2015-16 WCHA Women's League Season In Review
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) proudly completed its 17th year of competition in 2015-16.

Opening Face-Off

- No. 17 In the Books: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) proudly completed its 17th year of competition in 2015-16, another terrific season of on- and off-ice accomplishments by its student-athletes, coaches and programs.

  • The WCHA won its 16th national championship (15th NCAA Frozen Four title, in addition to one AWCHA crown); comprised half of the Frozen Four field; tied for the NCAA lead with four teams in the final opinion polls; boasted the best nonconference winning percentage in the country; featured both the USCHO National Player and Rookie of the Year, along with the Women's Hockey Commissioners Association Rookie of the Year; celebrated a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-3 finalist and five top-10 finalists; saw six players earn CCM All-America accolades; saw student-athletes earn nominations for NCAA Woman of the Year and the Hockey Humanitarian Award; and applauded numerous current and former players that competed on the international stage, along with 26 that starred professionally in either the CWHL or during the inaugural season of the NWHL.

- National Champions: Minnesota won the 2016 NCAA Women's Frozen Four, knocking off previously unbeaten Boston College to earn its second consecutive crown, fourth in five years and the seventh national championship in program history.

  • In addition to Minnesota, the WCHA was also represented in the National Collegiate Women's Championship and Frozen Four by Wisconsin.

- Polling Place: No. 1 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 9/10 North Dakota and No. 10/9 Bemidji State gave the WCHA an NCAA-best four teams (tied with ECAC Hockey) in the final USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.

  • Five (5) of the WCHA's eight teams spent at least one week ranked in the opinion polls, as Minnesota Duluth - which played the nation's toughest schedule by RPI - also spent time among the top-10.

- Winning Hockey: Not surprisingly, four of the nation's top-12 winning percentages in 2015-16 belonged to WCHA teams. Frozen Four semifinal opponents Minnesota and Wisconsin tied for second-best with identical 35-4-1 records (.888). The best regular season in program history propelled Bemidji State to ninth at .653 (22-11-3), while North Dakota was 12th at .586 (18-12-5).

- Badgers Win Regular Season and Final Face-Off Titles: Long among the nation's elite programs, Wisconsin returned to the top of the WCHA's regular season and postseason mountains in 2015-16.

  • The Badgers earned their fifth WCHA regular season crown in program history, and first since 2011-12, with a 24-win, 74-point campaign.
  • Wisconsin then successfully defended its Final Face-Off championship, in the process matching the league record with the sixth postseason title in program annals.

- National Accolades: Record-setting Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens was chosen as the USCHO National Player of the Year after a remarkable junior campaign. Minnesota forward Sarah Potomak was tabbed as the National Rookie of the Year by both the Women's Hockey Commissioners Association and USCHO.

  • Six WCHA players earned CCM All-America honors - First Team selections Desbiens (UW) and Minnesota senior forward Hannah Brandt, along with Second Teamers Courtney Burke (UW senior defenseman), Lee Stecklein (UMN junior defenseman), Dani Cameranesi (UMN junior forward) and Annie Pankowski (UW sophomore forward).
  • UW's Desbiens was a top-3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Badgers' teammate Pankowski, along with UMN's Brandt and Cameranesi, and North Dakota senior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie, gave the WCHA an NCAA-best five players among the top-10 finalists.
  • The WCHA also had an NCAA-best nine players on All-USCHO teams: UW's Desbiens (First Team); UMN's Brandt, Cameranesi, Stecklein and Amanda Leveille (senior goaltender), and UW's Pankowski (Second Team); UW's Burke and Bemidji State senior defenseman Ivana Bilic (Third Team); and, UMN's Potomak (All-Rookie Team.

- College Hockey's Best Fans: For the fifth straight season, WCHA teams ranked 1-4 nationally by total and average attendance.

  • Minnesota drew 42,501 (2,125 per game) to Ridder Arena, Wisconsin welcomed 42,398 (2,019) to LaBahn Arena (including a program-record 12 sellouts), Minnesota Duluth greeted 21,293 fans (1,331) at AMSOIL Arena and North Dakota hosted 16,143 (1,009) at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
  • Six (6) of eight WCHA teams saw their average attendance rise from 2014-15, while the league's overall average attendance rose 1.3%, to 1,029 per game.

