|Riley O'Connor is the ACHA's freshman of the month for November|
Senior defenseman Ashton Schaffer and freshman forward Riley O'Connor have won two of the ACHA's five monthly awards for November, the association announced on Thursday.
Schaffer took the Great Skate Sportsmanship Award. While a low penalty minute count is a major consideration for the award and the Texan - who serves as the club's co-captain and treasurer - has just six all season, her contributions to the team both on and off the ice go well beyond merely staying out of the box, particularly considering her usage and playing style.
She has teamed with newly-announced World University Games selection Madison Smiddy in each of her games this season, forming a tandem that plays in all situations and against the best competition, yet has helped Penn State hold opponents to exactly two goals per game all season, despite six of the team's 14 games coming against squads presently ranked in the ACHA's top five. Schaffer's consistency and reliability was found both within and across games, as she was the only Lady Ice Lion to appear in each of the team's first 49 contests (since its 2012-13 founding) before finally seeing the string snapped on November 22nd and 23rd at Northeastern due to a scheduling miscommunication.
O'Connor, a product of the noted Princeton Tiger Lilies program, was picked as the Sher-Wood Freshman Spotlight winner.
An obvious highlight of her season so far has been the weekend at Rhode Island on November 8th and 9th, where she scored in each end of the series, including the winner in game two, helping the Lady Ice Lions to a signature victory over the now-third-ranked Rams. She buried twice more within the month, bringing her season total to five goals along with an assist, which came on Tara Soukup's decider at Northeastern on November 23rd.
The Boothwyn, PA native, a speedy, highly-adaptable player who has centered both scoring and shutdown lines this season while increasing her role throughout, has a goal count that trails only four Penn Staters - former NCAA squad members Cara Mendelson, Darby Kern and Katie Murphy, and ACHA All-American Devon Fisk.
O'Connor and Schaffer are the Lady Ice Lions' second and third ACHA monthly award winners, joining senior Mary Kate Tonetti, who was the Warrior Goaltender of the Month in September.
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