WCHA Announces 2015-16 Postseason Awards
Individual award winners, All-WCHA teams and All-Academic teams honored
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Individual award winners, All-WCHA teams and All-Academic teams honored

EDINA, Minn. – March 3, 2016 – New faces join a pair of repeat winners among the top individual honorees, while the quartet of schools that will vie for the league's postseason title this weekend at the Final Face-Off are well represented in the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) postseason awards and all-league teams for 2015-16, as announced today by Interim Commissioner Bill Robertson.

Record-setting Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens, who is in the midst of arguably the finest season ever by a collegiate netminder, was named WCHA Player of the Year. Ivana Bilic, a senior co-captain who helped lead Bemidji State to the best regular season in program history, is the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Minnesota freshman sensation Sarah Potomak captured Rookie of the Year honors. North Dakota senior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie is a repeat winner as the Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, while Wisconsin bench boss Mark Johnson extended his existing record by nabbing his seventh Coach of the Year accolade (including two Co-Coach nods).


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WCHA Player of the Year – Ann-Renée Desbiens, Jr., G, Wisconsin (La Malbaie, Québec)
Eighteen shutouts, the all-time NCAA single-season record (women or men). Leading the nation with a .958 save percentage and a 0.77 goals-against average. A shutout streak of 543:53 – shattering the old NCAA standard (women or men) by more than 100 minutes. These are just some of the numbers behind the phenomenal season to-date by Desbiens, who has backstopped nationally third-ranked Wisconsin to a 32-3-1 overall record (with 30 wins to her name). The junior from La Malbaie, Québec was also the WCHA's triple-crown winner among goaltenders, leading the league with a 0.81 GAA, .958 save percentage and .870 winning percentage (23-3-1) in her 27 conference outings. A Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-3 finalist, Desbiens enters the Final Face-Off having allowed two-goals-or-fewer in an incredible 30 of her 33 games.


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WCHA Defensive Player of the Year – Ivana Bilic, Sr., D, Bemidji State (Coquitlam, British Columbia)
Bilic was the backbone and veteran leader for a Bemidji State team that reached the 20-win plateau during the regular season for the first time ever, has set a program record with 22 wins and recorded its highest WCHA finish ever with a third-place showing. The senior from Coquitlam, British Columbia led the WCHA with 89 blocked shots during league play and ranks second in the nation with 98 overall. Offensively, she led league blue-liners with seven power-play assists in her 27 conference games (and nine overall), while tying for fourth with 16 helpers and ranking fifth with 19 points (three goals) in WCHA outings. Bilic also ranked fourth among league defensemen with 19 assists overall and tied for sixth with 22 points.


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WCHA Rookie of the Year – Sarah Potomak, Fr., F, Minnesota (Aldergrove, British Columbia)
Potomak has enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign, leading all NCAA rookies with 37 assists (tied for third overall), 49 points (ninth), 1.12 assists per game (first), 1.48 points per game (ninth), nine power-play assists (tied for 11th) and a +48 rating (tied for seventh). The Aldergrove, British Columbia native led league freshmen in nearly every category during her 28 WCHA games, with 10 points, 31 assists, 41 points, eight power-play assists, nine power-play points, 89 shots on goal and a +36 rating.


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WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year – Shelby Amsley-Benzie; Sr., North Dakota (Warroad, Minn.)
Amsley-Benzie was recognized for the second consecutive season as the Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, a testament to her dedication and commitment to her studies, her Fighting Hawks teammates and the Grand Forks community. The senior from Warroad, Minn. is in a combined degree program within UND's College of Engineering and Mines, which will allow her to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science with a major in chemical engineering over the course of five years. A four-time recipient of the WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award (one of only 12 individuals to achieve that feat in the award's 11-year history), Amsley-Benzie has also been named to the University of North Dakota's President's Honor Roll for six-consecutive semesters and to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for five-straight years. A Patty Kazmaier Award top-10 finalist for the second season in a row, she is tied for fifth nationally with eight shutouts and ranks eighth with a 1.59 goals-against average.


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WCHA Coach of the Year – Mark Johnson, Wisconsin
Johnson returned Wisconsin to the top of the WCHA mountain, leading the Badgers to their fifth regular season title (and first since 2011-12). The Badgers' 24 conference wins are tied for the most in school history, while the program's sixth 30-win season included an 18-0-0 start. Johnson, who this weekend will guide UW into the Final Face-Off, was also named WCHA Coach of the Year in 2003 (Co-Coach), 2006, 2007, 2009 (Co-Coach), 2011 and 2012.




