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.
Hilary Knight hit a personal milestone in United States international play, but her U. S. teammates suffered a tough 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in Game three of the rivalry Series Monday in Victoria, B.C.
Knight, a former Wisconsin all-American, had a power play goal in the second period to give her 200 career points in international competition for the U.S.
Canada took a lead on a shorthanded goal by Brianne Jenner, assisted by former Badger Emily Clark, at 5:33 of the second period. Kelly Pannek, a Minnesota alum, assisted Knight with the game-tying goal at 12:01 of the middle period.
Dani Cameranesi, a former Minnesota star, had an assist for the U.S. on Savannah Harmon's goal at 4:53 of the third period, which gave the Americans the lead, but Brigette Lacquette, a Minnesota Duluth alum, tied the game on a power play and Blayre Turnbull, a former Wisconsin standout, set up Victoria Bach for the game-winner in overtime. Jocelyne Larocque, another former UMD standout, also had an assist on Bach's goal. Ann-Renee Desbiens, Wisconsin's former Patty Kazmaier Award winner, played goal for Canada and made 20 stops.
The teams play again Wednesday night in Vancouver, B.C. and play the final game in Anaheim, Cal Saturday. Here are two stories on the middle game in the best-of-five series is here:
There are 20 former WCHA players who have been named to the U.S. and Canada rosters for the final three games of the five-game series. A story on the WCHA players in the series is here:
Every member of the Canadian and U.S. teams are members of the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour that was organized by the women's players' union last summer The PWHPA have scheduled another set of games for February in Philadelphia Feb. 29-March 1.
Meanwhile, the National Women's Hockey League took a week off for the all-star break, but named former Minnesota goalie Amanda Leveille as its player of the month for January. Leveille is second in the league in victories with 12 and in save percentage at .932. Her 2.13 goals against average ranks third among league goalies
Boston tops the NWHL standings with a 20-1-0-0 record and 40 points, 10 points ahead of Minnesota which has a 13-5-2 record and has clinched the No. 2 seed for the playoffs The Riveters have a 8-9-2 record and 18 points, five more than Buffalo which has a 6-11-1 mark and 13 points. Connecticut has a 2-15-2 record and six points.
The NWHL All Star Game is Sunday in Boston. Five of the all-stars are former WCHA players, including Madison Packer, the former Wisconsin star who will be one of the captains.
Packer, the second leading scorer in NWHL history and a star with the Metropolitan Riveters, selected Minnesota Whitecaps teammates Sydney Baldwin, a former all-American defenseman at Minnesota, and Leveille for her 16-member Team Packer.
Another ex-Gopher Nicole Schammel, a Whitecaps forward, and Jordan Brickner of the Connecticut Whale who played at Wisconsin, were selected to play for Team Dempsey by Jillian Dempsey, the Boston Pride forward who is the league's all-time leading scorer. A complete story on the all-star selections is here:
Packer is in third place in scoring in the NWHL. The power forward has 12 goals 17 assists (third best in the league), and 29 points. Schammel, a former all-WCHA player, is seventh in league scoring with 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) while Baldwin is tied for 18th among scorers with eight goals, 10 assists and 18 points. Former St. Cloud State standout Meghan Pezon is tied for 20th with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists). Another ex-Gopher, Megan Lorence, has two shorthanded goals which are tied for the most in the NWHL and Packer's five power play goals is also tied for the most. The list of league scoring leaders is here:
There are 20 WCHA alums playing in the five-team, U.S.-based NWHL, about half as many as a year ago, after an off-season when the women's professional leagues underwent a re-shuffling.
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 three former players in the NWHL – one in Connecticut and two with the Riveters. Buffalo's roster includes one former Minnesota State player and the Riveters also have one Minnesota State alum. Former Minnesota State goalie Laura Brennan is an assistant coach with the Whale.
After the all-star break, NWHL play continues Feb. 15-16 when Connecticut visits Boston on Saturday and the Metropolitan Riveters host Buffalo in a Saturday-Sunday series.
Here are the WCHA alums on NWHL rosters as of Feb. 1:
Buffalo: Sara Bustad, Minnesota State
Connecticut: Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin. Laura Brennan, Minnesota State*
Metropolitan: Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Anna Keys, Minnesota State; Kelly Nash, Wisconsin
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
*- Assistant Coach