Wisconsin goaltender and WCHA Player of the Year Ann-Renée Desbiens set the all-time NCAA Division I single-season records for save percentage (.960), goals-against average (0.76) and shutouts (21).

Celebrating Incredible Accomplishments

- Desbiens' Record-Setting Year: Wisconsin goaltender and WCHA Player of the Year Ann-Renée Desbiens fashioned a season for the ages – arguably the best campaign by a netminder in NCAA history. The junior set the all-time NCAA Division I single-season records for save percentage (.960), goals-against average (0.76) and shutouts (21).

  • Her scoreless run of 543:33 between Oct. 3 and Nov. 14 also set a new NCAA D-I standard (men's or women's), and was nearly 100 minutes longer than the previous record of 448:32 (posted by Badger legend Jessie Vetter during the 2006-07 season).
  • Desbiens became just the second goaltender to earn WCHA Player of the Year accolades, joining Bemidji State All-American Zuzana Tomcikova (2010).
  • After making 52 saves and posting consecutive shutouts during Wisconsin's two wins at the Final Face-Off, she became the first player since 2007 (UW's Sara Bauer) and first goaltender ever to win both the WCHA Player of the Year and Final Face-Off Most Outstanding Player awards in the same season. Desbiens' 35-save, 1-0 blanking of Minnesota in the Final Face-Off championship game was part of her five-straight shutouts during the 2016 postseason.

- 10 Hours, 24 Minutes and 18 Seconds of Scoreless Hockey: Beginning at the 18:45 mark of the first period during an Oct. 3 victory over Providence and ending with 16:57 left in regulation of a Nov. 14 triumph at Minnesota Duluth, Wisconsin held its opponents scoreless – a sensational streak that spanned more than a full month, parts of 11 games, included an incredible nine-straight shutouts and an NCAA DI-record (men's or women's) 624 minutes, 18 seconds of shutout hockey.

  • After the 8-1 victory over Providence during which the streak started, the Badgers' nine-straight shutouts spanned both games of WCHA series against Ohio State, at St. Cloud State, vs. Bemidji State and at Minnesota State, and then the first contest of a set at Minnesota Duluth. Counting the portions of the games vs. Providence (after the Friars' goal) and at UMD (before the Bulldogs' score), Wisconsin tallied 54 goals while keeping their opponents off the scoreboard.
  • The Badgers were not done after the streak, however. UW also recorded five-straight shutouts during the postseason, spanning the entirety of the Badgers' WCHA playoff championship run and their NCAA quarterfinal round victory over Mercyhurst. For the season, Wisconsin tallied a WCHA-record 23 shutouts and finished the season with an NCAA-record of a mere 0.72 goals-allowed per contest.

- Brandt's Illustrious Career: One of the all-time great players in WCHA history, Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt wrapped up her career with prominent places throughout the league and NCAA record books.

  • She finished with 285 points, matching North Dakota great and U.S. Olympian Jocelyne Lamoureux for most in WCHA history (since 1999-2000), while her 170 assists are the most in league annals and her 115 goals are tied for fourth.
  • In NCAA history (since 2000-01), Brandt finished tied for second for points, was second for assists and tied for seventh for goals.

- Kessel's Inspirational Return: For nearly three years, it appeared that the collegiate career of Amanda Kessel - a two-time All-American, 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award and U.S. Olympian - was over due to a concussion suffered in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics. However, she fought back and, on Feb. 5, 2016, returned to the ice to begin a truly remarkable and thrilling 13-game run to properly close out her career in the Maroon and Gold.

  • A three-time NCAA champion, Kessel finished her career with 108 goals, 140 assists and 248 points in 126 games. She ranks sixth in WCHA history (since 1999-2000) for points and assists, and tied for seventh for goals.
  • In NCAA history (since 2000-01), Kessel is eighth for points and assists, and tied for 11th for goals.

Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Hilary Knight were named to the All-Star Team after helping Team USA win its third consecutive gold medal at the IIHF Worlds.

The Next Level

- International Stage: The nation's premier women's college hockey conference continued to make its mark on international ice during the 2015-16 season.

