Each week WCHA.com will offer an update on former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players playing professional hockey. The website will also offer periodic stories on former WCHA players.
After a two-week hiatus the National Women's Hockey League returned to the ice and saw Buffalo move into second place with a 3-2 victory over Connecticut.
Jordan Brickner, a former Wisconsin player and one of 19 former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players in the five-team league, had an assist for the Whale in the loss.
After the break, Boston is atop the standings with a 8-0-0-0 record and 16 points, eight points ahead of Buffalo which 3-3-1-0. Defending champion Minnesota has a 3-2-0-1 record and seven points, five more than the Metropolitan Riveters who are 0-4-1-0. Connecticut has a 0-5-0-1 record and one point.
There are a number of former WCHA players among the scoring leaders in the NWHL. Ex-Wisconsin star Madison Packer of the Riveters is tied for the lead in power play goals with two and former Minnesota stars Nicole Schammel and Meghan Lorence are tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with one. Another ex-Gopher, Amanda Leveille, is second among NWHL goaltenders with three wins and a 3.00 goals against average.
NWHL play resumes Saturday when Minnesota travels to Buffalo and Connecticut is at Boston.
The league was buoyed by an infusion of financial backing last week. The story on the optimistic look for the near-future is here:
The 19 WCHA alumnae playing in the five-team United States-based NWHL is about half as many as a year ago after an off-season when the women's professional leagues underwent a re-shuffling.
Over the summer the landscape of professional women's hockey changed with the Canadian Women's Hockey League folding. The NWHL marches on, however, despite many of the bigger names in the sport playing in the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour that was organized by the women's players' union and came to Chicago last weekend.
The Whitecaps feature 15 former WCHA players, including eight who played at the University of Minnesota. There are four former St. Cloud State players and one each from Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and Bemidji State on the Whitecaps roster. (The list of NWHL players is below).
Wisconsin has two former players in the NWHL – one each in Connecticut and with the Riveters. Buffalo's roster includes one former Minnesota State player and the Metropolitan Riveters also have one Minnesota State alum. Former Minnesota State goalie Laura Brennan is an assistant coach with the Whale.
Here are the WCHA alums on NWHL rosters as of Nov. 15:
Buffalo: Sara Bustad, Minnesota State
Connecticut: Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin. Laura Brennan, Minnesota State, is an assistant coach.
Metropolitan: Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Anna Keys, Minnesota State.
Minnesota: Stephanie Anderson, Bemidji State; Sydney Baldwin, Minnesota; Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, 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; Emma Stauber, Minnesota Duluth; Winny Brodt Brown, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota; Nicole Schammel, Minnesota; Nina Rodgers, Minnesota, Meghan Lorence, Minnesota and Kelsey Cline, Minnesota.