitecaps (14th overall, 2018)

  • Boyle had a three-point weekend as she helped Ohio State split a weekend series with Bemidji State. On Friday, in a 3-2 loss, Boyle scored a goal and had three shots on net. Boyle’s goal came late in the first period to give Ohio State an early 2-0 lead. After blowing an early lead on Friday, Ohio State came back to soundly beat Bemidji State 5-1 on Saturday. Boyle assisted on the game-winning goal early in the first period and on the last goal of the game, which came on the power play.

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

  • After a 4-1 loss to Harvard in the Beanpot, Boston College took a 7-1 win over New Hampshire on Friday, with Keller notching four points. She scored the game-winning goal late in the first period and added a power play goal in the second period. Additionally, Keller had two assists, five shots on net, and a team-leading plus-four rating.

1. Annie Pankowski (F), University of Wisconsin, Metropolitan Riveters (1st overall, 2018)

  • Each of Pankowski’s four points this weekend came in Friday’s 7-2 win over Minnesota State on Saturday. Pankowski recorded one goal, three assists, six shots on net, and a plus-three rating during the game. Each of her points came at even strength as Wisconsin picked up the decisive win. Pankowski had a quieter game on Sunday in a 4-1 win over Minnesota State. Even though she had no points, she was still able to generate seven shots on goal to lead her team.

Must-See Matchup: Clarkson vs. Harvard

In last week’s must-see matchup between Merrimack and the University of New Hampshire, Merrimack came out on top in a close 2-1 win. Merrimack opened the scoring midway through the second period, before adding another goal in the third period as Connecticut Whale draft pick Dominique Kremer picked up an assist. UNH managed to get on the scoresheet with an extra attacker late in the third period, but it was too little too late as Merrimack held on for the win.

For this week’s must-see matchup, we will look at the two draft picks from the 2017 NWHL draft who are still playing college hockey. T.T. Cianfrano of Clarkson and a Metropolitan Riveters draft pick and Lexie Laing of Harvard and a Boston Pride draft pick will square off on Saturday, February 16, at 3 pm. Additionally, the nation’s leading scorer and Buffalo Beauts draft pick Loren Gabel will be leading the offense for Clarkson.

Recognitions

  • Loren Gabel, a forward for Clarkson was named the Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association Division I Player of the Month for the month of January. Gabel led the nation in scoring during January with 17 points in 8 games and at least one point in seven of the games. The Buffalo Beauts drafted Gabel eight overall in the 2018 NWHL draft.
  • Lovisa Selander has broken the women’s hockey NCAA Division I record with career saves. Selander broke the record in first period in a game against Harvard on Saturday and now has 3,853 saves during her career. The Boston Pride selected Selander 20th overall in December during the NWHL draft.
  • Megan Keller was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts against the University of New Hampshire this past weekend. Keller recorded four points in BC’s win on Friday and her first period goal set the Hockey East single-season goals record by a defender. She was drafted by the Buffalo Beauts third overall in this past year’s NWHL draft.
  • Courtney Wittig, a forward for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Athlete of the Week. Wittig scored two goals and an assist in a 5-1 win on Friday. She was drafted 11th overall by the Metropolitan Riveters in the 2018 NWHL draft.