  • Four Nations Cup: Thirty-two (32) current or former WCHA student-athletes, representing seven member institutions and all four competing countries, participated in the 2015 Four Nations Cup hosted by Sweden.
    • WCHA players accounted for four of the five goals scored in the championship game, including all three by the United States as the Americans rallied for a 3-2, overtime victory. Former Badger great Hilary Knight secured gold for the United States with a dramatic goal just 36 seconds into OT.
  • IIHF Worlds: Thirty-six (36) current or former WCHA student-athletes, representing seven member institutions and competing for six different countries, participated in the 2016 IIHF World Championships.
    • Led by the 11 who helped the United States win its third consecutive gold, 21 WCHA players medaled at the 2016 Worlds, held March 28 through April 4 in Kamloops, British Columbia. Eight members of the silver-medalist Canadian squad hailed from the WCHA, while a pair of Russian forwards earned bronze.
    • Knight was named to the All-Star Team, was tabbed the competition's best forward and – for the second consecutive year – was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Joining Knight on the All-Star Team was defenseman and former North Dakota standout Monique Lamoureux-Morando.
    • The final 2016 Women's Worlds statistical leaderboard featured several WCHA products. Knight led the tournament with seven goals and tied for first with nine points; the Lamoureux twins (Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson), along with Minnesota Duluth junior-to-be Lara Stalder, all had a Worlds-best five assists; Knight and Lamoureux-Davidson tied for top honors with a +8 rating; and, former Wisconsin great Alex Rigsby led all goaltenders with a .986 save percentage, a 0.31 goals-against average and two shutouts (including a 32-save, 1-0 blanking in the Americans' 1-0, overtime win over Canada in the gold-medal game).

- CWHL and NWHL Impact: WCHA alumni dotted rosters across the two women's professional leagues, with the league (and four of its institutions) represented on eight of the nine combined rosters for the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).

  • Fifteen (15) former WCHA players competed on four of the five CWHL clubs: Calgary (5 players), Toronto (4), Brampton (3) and Montréal (3).
  • Eleven (11) league alumni played across the four founding franchises of the NWHL in its inaugural season: Boston (4), Connecticut (3), Buffalo (2) and New York (2).
  • Both league champions were well-stocked with WCHA products. Sarah Davis (Minnesota), Haley Irwin (Minnesota Duluth), Brigette Lacquette (Minnesota Duluth), Blayre Turnbull (Wisconsin) and Meaghan Mikkelson (UW) all played for the Clarkson Cup champion Calgary Inferno. Brianna Decker (UW), Zoe Hickel (UMD), Hilary Knight (UW) and Gigi Marvin (UMN) all were key contributors to a Boston Pride club that won the first-ever Isobel Cup.

- NWHL Draft and Signings: Both of the first two NWHL drafts, in which teams are allowed to select rising seniors, have featured a bevy of WCHA selections.

  • Five (5) WCHA players were chosen in 2015, including a pair of first-round selections and four from Minnesota (matching Boston College for the most of any program).
    • Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille (Buffalo) became the first NWHL draft pick to sign a team, while defensemen Courtney Burke (Wisconsin) and Milica McMillen (UMN) inked deals with New York.
    • Additionally, Amanda Kessel signed a free agent contract with New York after returning to the ice with Minnesota in February.
  • More than half – 11 of 20 – selections in the 2016 NWHL Draft are 2016-17 rising seniors representing four WCHA schools.
    • Each of the draft's five rounds featured at least one WCHA player chosen, while the first and third rounds saw three of the four picks coming from league schools.
    • Wisconsin, the 2015-16 WCHA regular season and playoff champion, led all NCAA schools with five players selected. Defending national champion Minnesota, along with Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota, each had two picks apiece.
    • The full list: Lee Stecklein, D, UMN (Buffalo Beauts, 1st Round – 2nd pick overall); Dani Cameranesi, F, UMN (Connecticut Whale, 1st Round – 3rd pick overall); Ann-Renée Desbiens, G, UW (Boston Pride, 1st Round – 4th pick overall); Sarah Nurse, F, University of Wisconsin (Boston Pride, 2nd Round – 8th pick overall); Jenny Ryan, D, UW (New York Riveters, 3rd Round – 9th pick overall); Mellissa Channell, D, UW (Connecticut Whale, 3rd Round – 11th pick overall); Ashleigh Brykaliuk, F, UMD (Boston Pride, 3rd Round – 12th pick overall); Sydney McKibbon, F, UW (New York Riveters, 4th Round – 13th pick overall); Halli Krzyzaniak, D, UND (Boston Pride, 4th Round – 16th pick overall); Amy Menke, F, UND (New York Riveters, 5th Round – 17th pick overall); Lara Stalder, F, UMD (Boston Pride, 5th Round – 20th pick overall).

