WCHA.com
wcha.com
wcha.com
Standings Schedules Statistics WCHA Teams The WCHA WCHA Tournament Media Center Shop
wcha.com
Press Releases
space
space
September 19, 2013
space Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size space print
space
League Head Coaches Tab Defending National and Conference Champion Minnesota as WCHA Favorite for 2013-14
Wisconsin Picked Second, North Dakota Third in Annual Preseason WCHA Head Coachesí Poll; Gophersí Forward Hannah Brandt Selected as Preseason WCHA Player of the Year; Minnesota Forward Dani Cameranesi is Choice for League Rookie of the Year; Season Opens Sept. 23 as Touring Japan National Team Plays Wisconsin in First of Four Games vs WCHA Foes; Minnesota State Hosts Mercyhurst, Bemidji State Off to Lindenwood in Season-Opening Sept. 27-28 Non-Conference Sets; UM, SCSU, MSU Face British Columbia in Exhibitions, North Dakota Hosts Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, Ohio State Hosts Toronto Jr Aeros; 112-Game Conference Slate Launches Oct. 4-5 as Wisconsin Hosts MSU; 2014 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF at Sanford Center in Bemidji March 7-8
space
space
space
photo
Hannah Brandt has been selected as the WCHA Pre-Season Player of the Year

MADISON, Wis. – It's never a bad choice to pick a team that has won 49 games in a row. That is the message from the hockey coaches who have seen their league win the last 14 Division 1 women's national championships.

The University of Minnesota has swept to the NCAA Women's Frozen Four title in each of the last two seasons and, according to a preseason poll of the league's head coaches, the Golden Gophers are the pick to win the Western Collegiate Hockey Association title again in 2013-14.

The Gophers, who also won the WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF playoff championship the last two seasons and are the defending WCHA regular season champions, collected seven first place votes and 49 points in the poll of the league's eight head coaches. Last season Minnesota outscored their opponents 216 to 36 and became the first women's hockey team to ever post an unbeaten season, going 41-0-0. They have 49 straight victories dating back to a 2-1 (ot) loss to North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012.

Wisconsin placed second in the coaches poll with 42 points and one first place vote and North Dakota, another NCAA tournament qualifier last season, finished in third place in the poll with 36 votes. Ohio State, with 31 points, was selected to finish fourth, followed by Minnesota Duluth in fifth place and Minnesota State in sixth. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State tied for seventh place.

Minnesota sophomore forward Hannah Brandt, an All-WCHA First Team performer last season, was the coaches' pre-season choice for WCHA Player of the Year. She had five votes, while Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby, the league's goaltending champion in 2011-12, received three votes. Minnesota freshman forward Dani Cameranesi is the head coaches' choice as pre-season WCHA Rookie of the Year, edging out Wisconsin forward Sarah Nurse in the balloting.

2013-14 WCHA Coaches Pre-Season Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Minnesota (7) 49
2. Wisconsin (1) 42
3. North Dakota 36
4. Ohio State 31
5. Minnesota Duluth 27
6. Minnesota State 17
7. Bemidji State 11
  St. Cloud State 11
(Note: coaches could not vote for their own teams in the poll and points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system.)

WCHA Pre-Season Player of the Year (votes)
Hannah Brandt, So., F, Minnesota (5); Alex Rigbsy, Sr., G, Wisconsin (3).

WCHA Pre-Season Rookie of the Year (votes)
Dani Cameranesi, F, Minnesota (3); Sarah Nurse, F, Wisconsin (2); Brittni Mowat, G, Bemidji State (1), Halli Krzyaniak, D, North Dakota (1) and Ashleigh Brykaliuk, F, Minnesota Duluth (1).


