In a vote of assistant coaches at the nation's 36 NCAA Division I ice hockey programs, Robert Morris University freshman forward Jaycee Gebhard has been named the 2016-2017 National Rookie of the Year in women's ice hockey. Gebhard, a native of Plenty, Saskatchewan, is just the fourth recipient of this award which was established in 2014 by the Women's Hockey Commissioners Association.
Gebhard had a consistently solid rookie season, being named College Hockey America Rookie of the Month five straight months en route to Rookie of the Year honors. Her 22-24-46 in 35 games set an RMU points record for first-year players and her 22 goals ranks second among all RMU seasons.
Nationally, her nine power play goals led the nation and her 1.31 points per game was best among all freshmen. She put together a career- high nine-game point streak from Jan. 28 to Mar. 4 (9GMS: 7G-6A- 13P) and posted 15 multi-point efforts this season.
"We are excited and so very proud of Jaycee for this wonderful accomplishment and honor," said RMU head coach Paul Colontino. "Jaycee had an outstanding freshman season from start to finish, and played a major role in the success of our program this year. Her character, drive, and work ethic were not only the keys to her success, but an inspiration for us all. RMU couldn't be prouder of Jaycee for all her successes this year. She is a tremendous athlete, but more importantly, an outstanding person and teammate."
The ballot for this award is made up of the conference Rookie of the Year selections. Each program playing NCAA Division I women's ice hockey receives a ballot, with assistant coaches at each school submitting one ballot per school. Each school was asked to vote for three players in order (first, second, third). The runner-up for this year's award was Princeton University's freshman forward Carly Bullock.
The Women's National Rookie of the Year was established in 2014 by the Women's Hockey Commissioners Association. Previous winners are Dani Cameranesi of Minnesota (2014), Annie Pankowski of Wisconsin (2015) and Sarah Potomak of Minnesota (2016). A similar award, the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year Award, is presented by the men's commissioners.