- Award Winners: The following WCHA alumni earned recognition for their achievements in 2015-16:

  • USA Hockey named North Dakota great Monique Lamoureux-Morando as the Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year, while honoring Wisconsin star Hilary Knight with the Bob Johnson Award in recognition of her excellence in international play.
  • Following the NWHL's inaugural season, Wisconsin's Brianna Decker was named Most Valuable Player and Knight was recognized as scoring champion. Additionally, Minnesota's Gigi Marvin earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades.

North Dakota senior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie was awarded the 2016 WCHA Postgraduate Scholarship.

In the Classroom and In the Community

- CoSIDA Academic All-Americans: North Dakota senior Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Minnesota senior Hannah Brandt and Gophers' junior Lee Stecklein all earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

  • A three-time Academic All-American, Amsley-Benzie recorded a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

- Scholar-Athletes: Fifty-two (52) student-athletes, representing all eight WCHA Women's League member institutions, earned WCHA Scholar-Athlete Awards for maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or above.

  • This number represented a 10.6-percent increase, from 47 in 2014-15.

- All-Academic Team: One hundred and twenty-one (121) student-athletes, representing all eight WCHA Women's League member institutions, earned a spot on the WCHA All-Academic Team for maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or above.

  • This number represented a 31.5-percent increase, from 92 in 2014-15.

- Hockey Humanitarian Award: Ohio State senior defenseman Cara Zubko was one of 18 nominees for the 2016 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented annually to college hockey's finest citizen – a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.

- NCAA Woman of the Year: North Dakota's Shelby Amsley-Benzie, a two-time WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year and the 2016 WCHA Postgraduate Scholarship winner, is among the 517 nominees for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year award (but is just one of nine that played hockey, across all three NCAA Divisions). The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

- Postgraduate Scholarship: North Dakota senior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie was awarded the 2016 WCHA Postgraduate Scholarship.

  • By any and all measures, Amsley-Benzie represents the very best of college athletics. One of the nation's top goaltenders, a 4.0 student while pursuing a combined degree program, and tireless in her devotion to giving back in the community, she is an ideal representative of the University of North Dakota, the WCHA and the NCAA.
  • A two-time, top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, a 2015 All-American and WCHA Goaltending Champion, and a First Team All-WCHA performer (junior season), Amsley-Benzie posted a 67-33-10 career record in 111 collegiate games, along with a .929 save percentage, a 1.69 goals-against average and 22 shutouts. She is UND's all-time leader in every major goaltending category, while in WCHA history she ranks sixth for shutouts, eighth for games played, tied for eighth for wins, 12th for GAA, tied for 14th for save percentage and 16th for saves (2,474).
  • While compiling a prestigious and ongoing athletic career, which has also included invitations to four prestigious USA Hockey camps or training sessions, Amsley-Benzie has excelled academically. The native of Warroad, Minn. has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in a combined degree program within UND's College of Engineering and Mines, which will allow her to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science with a major in chemical engineering over the course of five years.
  • After pursuing a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, Amsley-Benzie hopes to apply knowledge of how drugs interact with the body and apply it to help those who are suffering from various afflictions – from working to develop new cancer-fighting drugs to enhancing current medications to assist those plagued with disease to live longer and fuller lives.

Minnesota's Hannah Brandt was fourth in the nation averaging 1.78 points-per-game.

More from the 2015-16 Season

- Nonconference Success: The WCHA boasted, far and away, the best nonconference winning percentage in the country at .800 (35-8-2) – including a perfect 3-0 mark in the NCAA Tournament.

  • All eight WCHA teams were at .500-or-above against nonconference opponents. Wisconsin (7-0-0), Minnesota (6-0-0) and St. Cloud State (4-0-0) were all perfect; Bemidji State posted a .917 mark (5-0-1); North Dakota finished at 3-1-0 (.750); Ohio State went 4-2-0 (.667); Minnesota State logged a 3-2-1 (.583) ledger; and, Minnesota Duluth was an even .500 (3-3-0).
  • The WCHA was 17-4-0 (.810) against nonconference teams at home, 15-3-2 (.800) on the road and 3-1-0 (.750) at neutral site venues.