Upcoming Schedule

Games for Monday, Sept. 23: Japan National Team at Wisconsin (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Wednesday, Sept. 25: Japan National Team at St. Cloud State (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Thursday, Sept. 26: Japan National Team at Minnesota (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Friday, Sept. 27: Bemidji State at Lindenwood (NC), 7:00 pm CT; Mercyhurst at Minnesota State (NC), 7:07 pm CT; U. British Columbia at Minnesota (EX), 7:07 pm CT; Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy at North Dakota (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, Sept. 28: Mercyhurst at Minnesota State (NC), 1:07 pm CT; Toronto Junior Aeros at Ohio State (EX), 2:07 pm ET; Bemidji State at Lindenwood (NC), 2:00 pm CT; Japan National Team at Minnesota Duluth (EX), 6:07 pm CT; U. British Columbia at St. Cloud State (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Monday, Sept. 30: U. British Columbia at Minnesota State (EX), 6:07 pm CT.


On-Ice Play in WCHA Begins Sept. 23 When Wisconsin Hosts Japan National Team; Japan at SCSU Sept. 25, UM Sept. 26 and UMD Sept. 28; Minnesota State Hosts Mercyhurst, Bemidji State Heads to Lindenwood in Sept. 27-28 Non-Conference Series; UM, SCSU, MSU Face British Columbia in Exhibitions; UND Hosts Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, Buckeyes Play Toronto Junior Aeros

It may be September, but the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association opens plays with a series of exhibition games against the Japan National Team next week.

The Japan National Team is preparing to compete in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in February and will use squads from the competitive WCHA as a tune-up during a week-long tour. Wisconsin will play the Japan National Team on Monday, Sept. 23 at LaBahn Arena in Madison in the exhibition opener while St. Cloud State hosts Japan at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25. On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Japan National Team takes on Minnesota at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis and then heads to Minnesota Duluth and AMSOIL Arena on Saturday, Sept. 28.

The first two non-conference series of the 2013-14 season will be Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, when Minnesota State hosts Mercyhurst College and Bemidji State travels to Lindenwood University. That same weekend North Dakota hosts an exhibition game against the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy (from Kelowna, BC) at Ralph Engelstad Arena, and Minnesota hosts British Columbia Sept. 27 in an exhibition game. On Sept. 28, Ohio State faces the Toronto Junior Aeros in an exhibition game in Columbus while British Columbia visits St. Cloud State. Minnesota State then hosts an exhibition game against British Columbia on Monday, Sept. 30.

The 112-game conference slate, comprised of 28 games per each of the WCHA's eight-member teams (four games – two home and two away – against each of other seven members), gets underway during the weekend of Oct. 4-5 when Minnesota State visits Wisconsin. Three other league teams will host non-conference series Oct. 4-5 with Minnesota Duluth facing the University of Connecticut, North Dakota facing Lindenwood and St. Cloud State playing Quinnipiac University while Minnesota opens defense of its national title at Colgate University. Ohio State plays its season opener at Mercyhurst Oct. 5.

League play begins in earnest Oct. 11-12 when Wisconsin plays at Minnesota and St. Cloud State visits Ohio State while North Dakota hosts Minnesota Duluth Oct 12-13. Bemidji State plays its first WCHA series Oct. 25-26 at home against Minnesota.

"The Association looks forward to putting another highly-competitive product on the ice in 2013-14," said WCHA Associate Commissioner Sara R. Martin, the leader of the women's league since its founding in 1999. "We have come to expect action-packed play and this season should be no different. We are proud of the fact that 13 of the 25 players trying out for the U.S. Olympic Team are from the WCHA and that we also will have past, current and future players on the Canadian and European teams at Sochi. This reflects the commitment to fielding top-quality programs and the dedication to success that our member institutions have displayed over the past 14 seasons. We know that will continue in the future.

"I have no doubt this coming season's league race will be one of the most intriguing yet. In an Olympic year, we anticipate our teams will be balanced, star players will emerge in new roles and the league race may be more unpredictable than ever. We also look forward to a tremendous post-season in March when our WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF is showcased for the first time in northern Minnesota at the beautiful Sanford Center in Bemidji."

The 2014 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF is set for March 7 and March 8. There will be two semi-final match ups at the Sanford Center on Friday at 4:07 pm CT and 7:07 pm CT, with the playoff championship game slated for Saturday at 7:07 pm CT. The winner of the WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF receives an automatic bid to the national tournament. This will mark the first time that Bemidji and the Sanford Center has served as the host of the league playoff championship round.

