Each week WCHA.com will offer an update on the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players playing pro hockey. The website will also offer periodic stories on former WCHA players.
Katie Fitzgerald, who was one of the hottest goaltenders in the Western Collegiate Hockey association while playing for St. Cloud State last year at this time, continues to like playing in November. Fitzgerald made 28 saves and recorded her first shutout as her New York Riveters blanked Connecticut 4-0 Sunday in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).
Milica McMillen, the former Minnesota standout, had an assist and Madison Packer, the ex-Wisconsin forward, had a pair of assists for New York. Packer, who was a Wisconsin radio analyst while finishing up her degree at UW, also became an outspoken advocate for the NWHL players last week when the league announced that players would be forced to take pay cuts to keep the league financially viable. http://www.fanragsports.com/womens/riveters-madison-packer-speaks-nwhl-salary-cuts.
Back on the ice over the weekend, Boston stayed unbeaten with a 5-0 victory over Buffalo. Former Wisconsin star Meghan Duggan and ex-Minnesota stalwart Gigi Marvin, each had a goal and an assist.
Boston, the defending champion, leads the NWHL with a 6-0 record and 12 points, while New York (2-3-1) jumped into a second place tie with Buffalo (2-4-1). Each has five points, one more than Connecticut (2-3). Brianna Decker, the former Patty Kazmaier Award winner from Wisconsin, is tied for third in league scoring with seven points (three goals and four assists). The NWHL is idle until Dec. 2-3. Meanwhile, in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) last weekend, Toronto handed Montreal its first two losses of the season, 2-1 and 5-2. Former Minnesota star Kelly Terry had a goal each game, including the game-winner in the series opener. Ex-Minnesota Duluth forward Michela Cava had an assist in Saturday's game and a goal on Sunday while former Ohio State forward Natalie Spooner chipped in with an assist for the Fury.
Former Duluth stars Caroline Ouellette and Noemie Marin each had a goal in the series for Montreal.
In the other CWHL series last weekend, Calgary split a series with Brampton. Ex-Wisconsin player Blayre Turnbull had a goal and former Badger Megan Mikkelson and Minnesota alum Sarah Davis had assists for Calgary in the series-opening 5-2 loss To Brampton. Turnbull also notched an assist as Calgary won the series finale 4-1.
Calgary's victory Sunday moved the Inferno (6-1) into a first place tie with Montreal (6-2) and Toronto (5-3-2). Each team has 12 points, while Brampton (2-4-1) has five points and Boston (0-5-1) has one point. Nineteen women's hockey alumni are spending the 2016-17 season playing in the CWHL while 18 former WCHA players are competing in the NWHL.
The Minnesota Whitecaps, an elite women's hockey team made up of post-collegiate players, also has 22 former WCHA players – from seven league schools – on its Minneapolis-based roster. It includes nine former Minnesota players (Rachael Bona, Hannah Brandt, Winny Brown, Katie Frischmann, Mira Jalosuo, Becky Kortum, Meghan Lorence, Chelsey Rosenthal and Kelly Seeler), four North Dakota alumni (Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Tanja Eischenschmid, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando) and four from St. Cloud State (Julie Friend, Carrie Holldorf, Meaghan Pezon and Haylea Schmid), two players from Minnesota Duluth (Jenny Potter and Emma Stauber), and one each from Bemidji State (Stephanie Anderson), Minnesota State (Alli Altmann) and Wisconsin (Alex Rigsby). Seven members of the Whitecaps were on Team USA and won a goal medal at the recently-concluded Four Nations Cup.
The Whitecaps, who are idle until Jan. 6-7 when they play at Minnesota, beat Syracuse, 3-1 and tied the Orange, 2-2, last weekend in Syracuse, N.Y.
Here are the ex-WCHA players currently on professional team rosters, effective Nov. 18:
Boston: Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin, Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Hillary Knight, Wisconsin; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth
Buffalo: Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Anne Schleper, Minnesota; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota.
Connecticut: Molly Engstrom, Wisconsin; Ivana Bilic, Bemidji State; Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin.
New York: Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota; Milica McMillen, Minnesota; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State
Brampton: Laura McIntosh, Ohio State; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne LaRocque, Minnesota Duluth; Kaitlyn Tougas, Bemidji State
Calgary: Sarah Davis, Minnesota; Haley Irwin, Minnesota Duluth; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin; Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Meghan Mickelson, Wisconsin; Jessica Wong, Minnesota Duluth.
Montreal: Caroline Ouellette, Minnesota Duluth; Emanuelle Blais, Minnesota Duluth; Noemie Marin, Minnesota Duluth
Toronto: Carolyne Prevost, Wisconsin; Kelly Terry, Minnesota; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Michelle Cava, Minnesota Duluth; Danielle Gagne, Ohio State; Vanessa Spataro, St. Cloud State.