WCHA Press Releases

WCHA Offensive Player of the Year Abby Roque led Wisconsin to its third-straight league regular season championship and its fifth-consecutive NCAA Frozen Four appearance.
2017-18 WCHA Season In Review
WCHA's 19th season of competition another memorable campaign, with a trio of ranked teams and NCAA tournament participants, two Frozen Four teams and thrilling on- and off-ice accomplishments

Opening Faceoff

- No. 19 in the Books: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) proudly completed its 19th season in 2017-18, another fantastic campaign of on-and off-ice accomplishments by its student-athletes, coaches and member programs.

  • The WCHA led the country with three teams in the top-six of the final opinion polls, topped all conferences with three programs in the NCAA tournament, comprised half of the Frozen Four field, honored a pair of top-10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award and three AHCA/CCM Hockey All-Americans, celebrated 37 Olympians and 30 medalists (including 14 on the gold-medalist Team USA squad), was inspired by the Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient and her fellow top-five finalist, and, applauded 32 alumnae that starred in North American professional leagues with either the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) or the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).

- Polling Place: Nationally third-ranked Wisconsin, No. 4 Ohio State (highest season-ending ranking in program history) and No. 6 Minnesota gave the WCHA an NCAA-best three of the top-six teams in the final USCHO.com and USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine polls.

  • Minnesota Duluth was ranked for multiple weeks early in the season, while both the Bulldogs and Bemidji State were receiving votes into late-February.

- NCAA Tournament and the Frozen Four: The WCHA also led all conferences with three teams in the NCAA tournament, marking the second-consecutive year a trio of league programs advanced. WCHA regular season champion Wisconsin was the tournament's overall No. 2 seed, Minnesota captured the WCHA Final Faceoff and the league's automatic bid and Ohio State earned an at-large berth for the program's first-ever appearance.

  • For the fifth-straight year and the 13th time in the event's 18-year history, at least half of the Frozen Four was comprised of WCHA teams, with the Badgers and Buckeyes each competing in a national semifinal game.
photo
Ohio State set program records with 24 wins and 14 WCHA victories, while advancing to the Frozen Four during its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

- Every Rink, Every Night: Between a challenging nonconference slate and the regular season gauntlet provided by arguably the nation's premier conference, WCHA teams again played some of the toughest schedules in NCAA Division I hockey, per the RPI Strength-of-Schedule ledger.

  • Six of the top-10 toughest 2017-18 schedules nationally belonged to WCHA teams, while all seven were in the top-14.
  • St. Cloud State played D-I's second-toughest schedule overall, while Wisconsin ranked third, Minnesota Duluth was fifth, Minnesota was sixth, Bemidji State was seventh, Ohio State was 10th and Minnesota State was 14th.

- Olympic Year: The WCHA was proud and honored to have 37 current and former players competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The group represented seven universities, while playing for five countries.

  • Thirty (30) players with WCHA ties brought home medals, including 14 that helped Team USA win its first gold since 1998. Canada's silver medalists featured nine WCHA players, while seven alumnae earned bronze with Finland.

- Peters Receives Hockey Humanitarian Award: Minnesota redshirt-senior goaltender Sidney Peters, whose contributions on the ice and in the classroom are topped only by her impact in the community, was named the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient. The award is given each year 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.

  • Ohio State senior Lauren Spring, a two-time nominee, was also a top-five finalist for the prestigious honor.

- National Accolades: Three WCHA players were named 2018 CCM/AHCA All-Americans, as Minnesota senior defenseman Sydney Baldwin (the WCHA's Overall and Defensive Player of the Year) earned first-team honors, while Wisconsin sophomore (and WCHA Goaltender of the Year) Kristen Campbell joined Ohio State redshirt-sophomore blueliner Jincy Dunne in garnering second-team accolades.

  • The WCHA was also well-represented on All-USCHO teams, with seven players earning recognition. Wisconsin senior defenseman Maddie Rolfes was a first-team honoree, Campbell was the second-team goaltender, third-team selections included UW sophomore forward Abby Roque (the WCHA Offensive Player of the Year), Dunne and Ohio State redshirt-junior goaltender Kassidy Sauvé, while OSU's Emma Maltais (the WCHA Rookie of the Year) joined Minnesota's Olivia Knowles on the Rookie Team.

- #WeAreWCHA: For the seventh-straight season, WCHA programs ranked 1-3 nationally by total and average attendance.