The NCAA Regionals will be held the weekend of March 14-16 with the winners advancing to the 2014 NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn., March 21-23.

There will be a total of eight weekends this coming season that feature all eight teams engaged in league action. Those occur on Nov. 1-3, Jan. 10-12, Jan. 17-19, Jan. 24-26, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Feb. 8-19, Feb. 14-16 and Feb. 21-22, which marks the final regular season games.

The pursuit of the annual WCHA playoff championship will get underway the weekend of Friday, February 28 thru Sunday, March 2 with four first round, best-of-three, playoff series. The top four ranked teams in the final regular season standings will host the bottom four in the first round, with the No. 8 playoff seed at the No. 1 playoff seed, No. 7 playing at No. 2, No. 6 at No. 3 and the No. 5 seed at the No. 4 seed. The four first-round conference playoff winners will then advance to the 2014 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF on March 7-8 at Bemidji.

In addition to the exhibition tuneups in September against the Japan National Team, three WCHA teams will face Team Russia in November. Minnesota Duluth hosts the Russians Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, Bemidji State entertains Team Russia Nov. 27 and North Dakota will play two games against Russia Nov. 29-30 in Grand Forks.


WCHA Women's 2012-13 Season Highlights

Team Honors
WCHA Regular Season Champion: Minnesota. WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF Champion: Minnesota. NCAA Women's Division 1 Championship Tournament Qualifiers: Minnesota, North Dakota. NCAA Women's Frozen Four Champion: Minnesota (41-0-0).

National Individual Honors
Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winner:
Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota. Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalists: Megan Bozek, Sr., D, Minnesota; Hannah Brandt, Fr., F, Minnesota; Brianna Decker, Sr., F, Wisconsin; Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota; Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., F, North Dakota; Noora Räty, Sr., G, Minnesota. CCM Hockey Women's Division 1 All-Americans: First Team: G - Noora Räty, Sr., Minnesota; D - Megan Bozek, Sr., Minnesota; D - Monique Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota; F - Amanda Kessel, Jr., Minnesota; F - Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota. Second Team: G - Alex Rigsby, Jr., Wisconsin; F - Brianna Decker, Sr., Wisconsin. AHCA Women's Division 1 Coach of the Year: Brad Frost, Minnesota.

WCHA Individual Honors
WCHA Player of the Year: Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota. WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year: Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., F, North Dakota. WCHA Defensive Player of the Year: Megan Bozek, Sr., D, Minnesota. WCHA Rookie of the Year: Hannah Brandt, Fr., F, Minnesota. WCHA Scoring Champion: Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota. WCHA Goaltending Champion: Noora Räty, Sr., Minnesota. WCHA Coach of the Year: Brad Frost, Minnesota. All-WCHA First Team: F - Amanda Kessel, Jr., Minnesota; F - Brianna Decker, Sr., Wisconsin; F - Hannah Brandt, Fr., Minnesota; D - Megan Bozek, Sr., Minnesota; D - Monique Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota; G - Noora Räty, Sr., Minnesota. All-WCHA Second Team: F - Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota; F - Michelle Karvinen, Jr., North Dakota; F - Jenna McParland, So., Minnesota Duluth; D - Brigette Lacquette, So., Minnesota Duluth; D - Jessica Wong, Sr., Minnesota Duluth; G - Alex Rigsby, Jr., Wisconsin. All-WCHA Third Team: F - Lauren Smith, Sr., Minnesota State; F - Josefine Jakobsen, So., North Dakota; F - Kelly Terry, Jr., Minnesota; D - Mira Jalosuo, Sr., Minnesota; D - Rachel Ramsey, So., Minnesota; G - Kayla Black, Fr., Minnesota Duluth. All-WCHA Rookie Team: F - Hannah Brandt, Fr., Minnesota; F - Maryanne Menefee, Fr., Minnesota; F - Meghan Dufault, Fr., North Dakota; D - Milica McMillen, Fr., Minnesota; D - Courtney Burke, Fr., Wisconsin; G - Kayla Black, Fr., Minnesota Duluth.