- Playmakers: Ten (10) of the nation's top-25 leaders in points per game this past season played in the WCHA.

  • Minnesota's Hannah Brandt (fourth at 1.78 points per game) led the way, followed by teammate Dani Cameranesi (fifth at 1.70), Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski (seventh at 1.45), UMN's Sarah Potomak (eighth at 1.42), Minnesota Duluth's Ashleigh Brykaliuk (10th at 1.27), UMN's Kelly Pannek (15th at 1.23), UMD's Lara Stalder (16th at 1.21), UW's Emily Clark (18th at 1.18), North Dakota's Amy Menke (22nd at 1.14) and UND's Meghan Dufault (25th at 1.09).

- The Puck Stops Here: On the other end of the ice, five of the nation's top-20 leaders in save percentage and five of the top-25 for goals-against average were WCHA goaltenders.

  • Wisconsin All-American Ann-Renée Desbiens set NCAA records for both save percentage (.960) and GAA (0.76). She was followed on the save percentage charts by Minnesota's Amanda Leveille (fifth at .942), Bemidji State's Brittni Mowat (ninth at .938), North Dakota's Shelby Amsley-Benzie (14th at .930) and Minnesota Duluth's Kayla Black (20th at .919).
  • Leveille was fourth nationally with a 1.29 GAA, Amsley-Benzie finished seventh at 1.60, Mowat was eighth at 1.68 and Black was 24th at 2.47.

- Scoring Ticks Up: Despite some of the nation's best goaltending, and as a testament to the offensive skill on display throughout the league, scoring was up 8.2-percent in WCHA league games in 2015-16.

  • There was an average of 4.99 combined goals scored per game in the 112 WCHA conference games in 2015-16 (559 total), up from 4.61 in 2014-15 (516 total) and the league's highest since the 2012-13 season (5.15 average / 577 total).

- Welcome to the WCHA: The 2015-16 season marked the debut of three head coaches in the WCHA: Minnesota Duluth's Maura Crowell, Minnesota State's John Harrington and Ohio State's Jenny Potter.

  • Crowell successfully navigated the nation's toughest schedule (by RPI) and eventually guided the Bulldogs back to the WCHA Final Face-Off after a quarterfinal-round upset victory over Bemidji State.
  • Featuring one of the league's youngest rosters (including 10 freshmen and 20 underclassmen), Harrington's Mavericks proved to be a team on the rise during a highly-competitive second half.
  • A two-time WCHA Player of the Year and twice an All-American during her collegiate career at Minnesota Duluth, four-time Olympic medalist Potter returned to the league for her first D-I coaching assignment. Under her tutelage, freshman defenseman Lauren Boyle earned WCHA All-Rookie team honors, while the Buckeyes ranked fourth in the league for scoring offense during WCHA play.

- Coaching Milestones: Two of the WCHA's legendary head coaches added milestone victories to their résumés during the 2015-16 campaign.

  • With Wisconsin's 3-1 victory Jan. 24 over North Dakota, Badgers' head coach Mark Johnson moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time NCAA Division I women's hockey wins list - and most in WCHA history - with 384. Johnson concluded his 13th season at the helm of the Wisconsin program with a 395-75-35 (.816) career mark.
  • Minnesota's 7-0 triumph Jan. 22 at St. Cloud State was the 279th for Gophers' head coach Brad Frost, making him the winningest bench boss in program history. After completing his ninth season in Minneapolis with his fourth NCAA national championship, Frost enters the 2016-17 campaign with a 293-45-22 (.844) career record.

Once Around the Rink

- BSU: The 2015-16 season was historic for Bemidji State, as the Beavers set a program record with 22 wins, reached the 20-win mark during the regular season for the first time in program history, hosted a playoff series for the first time ever, and achieved the highest ranking in program annals at No. 4/5 on Nov. 9.

- UMN: The Gophers' five seniors, Hannah Brandt, Brook Garzone, Amanda Kessel, Amanda Leveille and Milica McMillen, make up the most successful class in program history with three national championships and an overall record of 148-9-6 (.926) from 2012-13 to 2015-16 (note: Kessel's first two seasons came in 2010-11 and 2011-12).

- UMD: The Bulldogs played 23 of their 37 games against teams ranked in the top nine nationally, good for the toughest schedule in the nation by RPI; against that competition, junior F Ashleigh Brykaliuk (18g-29a=47pts) recorded the most points by a UMD player since Haley Irwin had 54 back in 2011-12.

