EDINA, Minn. – Oct. 3, 2016 – Three 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.
Eighteen WCHA alumni are spending the 2016-17 season playing in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), while 18 former Association players are competing in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).
The NWHL season begins its second season Friday, Oct. 7, when the Buffalo Beauts host the Boston Pride, the defending champions. Minnesota and Wisconsin each have seven players competing in the four-team NWHL, while Bemidji State, Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth all have one player apiece in the league. Former Wisconsin star and 2012 Patty Kazmaier Award winner Brianna Decker was voted the NWHL's Most Valuable Player during the league's inaugural 2015-16 campaign.
The 2016-17 season marks the 10th season for the Canadian Women's Hockey League, with the opening weekend set for Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16.
Minnesota Duluth has eight former players in the CWHL, while Ohio State and Wisconsin have three alums on CWHL rosters. Minnesota has two alums and Bemidji State and St. Cloud State each have one player in the league. Former UMD star Caroline Ouellette, a four-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada, is the all-time leading scorer in the CWHL.
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).
Here are the WCHA alumni on NWHL and CWHL team rosters, effective Oct. 3:
Boston (5): Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin, Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth; Hilary Knight, Wisconsin; Gigi Marvin, Minnesota
Buffalo (5): Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota; Anne Schleper, Minnesota
Connecticut (3): Ivana Bilic, Bemidji State; Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin; Molly Engstrom, Wisconsin
New York (5): Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota; Milica McMillen, Minnesota; Madison Packer, Wisconsin
Brampton (4): Jocelyne Larocque, Minnesota Duluth; Laura McIntosh, Ohio State; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth; Kaitlyn Tougas, Bemidji State
Calgary (5): Sarah Davis, Minnesota; Haley Irwin, Minnesota Duluth; Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Meghan Mickelson, Wisconsin; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin
Montreal (3): Emanuelle Blais, Minnesota Duluth; Noemie Marin, Minnesota Duluth; Caroline Ouellette, Minnesota Duluth
Toronto (6): Michelle Cava, Minnesota Duluth; Danielle Gagne, Ohio State; Carolyne Prevost, Wisconsin; Vanessa Spataro, St. Cloud State; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Kelly Terry, Minnesota