BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Feb. 26, 2021 – Three Western Collegiate Hockey Association netminders are among the eight goaltenders named Friday as finalists for the Hockey Commissioners Association's Women's Hockey Goalie of the Year Award.
Minnesota Duluth's Emma Söderberg, Ohio State's Andrea Braendli and Wisconsin's Kennedy Blair are joined as finalists for the award by Sandra Abstreiter of Providence, Josie Bothun of Penn State, Aerin Frankel of Northeastern, Kayle Osborne of Colgate and Loryn Porter of Maine.
The WCHA and Hockey East landed three goaltenders on the finalist list while the CHA and ECAC each saw a single finalist selected.
Wisconsin's Kennedy Blair ranks fourth nationally in goals against average among goaltenders with at least 14 games played with a 1.31 mark while her .947 save percentage stands fifth among the same group. Her 11 victories this season (11-2-1) is tied for third nationally and leads the WCHA. The Bismarck, N.D., native earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week accolades on Jan. 5 with two wins and a shutout at Minnesota State.
Ohio State's Andrea Braendli is the WCHA's active career leader in wins (45), save percentage (.932), goals against average (1.89) and the co-leader in shutouts (12). This season, she has posted a 9-5-0 record for the No. 3/3-ranked Buckeyes with a 1.91 GAA that ranks No. 3 in the WCHA and a .923 save percentage with two shutouts. She earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors on Feb. 16 after backstopping OSU to a sweep of then-No. 2/2 Minnesota, stopping 44 shots in the two victories.
Minnesota Duluth's Emma Söderberg leads the WCHA with 1.10 goals against average, which ranks No. 2 nationally amongst goaltenders who have made at least 14 appearances this season. She also leads the WCHA in save percentage (.957) and her five shutouts shares the league lead with Wisconsin's Blair. In addition to a pair of WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors this season, the Järved, Sweden, native was named the league's Goaltender of the Month for December and January.
This will be the first year the Women's National Hockey of Goalie of the Year Award has been presented. The award was created by Women's Hockey Commissioners Association prior to this season to recognize the top goaltender in NCAA Division I women's hockey.
The winner of this year's award will be announced in March during the NCAA Frozen Four.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is marking its 22nd season in 2020-21. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 105 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), The Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). The WCHA will grow to eight members with the addition of the University of St. Thomas (Tommies) beginning with the 2021-22 season. For more information, visit wcha.com.