All-WCHA First Team

The 2015-16 All-WCHA First Team forward line contains a trio of 2016 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalists. Minnesota senior Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) garnered her fourth consecutive first-team accolade after tallying 19 goals, 24 assists, 43 points and a league-high four hat tricks in 24 WCHA games (and 58 points overall, with 24 markers and 34 helpers). Wisconsin sophomore Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif.), the reigning national Rookie of the Year and the first Badger since 2012-13 to tally 50 points in a season (21g-34a=55pts) was third in the league with 42 points (15g-27a) in 28 WCHA contests. Minnesota junior Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) was the WCHA scoring champion with 53 points in league games – including a conference-high 24 goals in 28 games – while her 13 power-play goals leads the nation and her 67 overall points (32g-35a) rank fourth.

The All-WCHA First Team for 2015-16 also includes repeat honoree Lee Stecklein from Minnesota and Wisconsin defenseman Courtney Burke. Stecklein, a junior defenseman from Roseville, Minn., posted six goals, 11 assists (17 points) and a +31 rating in 28 WCHA outings. The captain of UW's regular season champions, Burke (Albany, N.Y.) led league defensemen with 20 assists and 24 points (tied) in conference play, and with 28 helpers and 32 points overall (tied for second nationally).

Desbiens was selected as the first-team goaltender.

2015-16 All-WCHA First Team
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Forward
Hannah Brandt
Sr., Minnesota
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Forward
Annie Pankowski
So. Wisconsin
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Forward
Dani Cameranesi
Jr., Minnesota
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Defense
Lee Stecklein
Jr., Minnesota
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Defense
Courtney Burke
Sr., Wisconsin
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Goalie
Ann-Renée Desbiens
Jr., Wisconsin

All-WCHA Second Team

The 2015-16 All-WCHA Second Team includes Wisconsin sophomore Emily Clark, Minnesota Duluth junior Ashleigh Brykaliuk and North Dakota junior Amy Menke. Clark (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) emerged as one of the nation's top clutch scorers with a WCHA-high seven game-winning goals (tied for second nationally), while tallying 14 goals (five winners), 17 assists and 31 points in 28 conference games. Brykaliuk (Brandon, Manitoba) was the Bulldogs' leading scorer with 47 points overall (18g-29a) and 35 in WCHA contests (12g-23a). Menke (Shakopee, Minn.) paced the Fighting Hawks with 40 points (19g-21a) overall and, in 27 league outings, 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points.

The defensemen are Wisconsin's Jenny Ryan and Minnesota's Milica McMillen. Ryan, a junior from Victor, N.Y., posted five goals, 18 assists (23 points) and a +29 rating in 28 WCHA games, while her 30 points overall (7g-23a) rank fifth among national blue-liners. McMillen, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., led WCHA defensemen in conference play with six goals, 24 points (tied), 0.92 points per game, four power-play goals, seven power-play assists (tied) and 11 power-play points.

Bemidji State's Brittni Mowat is the second-team goaltender. The junior from Glenboro, Manitoba helped the Beavers set a program record for wins, as she is 22-11-2 with a .938 save percentage (10th nationally) and a 1.68 goals-against average (ninth). In 28 WCHA games, she was second with a .942 save percentage and fourth with a 1.65 GAA.

2015-16 All-WCHA Second Team
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Forward
Emily Clark
So., Wisconsin
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Forward
Ashleigh Brykaliuk
Jr., Minnesota Duluth
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Forward
Amy Menke
Jr., North Dakota
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Defense
Jenny Ryan
Jr., Wisconsin
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Defense
Milica McMillen
Sr., Minnesota
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Goalie
Brittni Mowat
Jr., Bemidji State

All-WCHA Third Team

The forwards on the 2015-16 All-WCHA Third Team are Wisconsin's Sarah Nurse, a junior from Hamilton, Ontario who tied for fourth with 15 goals in league play (along with seven assists and three short-handed strikes); Potomak; and, St. Cloud State's Molly Illikainen, a senior from Grand Rapids, Minn. who sparked the Huskies' best season since 2009-10 with a career-high 17 goals and 32 points (including 14 goals, 10 assists and 24 points in conference contests).

