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.
Two former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players, both alums from Wisconsin are among eight veterans who have been named to the National Women's Hockey League All Stare Game in Boston in February.
Madison Packer, one of the top two all-time leading scorers in NWHL history, has been named one of the captains for the game and the Metropolitan Riveters forward will join Jordan Brickner of the Connecticut Whale in the game Feb. 9 at Warrior Ice Arena, the home of the league-leading Boston Pride. Both Brickner and Packer have been in the NWHL for each of the league's five season.
A story of their selection from the Boston Herald is here:
Last weekend Amanda Leveille, a former Minnesota goaltender, made 20 saves in recording her first shutout of the season and led the defending champion Minnesota Whitecaps to a 3-0 victory over Connecticut Saturday. Whitecaps defenseman Sydney Baldwin, a former WCHA All-American at Minnesota, had an assist in the Whitecaps' road victory.
The Whitecaps completed the sweep with a 2-1 victory Sunday behind 32 saves by Leveille. Former St. Cloud State standout Haylea Schmid had a goal and Nicole Schammel, a Minnesota alum, had an assist in the Whitecaps' third straight victory.
In the other NWHL series, Boston stayed unbeaten with a 4-3 overtime road victory over Buffalo Saturday. Sara Bustad, a former Minnesota State player, had a goal for the Beauts. The Pride completed the sweep with a 4-1 victory Sunday.
Boston tops the NWHL standings with a 13-0-0-0 record and 26 points, 10 points ahead of Minnesota which has a 7-3-2 record. Buffalo is in third place with a 6-5-1 record and 13 points while the Metropolitan Riveters are in fourth place with a 4-7-0 record and eight points while Connecticut has an 0-11-1 record and one point.
NWHL plays resumes Saturday and Sunday with a pair of two-game series: Boston is at Connecticut and Buffalo hosts the Metropolitan Riveters. The Saturday game will be played outdoors at Riverworks on the banks of the Buffalo River.
Schammel is 11th in league scoring with 14 points, one more than Packer. Schammel, the league's leading rookie scorer, has seven goals and seven assists while Packer has six goals and seven assists. Baldwin is among the top 20 scorers with five goals, seven assists and 12 points.
Leveille is second among NWHL goaltenders with seven wins and a 2.60 goals-against average. Her save percentage of .912 is third best in the league.
There are 19 WCHA alums playing in the five-team United States-based NWHL, about half as many as a year ago after an off-season when the women's professional leagues underwent a reshuffling.
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. The PWHPA will play games in To
ronto Jan. 11-12 and last week announced another set of games for February in Philadelphia Feb. 29-March 1. Many of the players in the PWHPA participated in the Rivalry Series where the U.S. beat Canada last week in the first two games of a five-game series, which will continue in February. Here is a list of the league participants:
The Whitecaps feature 15 former WCHA players. There are four former St. Cloud State players and one each from Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and Bemidji State on the Whitecaps roster.
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 Dec. 15:
Buffalo: Sara Bustad, Minnesota State
Connecticut: Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin. Laura Brennan, Minnesota State (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.