  • Wisconsin drew 38,505 fans (2,265 per game) for 17 games at LaBahn Arena, Minnesota welcomed 32,573 (1,629) over 20 dates at Ridder Arena and 19,769 fans (1,163) saw 17 contests at Minnesota Duluth's AMSOIL Arena.

From the League Office

- Fundraising and Sponsorship Increase: By welcoming several new partners to the fold, including an unprecedented collaboration with RallyMe on a crowdfunding platform, sponsorship and value-in-kind contributions to the WCHA Women's League soared to more than $70,000 during the 2017-18 fiscal year.

  • GoodWood Hockey, a family owned and operated, Twin Cities-based hockey apparel company, powered all WCHA awards throughout the season and provided additional support for the Final Faceoff.
  • John Buccigross, the longtime ESPN anchor and renowned benefactor of hockey at all levels, provided -- through his #bucciovertimechallenge and #cawlidgehawkey initiative -- the funds for a new, custom-designed, perpetual WCHA Final Faceoff championship trophy.
  • Howies Hockey Tape became the official gift supplier for college hockey's most passionate fans with the "WCHA Women's League Fan of the Month," while also providing supplies for the Final Faceoff.
  • Sports Minneapolis' generous contributions allowed the league to host its third-annual, free WCHA Youth Clinic in conjunction with the Final Faceoff.
  • FOX Sports North again was a premier partner in promoting and supporting the Final Faceoff.
  • A pair of new supporting partners -- Hockey WrapAround and Krampade® -- joined to boost the Final Faceoff.
  • The WCHA also enjoyed new partnerships with Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate, Art by ASI and Ostrom Creative.

- WCHA Partners with FloSports: On Aug. 1, the WCHA announced a multiyear partnership with FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, to stream every game hosted by Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State, along with the annual WCHA Final Faceoff tournament, live and on-demand exclusively on FloHockey.tv.

  • With FloSports' existing distribution deal with the Big Ten Network covering select games hosted by Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, the WCHA becomes the first women's college hockey league to have a streaming platform that includes all of its member institutions.
  • By adding the WCHA Women's League to its current deals with the WCHA Men's League and the Big Ten Network, FloHockey.tv will now be home to approximately 400 college hockey games each season.

- WCHA Brand Continues to Grow: Association-wide digital impressions (across all WCHA owned channels) were up by 1.1 percent during the season (including a 21.5-percent growth for the Women's League). The WCHA continued its four-year trend of increased traffic, with its 2017-18 digital network impressions up 162.5 percent from 2013-14. Likewise, Association social media followers (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) have increased 114.1 percent over that period.

  • The WCHA partnered with St. Cloud State's award-winning Husky Productions on the "WCHA Highlight Reel," as each Tuesday throughout the season, host Kirsten Krull brought fans the top goals, plays and saves from the previous weekend's games.
  • Thanks to the continued efforts of Kelly Schultz and the Beaver Radio Network, the 2017-18 season featured 24 episodes of "This Week in the WCHA," a six- to eight-minute weekly audio show featuring highlights, interviews and more from around the league.
  • With a continued partnership between the WCHA and FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin, along with efforts by Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin, nine WCHA Women's League games were televised live during the 2017-18 season. The package, which featured all seven WCHA member institutions, included eight regular season contests and the Final Faceoff championship game.
  • From fan contests and in-game commentary, to feature stories and highlights of professional success, #WeAreWCHA has become a staple for engagement with the league on any platform, connecting all who make the WCHA a truly special league -- from current players and alumni to future student-athletes; from administrators to coaches; and, most importantly, all our fans. We are all the WCHA.

- WCHA Leadership: Following the 2018 WCHA Management Council meetings (held April 24-25 in Naples, Fla.) and the Board of Directors meetings (held June 4 in Bloomington, Minn.), the Association formally approved its updated articles of incorporation, bylaws and policies and procedures.

  • The WCHA Women's League Board of Directors is filled by a designee of each institution's president or chancellor, while the Management Council is comprised of the Athletic Director, Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) and Head Coach of each institution.
  • The 2018-19 WCHA Women's League Advisory Council, which is responsible for general counsel to Commissioner Katie Million, along with providing oversight of the League's day-to-day operations, consists of Dr. Perry Leo (Faculty Athletics Representative, Minnesota and Board Chair), Dr. Shannon Norman (Faculty Athletics Representative, Bemidji State and FAR Chair), Josh Berlo (Athletic Director, Minnesota Duluth and AD Chair) and John Harrington (Head Coach, Minnesota State and Coaches' Chair).