Bilic is joined on the third team blue line by North Dakota's Halli Krzyzaniak. A junior from Neepawa, Manitoba and the Fighting Hawks' co-captain, Krzyzaniak led the nation's seventh-ranked defense, while adding 17 points overall (5g-12a) and 13 in conference play (3g-10a).

The third-team goaltender is Amsley-Benzie.

2015-16 All-WCHA Third Team
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Forward
Sarah Nurse
Jr., Wisconsin
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Forward
Sarah Potomak
Fr., Minnesota
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Forward
Molly Illikainen
Sr., St. Cloud State
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Defense
Ivana Bilic
Sr., Bemidji State
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Defense
Halli Krzyzaniak
Jr., North Dakota
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Goalie
Shelby Amsley-Benzie
Sr., North Dakota

WCHA All-Rookie Team

Potomak headlines the 2015-16 WCHA All-Rookie team forwards, along with Wisconsin's Sam Cogan (Ottawa, Ontario) and St. Cloud State's Julia Tylke (Delafield, Wis.). Cogan and Tylke tied for second among WCHA rookies with identical nine-goal, 15-assist, 24-point overall stat lines, while the Huskies' forward tied for the league lead with three game-winning strikes. Tylke (8g-11a=19pts) and Cogan (6g-11a=17pts) also excelled in conference games.

Ohio State's Lauren Boyle, North Dakota's Anna Kilponen and Bemidji State's Melissa Hunt make up the three-player All-Rookie Team blue line. Boyle, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., was the top point-scorer among WCHA freshman defensemen in both overall (3g-14a=17pts) and league play (2g-10=12pts), while her assist total tied for fourth nationally among her peers. Kilponen, from Orivesi, Finland, led league rookies with 49 blocked shots (43 in WCHA play), while adding nine assists and a +3 rating. Hunt, from Hartney, Manitoba, had 30 blocks for the nation's ninth-ranked defense.

Minnesota Duluth's Maddie Rooney is between the pipes for the 2015-16 All-Rookie Team. A native of Andover, Minn., Rooney played in 19 games (18 starts) during her maiden collegiate season, while ranking seventh among NCAA freshmen with 483 saves. She posted a pair of shutouts during WCHA play and set the UMD program record with a 61-save effort Feb. 12 vs. Minnesota.

2015-16 WCHA All-Rookie Team
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Forward
Sarah Potomak
Minnesota
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Forward
Sam Cogan
Wisconsin
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Forward
Julia Tylke
St. Cloud State
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Defense
Lauren Boyle
Ohio State
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Defense
Anna Kilponen
North Dakota
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Defense
Melissa Hunt
Bemidji State
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Goalie
Maddie Rooney
Minnesota Duluth

About the 2015-16 WCHA Awards

Conference member team head coaches, assistant coaches and team captains vote for the WCHA individual award winners. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Award is chosen by the head coaches, while the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year is selected by the institutional faculty representatives.


All-Academic Team

The conference also released the 2015-16 WCHA All-Academic Team, comprised of 121 student-athletes representing all eight WCHA women's-member institutions.


2015-16 WCHA Awards

Player of the Year: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Jr., G, Wisconsin
Defensive Player of the Year: Ivana Bilic, Sr., D, Bemidji State
Rookie of the Year: Sarah Potomak, Fr., F, Minnesota
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year: Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Sr., G, North Dakota
Coach of the Year: Mark Johnson, Wisconsin
Scoring Champion: Dani Cameranesi, Jr., F, Minnesota
Goaltending Champion: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Jr., G, Wisconsin


All-WCHA First Team

Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Sr., Minnesota; Annie Pankowski, So. Wisconsin; Dani Cameranesi, Jr., Minnesota

Defensemen: Lee Stecklein, Jr., Minnesota; Courtney Burke, Sr., Wisconsin

Goaltender: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Jr., G, Wisconsin


2015-16 All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards: Emily Clark, So., Wisconsin; Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Jr., Minnesota Duluth; Amy Menke, Jr., North Dakota