2012-13 WCHA Women's Scholar-Athletes
To qualify as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and also have a GPA of at least 3.50 (4.0 scale) for each of the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if their overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at present institution. Earning WCHA Scholar-Athlete awards for 2012-13, by member team, were …
Bemidji State: Molly Arola, Allie Duellman, Emily Erickson, Sadie Lundquist, Erika Wheelhouse, Abby Williams, Danielle Williams, Whitney Wivoda. Minnesota: Bethany Brausen, Noora Räty, Kelly Terry. Minnesota Duluth: Audrey Cournoyer, Vanessa Thibault. Minnesota State: Emilia Andersson, Lauren Barnes, Melissa Klippenstein, Erin Krichiver, Erika Magnusson, Shelby Moteyunas, Kathleen Rogan, Kelsie Scott, Lauren Smith. North Dakota: Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Andrea Dalen, Shannon Kaiser, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Mary Loken, Allison Parizek, Michelle Bonapace-Potvin, Jordan Slavin, Tori Williams. Ohio State: Becky Allis, Stacy Danczak, Taylor Kuehl, Madison Marcotte, Kari Schmitt, Sara Schmitt, Paige Semenza, Kayla Sullivan, Kim Theut, Minttu Tuominen. St. Cloud State: Sydney Burghardt, Callie Dahl, Anna Donlan, Julie Friend, Julia Gilbert, Amanda Monkman, Amy Olson. Wisconsin: Natalie Berg, Katy Josephs.

2012-13 WCHA Women's All-Academic Team
To qualify for the women's WCHA All-Academic Team, student-athletes must have completed one year of residency at their present institution, prior to the current academic year, and have a GPA of at least 3.00 (4.00 scale) for the previous two semesters or three quarters. Earning WCHA Women's All-Academic Team honors in 2012-13, by member team, were …
Bemidji State: Molly Arola, Alexandria Citrowske, Allie Duellman, Alex Ehlert, Emily Erickson, Jamie Hatheway, Kristin Huber, Natasha Kostenko, Sadie Lundquist, Emily McKnight, Jenessa Philipczyk, Mackenzie Thurston, Erika Wheelhouse, Abby Williams, Danielle Williams, Whitney Wivoda. Minnesota: Rachael Bona, Megan Bozek, Bethany Brausen, Samantha Downey, Katie Frischmann, Baylee Gillanders, Mira Jalosuo, Amanda Kessel, Becky Kortum, Rachel Ramsey, Noora Räty, Kelly Terry. Minnesota Duluth: Audrey Cournoyer, Brienna Gillanders, Jamie Kenyon, Emma Stauber, Vanessa Thibault, Tea Villila, Katherine Wilson, Pernilla Winberg. Minnesota State: Emilia Andersson, Lauren Barnes, Danielle Butters, Nicole Germaine, Elisabeth Hewett, Melissa Klippenstein, Erin Krichiver, Kari Lundberg, Erika Magnusson, Tracy McCann, Shelby Moteyunas, Kathleen Rogan, Kelsie Scott, Lauren Smith, Lauren Zrust. North Dakota: Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Kayla Berg, Michelle Bonapace-Potvin, Jorid Dagfinrud, Andrea Dalen, Ashley Furia, Megan Gilbert, Josefine Jakobson, Leah Jensen, Shannon Kaiser, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Mary Loken, Layla Marvin, Allison Parizek, Jordan Slavin, Tori Williams. Ohio State: Becky Allis, Stacy Danczak, Tina Hollowell, Taylor Kuehl, Madison Marcotte, Kari Schmitt, Sara Schmitt, Paige Semenza, Kayla Sullivan, Annie Svedin, Minttu Tuominen, Kim Theut. St. Cloud State: Katie Allen, Sydney Burghardt, Callie Dahl, Anna Donlan, Julie Friend, Julia Gilbert, Kylie Lane, Amanda Monkman, Abby Ness, Amy Olson, Haylea Schmid, Ellie Sitek. Wisconsin: Brittany Ammerman, Natalie Berg, Jordan Brickner, Ilana Friedman, Katy Josephs, Alev Kelter, Stefanie McKeough, Alex Rigsby.