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.
Sarah Davis was known as a clutch player during her four-year career at Minnesota from 2010-14. She continues to play that way in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).
Davis had a goal and an assist in each game over the weekend to lead Calgary to a pair of victories over Toronto. The triumphs lifted the Inferno into first place at the holiday break in the CWHL. The Inferno scored a 5-1 victory Saturday, and then Davis scored in the third period Sunday to vault Calgary into first place with a 3-1 win. Former Minnesota Duluth star Michela Cava had an assist for Toronto in the loss.
In the other CWHL series last weekend, Brampton and Boston split a series. Boston got its second victory of the season Saturday, taking a 4-3 decision, but Brampton came back to record an 8-0 rout Sunday. Jenna McParland, who played at Minnesota Duluth, had a goal and an assist in the series finale after registering an assist Saturday.
Another former UMD skater, Caroline Ouellette of Montreal, continues to lead the CWHL scoring race with 23 points (a CWHL-best 13 goals and eight assists). Toronto's Natalie Spooner, a former Ohio State star, is in fourth place with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and Cava cracked the top 10. She now has 12 points (six goals, six assists).
The CWHL standings have Calgary (12-2-0) in the league lead with 24 points. Montreal (10-3-1) is second with 21 points. Toronto (7-6-2) is third with 17 points, while Brampton (5-7-1) has 12 points and Boston (2-10-1) has five points.
Monday, the first 32 of 34 players named to the 2017 CWHL All-Star game were announced by the league, including six former WCHA stars. Brampton's Jocelyne Larocque (Minnesota Duluth), Calgary's Haley Irwin (UMD) and Meaghan Mikkelson (Wisconsin), and Toronto's Cava (UMD), Kelly Terry (Minnesota) and Spooner (OSU) will all participate in the game, held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday, February 11, 2017.
In the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) over the weekend, the New York Riveters blanked Connecticut, 2-0, Sunday. Madison Packer, who played at Wisconsin, and ex-UW defenseman Courtney Burke each had a goal for New York.
Boston leads the NWHL with an 8-0-0-0 record and 16 points, while Connecticut (4-5-0-0) and New York (3-5-1-1) are tied for second place with eight points. Buffalo (3-5-1-0) is in fourth place with seven points, one better than New York. Boston's Brianna Decker, a former Patty Kazmaier Award winner from Wisconsin, leads the NWHL in goals scored with six and she is fourth in the league in scoring with 10 points (also four assists).New York goalie Katie Fitzgerald, who played at St. Cloud State last season, is fourth among NWHL netminders in save percentage (.898) and goals against (3.17). She is second in shutouts with one.
Both pro leagues will take a holiday break until play resumes Jan. 7. Nineteen women's hockey alumni are spending the 2016-17 season playing in the CWHL, while 17 former WCHA players are competing in the NWHL.
Last week former Bemidji State defenseman Ivana Bilic became the second player to leave the NWHL following the league's announcement that it was asking players to take a salary reduction. Here is a story on Bilic's departure from Connecticut.
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 Four Nations Cup last month.
The Whitecaps are idle until Jan. 6-7 when they play at Minnesota.
Here are the ex-WCHA players currently on professional team rosters, effective Dec. 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; 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; Meaghan Mikkelson, 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; Michela Cava, Minnesota Duluth; Danielle Gagne, Ohio State; Vanessa Spataro, St. Cloud State.