Beyond the WCHA: Alumni in the Pros and Olympics - November 14
By Bill Brophy for WCHA.com
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Hannah Brandt, a former all-American at Minnesota, scored two goals as the U.S. won its eighth Four Nations Cup title all-time with a 5-1 victory over Team Canada in the championship game of the week-long tournament.

Each week WCHA.com will offer an update on the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players playing pro hockey and on games involving the United States and Canada, leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics. The website will also offer periodic stories on former WCHA players.

The U.S. Women's National team won its third-straight Four Nations Cup tournament this past Sunday in Tampa, Fla. and the squad wearing the gold medals on the winner's podium had a lot of familiar names to Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) fans.

Hannah Brandt, a former all-American at Minnesota, scored two goals; Brandt's former Gopher teammate, Amanda Kessel (a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner), and Hilary Knight, a former all-American at Wisconsin, added a goal apiece as the U.S. won its eighth Four Nations Cup title all-time with a 5-1 victory over Team Canada in the championship game of the week-long tournament.

Maddie Rooney, who has eligibility remaining at Minnesota Duluth, made 18 saves for Team USA in the victory. She was one of 15 current and former WCHA players who competed for the United States. A total of 39 former and current WCHA players were on the four teams in the tournament. A list of the ex-WCHA standouts who competed at Four Nations is at the bottom of this story.

Here is a complete article on the title game from USA Hockey: http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/855440?referrer_id=752796

The tournament was part of the USA's pre-Olympic schedule. For information and schedule on the Time is Now Tour, which consists of a series of games between Canada and the U.S. presented by Toyota, visit TheTimeisNowTour.com

The Four Nations event took away some players from the two professional women's leagues last week, but competition continued.

The Metropolitan Riveters stayed unbeaten in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) with a 5-1 victory over Connecticut. Former Wisconsin defender Jenny Ryan had a goal and an assist, while her ex-Badger teammate, Courtney Burke, had four assists and Katie Fitzgerald, the St. Cloud State alumna, made 27 saves.

In the other NWHL game, Buffalo raised its Isobel Cup championship banner from last season and then went out and beat Boston 5-3. Lisa Chesson, who played at Ohio State, had an assist and former Minnesota goalie Amanda Leveille made 29 saves.

The standings in the NWHL show the Riveters (3-0) with 6 points, Buffalo (2-2) with four points, Connecticut (1-2) with two points and Boston winless in three games.

Eleven WCHA alumnae are spending the 2017-18 season playing in the NWHL, while another 12 are playing in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).

Wisconsin has six former players competing in the four-team NWHL, including five on the Riveters, while Minnesota has two alumnae in the league. Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth have one player apiece in the league.

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.

In CWHL play over the weekend, the Vanke Rays blanked Boston 4-0 as former Minnesota Duluth star Ashleigh Brykaliuk scored a goal. She now is fourth in the league in scoring with three goals, five assists (which is second-best in the league) and eight points.

In the other CWHL game last weekend, Calgary split a pair of decisions with Toronto, winning 2-0 and falling 4-3, while Kunlun split a series with Montréal. The Chinese expansion team got a goal from ex-UMD player Jessica Wong and took a series-opening 3-1 victory, while Montreal came back to take a 5-3 decision as another former Duluth player, Noemie Marin, had two goals and an assist. Wong and her former Bulldog teammate, Zoe Hickel, had assists in the series finale.

The weekend results moved Calgary (6-1-1) into first place in the CWHL with 14 points, four more than Montreal (5-1-0). Markham (3-3-2) and Vanke (3-1-0) are tied for third place with eight points, two more than Toronto (3-3-0). Kunlun is 2-4-0, with four points, and Boston (0-6-1) is in last place with one point.

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 alumnae (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 alumnae on NWHL and CWHL team rosters, effective Nov. 1:

NWHL (11)

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.

CWHL (12)

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.