Defensemen: Jenny Ryan, Jr., Wisconsin; Milica McMillen, Sr., Minnesota

Goaltender: Brittni Mowat, Jr., Bemidji State


2015-16 All-WCHA Third Team

Forwards: Sarah Nurse, Jr., Wisconsin; Sarah Potomak, Fr., Minnesota; Molly Illikainen, Sr., St. Cloud State

Defensemen: Ivana Bilic, Sr., Bemidji State; Halli Krzyzaniak, Jr., North Dakota

Goaltender: Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Sr., North Dakota


2015-16 WCHA All-Rookie Team

Forwards: Sarah Potomak, Minnesota; Sam Cogan, Wisconsin; Julia Tylke, St. Cloud State

Defensemen: Lauren Boyle, Ohio State; Anna Kilponen, North Dakota and Melissa Hunt, Bemidji State

Goaltender: Maddie Rooney, Minnesota Duluth


2015-16 WCHA All-Academic Team

To qualify for the WCHA All-Academic Team, student-athletes must have completed one year of eligibility at present institution, prior to the current academic year and have a GPA of at least 3.0 for the previous two semesters or three quarters. Following, by team, are the one hundred, twenty-one (121) 2015-16 WCHA All-Academic Team honorees: (*indicates repeat honoree)

Bemidji State University
Stephanie Anderson (Sr., F, North St. Paul, Minn.); Mackenzie Bruch (Sr., G, Barrie, Ontario); Erin Deters* (So., G, Sartell, Minn.); Carley Esse* (Jr., D, Cloquet, Minn.); Reilly Fawcett (So., F, Proctor, Minn.); Kristin Huber* (Sr., F, Kelowna, British Columbia); Madison Hutchinson* (Jr., D, Manitou, Manitoba); Alexis Joyce (So., D, Lakeville, Minn.); Megan Lushanko* (Sr., F, Chisago City, Minn.); Lauren Miller* (Jr., F, Brockville, Ontario); Hanna Moher* (Sr., F, Milton, Ontario); Brittni Mowat* (Jr., G, Glenboro, Manitoba); Ciscely Nelson* (So., F, Roseau, Minn.); Teagan Rose (Sr., D, Gibbons, Alberta); Emma Terres (So., F/D, New Hope, Minn.); Summer Thibodeau (So., F, Maple Grove, Minn.); Kaitlyn Tougas* (Sr., F, Thunder Bay, Ontario); Whitney Wivoda* (Sr., F, Fairbanks, Alaska); Bailey Wright (So., F, Anchorage, Alaska)

University of Minnesota
Sydney Baldwin (So., D, Minnetonka, Minn.); Hannah Brandt* (Sr., F, Vadnais Heights, Minn.); Dani Cameranesi* (Jr., F, Plymouth, Minn.); Kelsey Cline* (Jr., D/F, Bloomington, Minn.); Paige Haley* (Jr., D/F, Red Wing, Minn.); Amanda Kessel* (Sr., F, Madison, Wis.); Amanda Leveille (Sr., G, Kingston, Ontario); Kelly Pannek (So., F, Plymouth, Minn.); Sidney Peters* (So., G, Geneva, Ill.); Cara Piazza (So., F, Darien, Ill.); Kate Schipper* (Jr., F, Brooklyn Park, Minn.); Lee Stecklein* (Jr., D, Roseville, Minn.); Megan Wolfe (Jr., D, Eagan, Minn.); Nina Rodgers (So., F, Minnetonka, Minn.);

University of Minnesota Duluth
Lynn Astrup (So., D, Warroad, Minn.); Kayla Black* (Sr., G, Blyth, Ontario); Ashleigh Brykaliuk (Jr., F, Brandon, Manitoba); Michela Cava (Sr., F, Thunder Bay, Ontario); Catherine Daoust (So., D, L'Île-Bizard, Québec); Jessica Healey (So., D, Edmonton, Alberta); Linnea Hedin (So., D, Huddinge, Sweden); Michelle Lowenhielm (So. F, Sollentuna, Sweden); Katherine McGovern* (Jr., F, Scottsdale, Ariz.); Sidney Morin (Jr., D, Minnetonka, Minn.); Katerina Mrázová* (Jr., F, Prague, Czech Republic); Lara Stalder* (Jr., F, Luzern, Switzerland)

