BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 2, 2021 – Six players representing four schools have been named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's All-Decade Team for the 2000s, the WCHA announced Tuesday.
Named to the 2000s squad were forwards Peter Sejna of Colorado College, John Pohl of Minnesota and Brett Sterling of Colorado College; defensemen Jordan Leopold of Minnesota and Matt Carle of Denver and goaltender Brian Elliott of Wisconsin.
The five skaters combined for 343 goals, 494 assists and 837 points during their collegiate careers while Elliott set WCHA career records for save percentage (.931) and goals against average (1.78) to become the first netminder in league history to post a career GAA below 2.00.
The WCHA will announce its 2000s Coach of the Decade on March 3 and its Player of the Decade on March 4.
The 2000s team is the sixth of seven squads that will be announced by the WCHA during the 2020-21 season. The WCHA is also honoring an outstanding head coach and player from each decade as the league celebrates 70 Years of Excellence.
For more on the 2000s and the rest of the WCHA's history, visit our 70 Years of Excellence Page.
|WCHA 2000s All-Decade Team|
|Name||Pos.||School||Years||Hometown||By The Numbers|
|Peter Sejna||F||Colorado College||2000-03||Liptovsky, Mikulas, Czech.||91 G/99 A/190 Pts|
|John Pohl||F||Minnesota||1998-2002||Red Wing, Minn.||71 G/129 A/200 Pts|
|Brett Sterling||F||Colorado College||2002-06||Los Angeles, Calif.||108 G/76 A/184 Pts|
|Jordan Leopold||D||Minnesota||1998-2002||Golden Valley, Minn.||45 G/99 A/144 Pts|
|Matt Carle||D||Denver||2003-06||Anchorage, Alaska||28 G/91 A/119 Pts|
|Brian Elliott||G||Wisconsin||2003-07||Newmarket, Ont.||86 Gms/.931 Sv. Pct./1.78 GAA|
Peter Sejna, Colorado College (Liptovsky Mikulas, Czechoslovakia), 2000-03
Won Colorado College's first Hobey Baker Award in 2003, the second of six in a row for the WCHA during the decade … WCHA Player of the Year in 2002-03 … WCHA Rookie of the Year in 2000-01 … Three-time All-WCHA (2000-01, 2001-02, 2003) … WCHA All-Rookie Team (2000-01) … Earned All-America honors in 2003 … WCHA Scoring Champion in 2002-03, registering 53 points on 21 goals and 32 assists … Led the NCAA in scoring that season with 82 points on 36 goals and 46 assists in all games … Tallied 58 points for the Tigers as a freshman, a total that ranks 17th among rookies in WCHA history … His 190 career points (91g-99a) ranks No. 8 in Colorado College history … Member of Slovakia's Bronze medal-winning squad at the 2003 IIHF World Championship … Also represented Slovakia at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship.
John Pohl, Minnesota (Red Wing, Minn.), 1998-2002
Captained the Gophers to the 2002 NCAA title as a senior … 2002 First Team All-America selection … 2002 NCAA All-Tournament Team pick … Two-time All-WCHA selection … The ninth and most-recent Golden Gopher to record 200 career points … Tied for fifth on the Gopher career assist list with 129 helpers … His 79 points (27g-52a) on Minnesota's run to the 2002 national championship led the NCAA and are the most points in a season by a Gopher since 1990s All-Decade honoree Brian Bonin scored 81 in 1995-96 … Three-time WCHA All-Academic Team selection …. Skated in 115 NHL games over four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues, notching 38 points (17g-21a) … Represented the United States at the 2003 IIHF World Championship … Named Minnesota's 1998 Mr. Hockey Award winner as a senior at Red Wing High School.
Brett Sterling, Colorado College (Los Angeles, Calif.), 2002-06
Two-time All-American (2004-05, 2005-06) … Two-time All-WCHA (2004-05, 2005-06) … WCHA All-Rookie Team (2002-03) … Three-time WCHA All-Academic Team (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06) … WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient as a senior in 2005-06, the initial season for the honor recognizing WCHA student-athletes with a GPA of 3.50 or higher … Hobey Baker Award Top-3 finalist in 2005 … Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2006 … Ranks No. 11 on Colorado College's career scoring list with 184 points on 108 goals and 76 assists.
Jordan Leopold, Minnesota (Golden Valley, Minn.), 1998-2002
The 2002 Hobey Baker Award winner and a finalist for the honor in 2001 … First of six consecutive WCHA Hobey winners during the decade … Led the Gophers to the school's fourth national championship in 2002 … First Gopher to win the Hobey Baker and a national title in the same year … Two-time All-American (2000-01, 2001-02) … Two-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Year (2000-01, 2001-02) … Four-time All-WCHA honoree (1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02) … WCHA All-Rookie Team (1998-99) … Team captain as a senior in 2001-02 … Ranks No. 6 on the WCHA defenseman career goals list with 45, which is also school record … His career assists (99) and points (144) totals rank in the top-25 in WCHA history in both categories … Earned Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year honors in 2001-02 … Played 12 seasons in the NHL for Calgary, Colorado, Buffalo, St. Louis, Florida, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Minnesota … Recorded 214 points on 67 goals and 147 assists in 695 regular season games … Played in 80 Stanley Cup playoff game and posted 17 postseason assists … Member of the 2006 United States Olympic Team … Represented the U.S. at the IIHF World Championship in 2002, 2003 and 2005 … Also played in two IIHF World Junior Championships for the U.S. (1999, 2000).
