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.
Nearly two dozen former Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Women's League players will start the season on the rosters of the two professional women's hockey leagues this season.
Eleven WCHA alumni are spending the 2017-18 season playing in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), while 12 former players are competing in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).
The NWHL season begins its third season Oct. 28, when the defending champion Buffalo Beauts face the Connecticut Whale and the Boston Pride play at the Metropolitan Riveters. Wisconsin has six former players competing in the four-team NWHL, including five on the Riveters, while Minnesota has two alums in the league. Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth all have one player apiece in the league.
The Canadian Women's Hockey League opened play last weekend with two new expansion teams in China and other changes which are featured in this story: Click here.
On the opening weekend of the 2017-18 season, Montreal opened defense of its league title with a pair of victories over Boston. Former Minnesota Duluth star Emmanuelle Blais had an assist in a 5-2, season-opening decision and Noelle Marin had a goal in Sunday's 5-3 victory. In the league's other series last week, Markham beat Toronto 1-0 on opening night, but Toronto came back to split the low-scoring series with a 2-1 win.
Minnesota Duluth has eight former players in the CWHL, while Ohio State, Minnesota, Bemidji State and North Dakota each have one player in the seven-team league. Former UMD star Caroline Ouellette, a four-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada, is the all-time leading scorer in the CWHL and is one of three former Bulldogs on Montreal.
The Minnesota Whitecaps, an elite women's hockey team made up of post-collegiate players, also has 26 former WCHA players – from six schools – on its Minneapolis-based roster. It includes eight former Minnesota players (Winny Brown, Katie Frischmann, Mira Jalosuo, Becky Kortum, Chelsey Rosenthal, Paige Haley, Shyler Sletta and Kelly Seeler Buchta), eight players from St. Cloud State (Julie Friend, Carrie Holldorf, Meaghan Pezon, Lauren Hespenheide, Hanna Brodt, Kalli Funk, Lisa Martinson and Haylea Schmid), four from Minnesota State (Alli Altmann, Anna Fiegert, Lauren Barnes and Kari Lundberg) three North Dakota alumni (Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Tanja Eischenschmid and Amy Menke), two players from Minnesota Duluth (Demi Crossman and Emma Stauber), and one from Bemidji State (Rachael Kelly).
Here are the WCHA alumni on NWHL and CWHL team rosters, effective Oct. 18:
Buffalo: Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota.
Connecticut: Meghan Huertas, Minnesota Duluth; Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin.
Metropolitan: Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Erika Lawler, Wisconsin; Jenny Ryan, Wisconsin; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State.
Calgary: Kayla Gardner, North Dakota.
Kunlun (China) Red Star: Stephanie Anderson, Bemidji State; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth; Jessica Wong, Minnesota Duluth; Noora Raty, Minnesota.
Markham: Laura McIntosh, Ohio State; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne LaRocque, Minnesota Duluth.
Montreal: Caroline Ouellette, Minnesota Duluth; Emanuelle Blais, Minnesota Duluth; Noemie Marin, Minnesota Duluth. Vanke (China) Rays: Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Minnesota Duluth.