Once Around the Rink

photo
WCHA All-Rookie Team performer Clair DeGeorge played a big role in helping Bemidji State to its first Final Faceoff appearance since 2015.

- BSU: The Beavers returned to the Final Faceoff for the first time since 2015, had a trio of All-WCHA performers (senior Alexis Joyce, and freshmen Clair DeGeorge and Mak Langei), and earned wins over Minnesota and Ohio State (along with playing Wisconsin to a tie, snapping the Badgers' season-opening, 15-game WCHA winning streak).

- UMN: Behind WCHA Overall and Defensive Player of the Year Sydney Baldwin, the Gophers won at least 20 games for the 21st consecutive season and, after upsetting Ohio State and Wisconsin to win the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff, made the program's NCAA-record 11th-straight tournament appearance.

- UMD: Despite skating one of the youngest rosters in team history and playing the nation's fifth-toughest schedule, the Bulldogs won the in-season Windjammer Classic tournament, went 13-10-4 over their final 27 games and earned home ice for the WCHA Quarterfinals.

- MSU: The Mavericks, who defeated Bemidji State and Ohio State down the stretch, saw their overall record skewed by seven one-goal losses. Forward Brittyn Fleming (4g-15a--19pts) tied for 10th in the WCHA overall rookie scoring race.

photo
Freshmen Brittyn Fleming emerged as a playmaker for Minnesota State, including a pair of assists in a victory over Frozen Four-bound OSU.

- OSU: Under second-year bench boss and WCHA Coach of the Year Nadine Muzerall, the Buckeyes set program records with 24 overall wins (24-11-4) and 14 WCHA victories (14-6-4-3), while OSU's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance resulted in a 2-0 win at No. 4 seed Boston College and a trip to the Frozen Four. OSU's second-place WCHA finish was its best-ever, as was its final No. 4 national ranking.

- SCSU: After starting the season 2-12-0 (1-9-0), the Huskies finished the season 6-6-5 (5-5-4). SCSU played winning hockey after Jan. 1, going 5-4-3 and -- behind the stellar goaltending of All-WCHA Third Team and Rookie Team selection Emma Polusny, along with Olympian Janine Alder -- allowed just 1.92 goals-per-game after the New Year.

- UW: The Badgers won their third-straight WCHA regular season championship, joining Minnesota (2013-15) as the only teams in league history to go back-to-back-to-back. Wisconsin ranked third nationally with 31 wins and advanced to its fifth-straight Frozen Four, the longest active stretch in the country.


More From the 2017-18 Season

photo
Freshman goaltender Emma Polusny set the St. Cloud State single-season record with four shutouts during a sensational debut campaign.

- Continued Nonconference Success: The WCHA one again boasted the country's top nonconference winning percentage, going 34-21-2 (.614).

  • Five of seven WCHA schools finished above .500 against competition from College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey and Hockey East.

- Youth is Served: Eight of the top-20 scoring freshmen in all of NCAA Division I hockey skated in the WCHA, representing five different teams.

  • WCHA Rookie of the Year Emma Maltais excelled in her debut season at Ohio State, ranking fourth among D-I freshmen with 1.08 points per game (16g-24a for 50 points in 37 contests). Her 40 points overall were the most by any Buckeyes skater since two-time Olympic medalist Natalie Spooner collected 50 in 2011-12.
  • Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle tied for fifth at 1.00 points per game (17g-21a--38pts), Ohio State's Tatum Skaggs ranked eighth at 0.95 (23g-14a--37pts), St. Cloud State's Laura Kluge was 11th at 0.80 (7g-17a--24pts), Minnesota Duluth's Naomi Rogge was 16th at 0.69 (16g-8a--24pts), UMN's Taylor Wente was 17th at 0.66 (11g-14a--25pts), UMD's Ashton Bell was 18th at 0.66 (11g-12a--23pts) and Bemidji State's Clair DeGeorge was 20th at 0.62 (7g-16a--23pts).

- Rookie Scoring Champ: Fittingly, Minnesota freshman Grace Zumwinkle became the WCHA's first rookie Scoring Champion (defined as the most points in league play) since Ohio State's Hokey Langan in the 2009-10 season.

  • Zumwinkle collected 27 of points (11g-16a) in her 24 WCHA games, three more than Ohio State's Emma Maltais (10g-14a--24pts).

- The Puck Stops Here: WCHA goaltenders ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in goals-against average (GAA), save percentage, winning percentage, wins, saves and shutouts.

