Each week WCHA.com will offer an update on the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players playing pro hockey.
Fifty-four (54) Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) alumnae will be playing professional hockey in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) this season. Each of the WCHA’s eight all-time teams are represented, with at least one league alumna on all 11 rosters.
The NWHL opens its fourth season this weekend, Oct. 6-7, with 33 former WCHA stars dotting their five team rosters. The expansion Minnesota Whitecaps, who will play at the new TRIA Arena in St. Paul, Minn., features 17 former WCHA players while the Metropolitan Riveters, who won the Isobel Cup last season, have eight ex-WCHA players.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have 10 former WCHA players competing in the NWHL, including six on the Whitecaps, while St. Cloud State has seven alums in the league and Wisconsin six, five of whom play for the Riveters. Minnesota Duluth has four former players in the NWHL, while North Dakota and Ohio State have two players apiece and Minnesota State one.
The NWHL starts play Saturday when the Metropolitan Riveters play at Minnesota. Connecticut hosts Buffalo on Sunday.
The CWHL doesn’t start play until Oct. 13. It has six teams in three countries – the U.S., Canada and China – and features 21 former WCHA players.
The CWHL was founded in 2007. Markham is the defending champion and has three WCHA players on its roster. Former Minnesota Duluth coach Shannon Miller is in her first season coaching Calgary, where she has a CWHL-high six WCHA alumnae.
Minnesota Duluth has eight former players in the CWHL, while Wisconsin has seven, Minnesota and North Dakota both have two, while Bemidji State and Ohio State have a player apiece in the league.
There are more WCHA alums playing in these two pro leagues than any other season.
Here are the WCHA alumnae on NWHL and CWHL season-opening team rosters:
Boston (1): Gigi Marvin, Minnesota.
Buffalo (4): Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Dani Cameranesi, Minnesota; Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Julianna Iafallo, Ohio State.
Connecticut (3): Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin; Michelle Löwenhielm, Minnesota Duluth; Katerina Mrázová, Minnesota Duluth.
Metropolitan (8): Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota; Erika Lawler, Wisconsin; Kelly Nash, Wisconsin; Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Jenny Ryan, Wisconsin; Lexi Slattery, St. Cloud State.
Minnesota (17): Lauren Barnes, Minnesota State; Hannah Brandt, Minnesota; Winny Brodt Brown, Minnesota; Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, Minnesota; Tanja Eischenschmid, North Dakota; Julie Friend, St. Cloud State; Kalli Funk, St. Cloud State; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota; Sadie Lundquist, Bemidji State; Lisa Martinson, St. Cloud State; Katie McGovern, Minnesota Duluth; Amy Menke, North Dakota; Meaghan Pezon, St. Cloud State; Kate Schipper, Minnesota; Haylea Schmid, St. Cloud State; Emma Stauber, Minnesota Duluth; Lee Stecklein, Minnesota.
Calgary (6): Coached by Shannon Miller (Minnesota Duluth); Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth; Halli Krzyzaniak, North Dakota; Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Alex Rigsby, Wisconsin; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin.
Montréal (2): Catherine Daoust, Minnesota Duluth; Hilary Knight, Wisconsin.
Markham (3): Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Jocelyne Larocque, Minnesota Duluth; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth.
Shenzen (China) KRS Vanke Rays (3): Stephanie Anderson, Bemidji State; Noora Räty, Minnesota; Jessica Wong, Minnesota Duluth.
Toronto (5): Mellissa Channell, Wisconsin; Jordan Hampton, North Dakota; Sarah Nurse, Wisconsin; Carolyne Prevost, Wisconsin; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State.
Worcester (2): Jessica Convery, Minnesota Duluth; Lauren Williams, Wisconsin.