Each week WCHA.com will offer an update on the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players playing pro hockey.
Gigi Marvin had a busy week on the ice. The former Minnesota standout and gold medal winner played for Team USA in the Rivalry Series and saw Team Canada take the deciding game in the three-game women's hockey series Sunday in Detroit.
Marvin then jumped on a plane so that she could rejoin her Boston Pride teammates in a President's Day matinee in New Jersey.
If Marvin was tired, you would never know it. The veteran scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Pride to a 7-1 victory over the Metropolitan Riveters Monday. The victory moved Boston into a tie for first place in the National Women's Hockey League.
Former Patty Kazmaier winner Amanda Kessel, who starred at Minnesota, had the lone goal for the Riveters and former Wisconsin star Madison Packer had an assist.
Kessel leads the league in assists with 13 and is fourth in league scoring with 15 points (2-13-15), two more than Marvin (8-5-13) and one more than Buffalo's Dani Cameranesi, the ex-Minnesota All-American, who has four goals, 10 assists and 14 points.
Marvin is third in the league with most goals scored (8) and Minnesota Duluth alum Katarina Mrazova of Connecticut are fifth in the league with six goals scored. Minnesota's Amanda Leveille is third among NWHL goalies with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.
With two games left in the regular season, Boston and Minnesota are tied for the league lead with a 10-4 record and 20 points, two points better than Buffalo (9-4). Connecticut (2-9-2) and the Riveters (3-11) have six points. Buffalo has three games left in regular season play.
There are 57 WCHA alumnae on the rosters of the two North American professional hockey leagues – with 34 former Western Collegiate Hockey Association stars in the five-team NWHL.
Minnesota has 11 former WCHA players competing in the National Women's Hockey League, including six on the Minnesota Whitecaps, while St. Cloud State has seven alums in the league and Wisconsin six, five of whom play for the Metropolitan Riveters. There are four former UMD players in the NWHL while North Dakota and Ohio State have two players apiece and Minnesota State one.
The Whitecaps feature 17 former WCHA players while the Riveters have eight ex-WCHA players.
The Canadian Women's Hockey League also had a limited schedule last week because of the Rivalry Series, which began Tuesday in London Ontario (U.S. scored a 1-0 victory on 33 saves by ex-Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby and a goal by ex-Badger Hillary Knight, continued in Torotno Thursday (where Canada won 4-3) and concluded before over 9,000 fans in Detroit.
Montreal was missing seven regulars, but Emmanuelle Blais, the former Minnesota Duluth, came out of retirement to register an assist and become the CWHL's tenth all-time top scorer in a 7-1 victory over Worcester Saturday. Former Wisconsin defenseman Lauren Williams had Worcester's lone goal. In the series finale Sunday, Les Canadiennes spotted Worcester two goals, but came back to take a 4-3 victory and move into a first-place tie.
In the other series, Calgary swept Markham 3-2 and 3-2. Former Wisconsin forward Carolyne Prevost had a goal and an assist in each game and defenseman Melissa Channel, another ex-Badger, had an assist for the Fury in Sunday's game.
Calgary (20-4-0-1) and Montreal (20-5-0-1) are tied fr first with 41 points, heading intio the final series of the regular season. Markham (12-9-3-0-1) has 28 points and the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays (13-11-1) are fourth place with 27 points. Toronto (11-14-0) is in fifth place with 22 points while Worcester in winless and pointless in 26 games.
Former Ohio State star Laura Spooner (13 goals, 10 assists) is in 11th place in the league's scoring derby with 23 points, along with ex-Wisconsin all-American forward Brianna Decker (12-11). Another ex-Badger Sarah Nurse (12 goals, 10 assists), is the league's second-leading rookie goal scorer. Rigsby, is third among CWHL goaltenders with a 2.05 goals-against average and her .925 save percentage is also third best in the CWHL. The Canadian Women's Hockey League has six teams in three countries – the U.S., Canada and China – and features 23 former WCHA players. Duluth each has nine former players in the CWHL and Wisconsin has eight alums in the league. Minnesota and North Dakota have two players while Ohio State and Bemidji State have one player in the league.
There are more WCHA alums playing in these two pro leagues than any other season
Here are the WCHA alumni on NWHL and CWHL team rosters as of Feb. 15:
Buffalo: Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Julianna Iafallo, Ohio State; Dani Cameranesi, Minnesota.
Connecticut: Michelle Lowenheilm, Minnesota Duluth; Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin; Katerina Mrazova, Minnesota Duluth; Nina Rodgers, Minnesota.
Metropolitan: Amanda Kessel, Minnesota; Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Kelly Nash, Wisconsin, Erika Lawler, Wisconsin; Jenny Ryan, Wisconsin; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State; Lexi Slattery, St. Cloud State.
Boston: Gigi Marvin, Minnesota.
Minnesota: Kate Schipper, Minnesota; Lee Stecklein, Minnesota; Julie Friend, St. Cloud State; Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, Minnesota; Hannah Brandt, Minnesota; Haylea Schmid, St. Cloud State; Lisa Martinson, St. Cloud State; Meaghan Pezon, St. Cloud State; Kalli Funk, St. Cloud State; Lauren Barnes, Minnesota State; Tanja Eischenschmid, North Dakota; Amy Menke, North Dakota; Emma Stauber, Minnesota Duluth; Katie McGovern, Minnesota Duluth; Sadie Lundquist, Bemidji State; Winny Brodt Brown, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota.
Calgary: Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Alex Rigsby, Wisconsin; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth; Halli Kryzyzaniak, North Dakota; Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin.
Shenzen KRS (China) Vanke Red Star: Stephanie Anderson, Bemidji State; Jessica Wong, Minnesota Duluth; Noora Raty, Minnesota.
Markham: Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne LaRocque, Minnesota Duluth.
Montreal: Associate head coach Caroline Ouellette (Minnesota Duluth); Emmanuelle Blais, Minnesota Duluth; Catherine Daost, Minnesota Duluth; Hilary Knight, Wisconsin.
Toronto: Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Sarah Nurse, Wisconsin; Melissa Channell, Wisconsin; Carolyne Prevost, Wisconsin; Jordan Hampton, North Dakota.
Worcester: Jessica Convery, Minnesota Duluth; Dani Crossman, Minnesota Duluth; Lauren Williams, Wisconsin.