  • In her first season wearing the Cardinal and White, Wisconsin sophomore Kristen Campbell topped D-I netminders with a 1.19 GAA. She was followed by Ohio State redshirt-junior Kassidy Sauvé (ninth at 1.88), Minnesota redshirt-senior Sidney Peters (13th at 1.93), St. Cloud State freshman Emma Polusny (19th at 2.20), Minnesota Duluth senior Jessica Convery (21st at 2.23) and SCSU sophomore Janine Alder (25th at 2.42).
  • Campbell ranked second with a .939 save percentage, while Sauvé was third (.938), Alder was fifth (.935) and Polusny was eighth (.934).
  • Campbell was also second with an .842 winning percentage (31-5-2), while Sauvé ranked seventh (.656, 19-9-4), Peters was eighth (.648, 17-9-1) and Convery was 16th (15-14-3, .516).
  • Continuing a pattern of excellence, Campbell ranked second with 31 wins, Sauvé was seventh with 19, Peters (17) tied for eighth and Convery (15) was 11th.
  • Sauvé paced the WCHA and ranked second nationally with 920 saves, followed by Convery (11th with 816) and Campbell (16th at 706).
  • Campbell's 12 shutouts tied for most among D-I goaltenders, while Sauvé ranked third with 10, Peters and Polusny tied for eighth with four apiece, while Bemidji State senior Erin Deters and Convery each had three apiece to tie for 17th.

- Campbell's Historic Start: Kristen Campbell set the tone for her All-America campaign early, as the eventual WCHA Goaltender of the Year became the first Wisconsin goaltender to win her first nine starts in the Cardinal and White, opening 16-0-0.

- Polusny Sets Standard: Emma Polusny enjoyed a fantastic debut season, as her four shutouts set the all-time St. Cloud State single-season record.

  • All four of Polusny's clean sheets came after Nov. 22, as she posted five wins, 465 saves, a 1.84 GAA and a .945 save mark over final 15 starts.

- Fabulous Final Faceoff: Annually the nation's top conference championship tournament, the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff -- featuring Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota and Bemidji State -- did not disappoint. The three-game tournament featured three All-Americans, a pair of Patty Kaz top-10 finalists and 20 players who are participating this summer at development camp for either USA Hockey or Hockey Canada.

  • The No. 3 seed Gophers, needing two wins to keep their season alive, outlasted eventual NCAA Frozen Four participants Ohio State and Wisconsin to win their seventh WCHA playoff championship -- matching the Badgers for most in league history.
  • Final Faceoff Most Outstanding Player Sidney Peters, Minnesota's redshirt-senior goaltender, stopped a combined 64-of-65 shots in the Gophers' 2-0, semifinal victory over Ohio State and their 3-1, championship game triumph over UW.
  • UW senior co-captain Baylee Wellhausen notched the first Final Faceoff hat trick since 2012, including a second-period, shorthanded tally that stood as the game-winner, to lead the Badgers past Bemidji State, 4-1 in the semifinals.

- Coaching Milestones: A pair of WCHA coaching legends in Wisconsin's Mark Johnson and Minnesota's Brad Frost again enjoyed milestone victories.

  • Johnson, who ranks third in NCAA National Collegiate (D-I) women's hockey annals with 459 career victories, recorded win No. 450 on Jan. 13 with a 6-0 triumph over visiting Minnesota State. Johnson enters the 2018-19 season, his 16th season behind the Badgers' bench, with a career .822 winning percentage (459-83-41).
  • Frost moved past his predecessor, the iconic Laura Halldorson, and into sixth place on the NCAA National Collegiate women's annals with his 338th career coaching win, a 2-0 victory over visiting Minnesota State on Jan. 27. Frost enters the 2018-19 season, his 12th as the Gophers' head coach, with a career 343-64-30 record (.819).

In the Classroom and In the Community

photo
Minnesota's Sidney Peters was named the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient, while she was also Most Outstanding Player at the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff.

- Hockey Humanitarian Award: As previously mentioned, Minnesota redshirt-senior goaltender Sidney Peters was named the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient as college hockey's finest citizen, while Ohio State senior forward Lauren Spring, a two-time nominee, was also a top-five finalist for the prestigious honor.