Matt Carle, Denver (Anchorage, Alaska), 2003-06
Fifth of six consecutive WCHA Hobey Baker Award winners in the 2000s … Earned WCHA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2005-06, becoming the only blueliner in league history to win both awards in the same season … Two-time All-American (2004-05, 2005-06) … Two-time All-WCHA (2004-05, 2005-06) … WCHA All-Rookie Team selection in 2003-04 … Named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in Denver's 2005 national championship season … Member of DU's 2004 and 2005 national championship squads … Won a Gold medal with the United States at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship to become the first U.S.-born player to play on WJC and NCAA championship squads in the same season … Also won Gold the U.S. at the 2002 U-18 World Championship and Bronze with the U.S. at the 2013 World Championship … Played 12 seasons in the NHL with San Jose, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Nashville … Named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2006-07.
Brian Elliott, Wisconsin (Newmarket, Ont.), 2003-07
Finished as a top three finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2006 … 2006 All-American … Two-time WCHA Goaltending Champion (2005-06, 2006-07) … 2006 All-WCHA … First goaltender in WCHA history to post a career goals-against average below 2.00 … Backstopped the Badgers to their sixth NCAA title, leading the nation in goals-against average, save percentage and victories, while sharing the national lead in shutouts in 2006 as he posted the greatest statistical season for a Badger goaltender and one of the best in NCAA history … 2006 NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player … 2006 NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team member … Posted a then-WCHA record 269:52 shutout streak in 2006 … Set career WCHA marks for goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.931) … Shares third place on the WCHA career shutout list (16).
Other Top Players of the 2000s
Ryan Duncan, North Dakota, 2005-09: Hobey Baker Award winner, WCHA Player of the Year and WCHA Scoring Champion in 2006-07 … Three-time All-WCHA (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) … Scored 172 points on 85 goals and 87 assists in his Fighting Sioux career. Junior Lessard, Minnesota Duluth, 2000-04: Hobey Baker Award winner, WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Scoring Champion, All-American and All-WCHA in 2003-04 … Tallied 142 points on 74 goals and 68 assists for the Bulldogs. Jeff Panzer, North Dakota, 1997-2001: WCHA Player of the Year in 2000-01 … Three-time All-WCHA, two-time All-American and two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist. Zach Parise, North Dakota, 2002-04: Recorded 116 points on 49 goals and 67 assists in two seasons at North Dakota … Earned All-America and All-WCHA honors and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist in both of his seasons with the Fighting Sioux. Marty Sertich, Colorado College, 2002-06: Hobey Baker Award winner, WCHA Player of the Year and WCHA Scoring Champion in 2006-07 … Led the nation in scoring in his Hobey Baker-winning season … Two-time All-WCHA (2004-05, 2005-06) … Earned All-America honors in 2004-05 … finished his career with 182 points on 61 goals and 121 assists. Thomas Vanek, Minnesota, 2002-04: Tallied 113 points on 57 goals and 56 assists in two seasons with the Golden Gophers … Two-time All-WCHA and All-American … WCHA Rookie of the Year and Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player in 2002-03.
Paul Martin, Minnesota, 2000-03: Three-time All-WCHA selection (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03) and a key member of Minnesota's 2002 and 2003 national championship squads. Chay Genoway, North Dakota, 2006-11: WCHA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008-09 … Four-time All-WCHA honoree (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) … Two-time All-American (2008-09, 2010-11).
Curtis McElhinney, Colorado College, 2001-05: Two-time WCHA Goaltending Champion (2002-03, 2004-05) … Two-time All-American and two-time All-WCHA (2002-03, 2004-05) … Backstopped Colorado College to the 2005 Frozen Four. Wade Dubielewicz, Denver, 1999-2003: Two-time WCHA Goaltending Champion (2000-01, 2001-02) … Three-time All-WCHA (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03) … Earned All-America and WCHA Final Five MVP honors in 2001-02. Alex Stalock, Minnesota Duluth, 2006-09: WCHA Goaltending Champion in 2008-09 with a 2.39 GAA in league play. Earned All-America, All-WCHA and WCHA Final Five MVP honors in 2008-09 … Named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 2006-07.
Celebrating 70 Years of Excellence
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association will celebrate 70 Years of Excellence throughout the 2020-21 season. The league will name all-decade teams and players and coaches of the decade for each of its seven decades. The teams and individuals will be selected by a panel of current and former WCHA staffers and media members who have or are currently covering the WCHA. More than 200 nominees were submitted for consideration by the 21 schools that have called the WCHA home since 1951.
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About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men's League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, is marking its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.