- MSU: Of the Mavericks' 143 points scored, 106 were recorded by underclassmen (74.1 percent); freshmen and sophomores also accounted for 43 of Minnesota State's 55 goals (78.2 percent). Junior G Brianna Quade led the WCHA and ranked third nationally with 1,031 saves.

- UND: The Fighting Hawks finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally for the sixth-consecutive season, while advancing to their sixth-straight WCHA Final Face-Off. Senior G Shelby Amsley-Benzie departs UND after setting every goaltending record in program history, including career shutouts (22), wins (67), save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (1.69).

- OSU: WCHA All-Rookie Team selection Lauren Boyle finished as the league's top-scoring freshman blue-liner with 17 points (3g-14a), while her assist total tied for fourth nationally among her peers. Forward Maddy Field (fourth with 18 points) joined Boyle (tied for fifth) among the WCHA's highest-scoring rookies.

- SCSU: The Huskies posted their most league wins (nine) and overall victories (13) since the 2009-10 campaign, while also earning their highest WCHA finish (fifth) in six years. Senior G Katie Fitzgerald ranked second in the league and fourth nationally with 976 saves.

- UW: The Badgers, who won the program's fifth WCHA regular season championship and sixth league playoff title, jumped out to a school-best 18-0-0 start, advanced to its ninth NCAA Frozen Four in 11 years and posted the fourth-most wins in program history (35-4-1) - all while tallying 23 shutouts and finishing the season with an NCAA-record 0.72 goals-allowed-per contest.

Katie Million was named WCHA Vice President and Women's League Commissioner on July 18.

From the League Office

- Million Named New VP/Commissioner: On July 21, 2016, the WCHA named longtime New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) executive Katie Million as its next vice president and Women's League commissioner.

  • Million joins the WCHA after a highly-successful 17-year stay in Lake Placid, N.Y., including the last three years as ORDA's director of events.
    • Under her leadership, ORDA further established itself as the region's foremost hub for major national and international competitions in the 21st century, hosting multiple world cups, world championships and made-for-television events in a variety of sports.
    • Million oversaw multiple collegiate hockey games and tournaments, including six ECAC Men's Hockey Championships, five NCAA Division III Men's Championships and the 2007 NCAA Women's Frozen Four.
    • Lake Placid also served as a consistent home for USA Hockey, with Million guiding efforts around numerous Men's and Women's National Festivals and Camps, along with the 2004, 2008 and 2013 Four Nations Cup tournaments.
  • Most recently, Million undertook a contract role as general manager of the 1980 Miracle Hockey Team, assuming responsibility for managing the professional reputation and branding of the sport's most iconic and cherished team.
    • She rose to that level after coordinating all aspects of the last two "Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camps" and the widely-lauded "Miracle on Ice 35th Anniversary Celebration" events in 2015.
  • Million, who agreed to a three-year contract, becomes the third full-time commissioner in the 17-year history of the WCHA Women's League, following Sara Martin (1999-2014) and Aaron Kemp (2014-16). WCHA President and Men's League commissioner Bill Robertson served in an interim capacity following Kemp's retirement in February 2016.

- Final Face-Off on FOX Sports North: For the first time ever, the championship game of the WCHA Final Face-Off was broadcast on live television, with FOX Sports North and the FOX Sports Wisconsin alternate channel airing Wisconsin's 1-0 victory over Minnesota at Ridder Arena.

  • The historic partnership ensured that the Upper Midwest region and beyond had live TV coverage of the top conference championship tilt in women's college hockey.

- WCHA.com Gets New Look: Marking an exciting new digital era, the WCHA launched an updated version of its official website, wcha.com, on Sept. 15, 2015. The redesign, produced in collaboration between the league office and website provider 867 Studios, encompasses both the Men's and Women's league pages.

  • The new wcha.com is responsively designed, allowing for scalability across devices. The site's statistical platform is integrated with collegehockeystats.net and contains some of the most expansive analysis available.

Tradition Starts Here

- Simply the Best: With 16 national championship in its 17 years of existence - including 15 of a possible 16 NCAA crowns - along with six Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winners, 86 All-Americans, hundreds of Olympic and international team members, and countless women inspired, the WCHA has become the nation's premier college hockey conference.