  • Peters, who was honored for making significant contributions not only to her team, but also to the community at-large through leadership in volunteerism, logged over 830 volunteer hours with various community outreach activities during her time with the Gophers. The certified Emergency Media Technician (EMT) volunteered with the University of Minnesota EMS and the Rush-Copley Emergency Department in Aurora, Ill (near her hometown of Geneva, Ill.), along with HopeKids, Special Olympics Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, and local elementary and middle schools and youth hockey associations. Peters also traveled to Haiti during the summer of 2016 with Project Medishare, volunteering at the country's only critical care and trauma hospital, while she has combined her love of hockey with her faith as the head goalie coach for the Hockey Ministries International camp.
  • Spring, who was honored by SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) as a Major of the Year award recipient, was a frequent presence in the Columbus community -- and beyond. She organized local community service projects for her and her team, including physical education projects, trips to Meals on Wheels food bank events and helping to run scoring tables at wheelchair rugby events. A student-teacher at a Columbus-area elementary school, Spring also joined 10 other OSU student-athletes on a May 2017 trip to Ecuador with Soles4Souls to help provide shoes and clothes to needy children.

- NCAA Woman of the Year: Minnesota's Sidney Peters is also the lone WCHA student-athlete to be nominated by a member schools for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year award. In fact, among the record 581 women nominated, only 11 are hockey players (including just four from the D-I ranks).

- Google Cloud Academic All-Americans: St. Cloud State sophomore goaltender Janine Alder, Minnesota senior defenseman Sydney Baldwin and Gophers' redshirt-senior goaltender Sidney Peters -- the only three hockey players among the 45 women honored -- were named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America Division Women's At Large Third Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

- Krampade All American Scholars: Fifty-seven (57) student athletes, representing all seven WCHA Women's League member institutions, were honored as Krampade All American Scholars, as announced by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). These outstanding players attained a 3.6 GPA each semester and participated in 40 percent of their school's games during the 2017-18 season.

- Scholar-Athletes: Sixty (60) student-athletes, representing all seven Women's League member institutions, earned WCHA Scholar-Athlete Awards for maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or above.

- All-Academic Team: Ninety-five (95) student-athletes, representing all seven Women's League member institutions, earned a spot on the WCHA All-Academic Team for maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or above.


The Next Level

photo
Fourteen (14) WCHA players, including two that will play collegiately this season, helped Team USA win gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

- 2018 Winter Olympic Games: The WCHA was proud and honored to have 37 current or former players competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The group represented seven universities (Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, North Dakota, Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin, while playing for five countries (the United States of America, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland).

  • Thirty (30) players with WCHA ties brought home medals, including 14 that helped Team USA win its first gold since 1998. Canada's silver medalists featured nine WCHA players, while seven alumnae earned bronze with Finland.
  • When the puck drops on the 2018-19 season, the WCHA will welcome back 2018 Olympians Janine Alder (St. Cloud State / Switzerland), Emily Clark (Wisconsin / Canada), Kelly Pannek (Minnesota / USA) and Maddie Rooney (Minnesota Duluth / USA). Additionally, Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski (USA) and Minnesota's Amy and Sarah Potomak (Canada), all of whom were centralized with their national teams, will be back on WCHA ice (with Amy Potomak making her collegiate debut).
  • There was perhaps no more compelling moment in the entire 2018 Winter Olympics than the epic gold medal game between the United States and Canada, won by the Americans in a shootout.
    • The contest was tied 2-2 after regulation and overtime, with U.S. goals coming from former UW All-American Hilary Knight (assisted by fellow Badger great Brianna Decker and former UMD standout Sidney Morin) and UND legend Monique Lamoureux-Morando (assisted by current UMN forward Kelly Pannek). The first Canadian tally was scored by former UMD great Haley Irwin (assisted by UW alumna Blayre Turnbull).
    • The WCHA took center stage in the shootout, with the winning goal coming off the stick of Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (famously known as the "Oops I Did It Again" move), which will go down as one of the epochal moments in U.S. Olympic history. Goaltender Maddie Rooney will return to Minnesota Duluth for her junior season in 2018-19 as an Olympic hero, as her tournament-long brilliance was capped by her stop of Meghan Agosta on the tournament's final shot, lifting Team USA to gold.

- 2017 Four Nations Cup: Preparation for the Olympics kicked into high gear with the 2017 Four Nations Cup, with 39 current, former or incoming WCHA players competing in Tampa, Fla. (representing Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, North Dakota, Ohio State and Wisconsin.)

  • The U.S. won its third-consecutive Four Nations Cup gold medal with a roster featuring 15 WCHA players. A 5-1, gold medal game victory over Canada featured two goals by former Minnesota star Hannah Brandt, a goal and assist apiece from former Gopher Amanda Kessel and Wisconsin legend Hilary Knight, while another UMN alumna, Dani Cameranesi, had four assists.