Minnesota State University
Kathryn Bidulka (So., G, Oakville, Ontario); Julia Carle (Fr., G, North St. Paul, Minn.); Lindsey Coleman (So., F, Burnsville, Minn.); Amanda Conway (So., F, Naperville, Ill.); Hannah Davidson (So., F, Kitchener, Ontario); Anna-Maria Fiegert* (Jr., D, Landshut, Germany); Megan Hinze (Fr., D, Carver, Minn.); Katie Johnson* (Sr., F, Anoka, Minn.); Anna Keys (So., D, Cottage Grove, Minn.); Victoria Lovdal (So., D, Fredrikstad, Norway); Amanda Martin (So., F, Peoria, Ariz.); Brianna Quade (Jr., G, Newcastle, Ontario); Emily Stegora (So., F, Red Wing, Minn.); Emma Wittchow (So., D, Burnsville, Minn.)

University of North Dakota
Shelby Amsley-Benzie* (Sr., G, Warroad, Minn.); Annie Chipman* (So., G, Winnipeg, Manitoba); Meghan Dufault* (Sr., F, Winnipeg, Manitoba); Tanja Eisenschmid* (Sr., D, Kaufbeuren, Germany); Kayla Gardner* (Jr., F, Warroad, Minn.); Jordan Hampton (Jr., D, Foxborough, Mass.); Samantha Hanson* (Sr., D, White Bear Lake, Minn.); Gracen Hirschy* (Jr., D, Fort Wayne, Ind.); Shannon Kaiser* (Sr., F, Crookston, Minn.); Halli Krzyzaniak* (Jr., D, Neepawa, Manitoba); Sam LaShomb* (Sr., D, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.); Layla Marvin* (Sr., F, Warroad, Minn.); Lisa Marvin* (Jr., F, Warroad, Minn.); Amy Menke* (Jr., F, Shakopee, Minn.); Marissa Salo* (Jr., F, Grand Rapids, Minn.); Lexie Shaw* (Jr., G, Troy, Mich.)

Ohio State University
Stacy Danczak* (Sr., G, Macedonia, Ohio); Jessica Dunne (So., D, O'Fallon, Mo.); Julianna Iafallo (So., F, Eden, N.Y.); Claudia Kepler* (Jr., F, Verona, Wis.); Katie Matheny* (Jr., F, Chesterfield, Mo.); Julia McKinnon* (Sr., F, Kelowna, British Columbia); Melani Moylan* (Sr., F, Mississauga, Ontario); Bryanna Neuwald* (Sr., D, Oakville, Ontario); Alexa Ranahan* (Jr., D, Salmon Arm, British Columbia); Maggie Rothgery (Sr., F, Elyria, Ohio); Dani Sadek (So., D, Lakeville, Minn.); Lauren Spring (So., F, Kelowna, British Columbia); Cara Zubko (Sr., D, Stenen, Saskatchewan)

St. Cloud State University
Brittney Anderson (So., D, Hudson, Wis.); Hanna Brodt* (Sr., F, Roseville, Minn.); Alyssa Erickson (So., F, Mission, British Columbia); Lauren Hespenheide* (Jr., F, Shakopee, Minn.); Molly Illikainen (Sr., F, Grand Rapids, Minn.); Caroline Markstrom* (Jr., D, Kovland, Sweden); Christa Moody* (Jr., D, Battle Creek, Mich.); Payge Pena* (Jr., F, Maple Ridge, British Columbia); Jenna Redford* (Jr., D/F, Soldotna, Alaska); Lexi Slattery (Sr., D, Hugo, Minn.); Vanessa Spataro* (Sr., F, Stouffville, Ontario); Emma Turbyville (So., D, Chicago, Ill.

University of Wisconsin
Emily Clark (So., F, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan); Ann-Renée Desbiens* (Jr., G, La Malbaie, Quebec); Molly Doner (Sr., F, Mukilteo, Wash.); Kim Drake* (Sr., F, Mosinee, Wis.); Sydney McKibbon* (Jr., F, Oakville, Ontario); Megan Miller (Sr., G, Long Grove, Ill.); Annie Pankowski (So., F, Laguna Hills, Calif.); Jenny Ryan** (Jr., D, Victor, N.Y.); Jorie Walters (Sr., G, Grinnell, Ia.); Baylee Wellhausen (So., F, Williams Bay, Wis.); Lauren Williams (So., D, Windsor, Ontario)