- CWHL and NWHL Impact: WCHA alumni dotted rosters across the two North America-based women's professional leagues, with the league (and all eight of its current and past institutions) represented on 10 of the 11 combined rosters for the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).

  • Twenty (20) former WCHA players competed across each of the seven CWHL clubs: Kunlun Red Star (4), Les Canadiennes de Montréal (4), Markham Thunder (4), Calgary Inferno (3), Toronto Furies (3), Boston Blades (1) and Vanke Rays (1).
  • Twelve (12) league alumni played across three of the four NWHL franchises: Metropolitan Riveters (6), Buffalo Beauts (3) and Connecticut Whale (3).
  • Both league champions were well-stocked with WCHA products. A year after winning the NWHL title, former Minnesota blueliner Megan Bozek joined Minnesota Duluth alumnae Jocelyne Larocque and Jenna McParland, along with Ohio State product Laura McIntosh, in hoisting the Clarkson Cup with the Markham Thunder. Behind the goaltending excellence of Playoffs MVP Katie Fitzgerald (St. Cloud State) and a quintet of Wisconsin alumnae (Courtney Burke, Erika Lawler, Kelly Nash, Madison Packer and Jenny Ryan), the Metropolitan Riveters captured the Isobel Cup.

- Minnesota Whitecaps and the WCHA: In their final pre-NWHL season, the Minnesota Whitecaps (then an elite women's hockey team made up of post-collegiate players), also had 27 former WCHA players – from six league schools – on its Minneapolis-based roster.

photo
Maddie Rooney, who was named the USA Hockey Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year following her Olympic heroics, will return for her junior season at Minnesota Duluth.

- Award Winners: The following WCHA alumnae earned recognition for their achievements in 2017-18:

  • USA Hockey honored North Dakota great Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson as its Bob Johnson Award winner, while naming Minnesota Duluth rising junior Maddie Rooney as the Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year.
  • After backstopping Finland to a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics, former Minnesota All-American Noora Räty was named CWHL Goaltender of the Year. She led the league during the regular season with a 1.60 GAA, a .944 save percentage and six shutouts, then guided Kunlun Red Star to the Clarkson Cup Final.
  • Wisconsin commit Sophie Shirley, who is slated to skate for the Badgers beginning this fall, earned CWHL Rookie of the Year honors after tallying 19 points (8g-11a) in 26 games with the Calgary Inferno.
  • UW's Courtney Burke made it three-for-three in WCHA alumnae earning NWHL Best Defender honors (following Minnesota's Gigi Marvin in 2016 and Megan Bozek in 2017). Burke led all NWHL skaters with 17 regular season assists and was second with 19 points.
  • Like Räty in the CWHL, former Gopher Amanda Leveille was the NWHL's Goaltender of the Year after leading the league with 12 regular season wins (tied) and 457 saves, to go along with a 2.53 GAA and .918 save percentage.
  • Of the 12 WCHA alumnae who played in the NWHL, six were All-Stars: Burke, Jordyn Burns (UMN), Lisa Chesson (OSU), Leveille, Katie Fitzgerald (SCSU) and Jenny Ryan (UW). The NWHL also included a pair of Minnesota Whitecaps in Bemidji State alumna Sadie Lundquist and former Minnesota player Kate Schipper. (The CWHL did not hold an All-Star Game due to the 2018 Winter Olympics.)

- 2018 USA vs. Canada U22 Series: Nineteen (19) WCHA players were chosen to compete in the annual three-game USA vs. Canada U22 series, set for Aug. 16-19, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta.

  • All 19 WCHA players, representing Bemidji State, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Ohio State and Wisconsin, will skate during the 2018-19 collegiate season.
  • Thirteen (13) players are on the U.S. U22 Women's Select Team roster, which is led by Joel Johnson (Minnesota's associate head coach). Six (6) players are joining head coach Nadine Muzerall (Ohio State's bench boss) with Canada's National Women's Development Team.
  • The U.S. U18 Women's Select Team is led by Minnesota Duluth Head Coach Maura Crowell and assistant coach Brianna Decker (Wisconsin).

  • 20 Years of Excellence

    - Leaders and Champions: With 16 national championships in its 19 years of existence - including 15 of a possible 18 NCAA crowns - along with seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winners, 98 All-Americans, hundreds of Olympic and national team members, and countless women inspired, the WCHA Women's League has become the nation's premier college hockey conference. The 2018-19 season marks the league's 20th Anniversary campaign, during which the WCHA will celebrate 20 Years of Excellence.