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.
Caroline Ouellette is a former Minnesota Duluth star who is established as one of the greatest players in the world. She only added to her reputation last week in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).
Ouellette had six points as Montreal remained unbeaten in the CWHL. She had a goal and an assist as Montreal beat winless Boston 11-0 Saturday, and Ouellette had three goals and an assist in a 6-2 win over Boston on Sunday.
Caroline is a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and has won five gold medals in the IIHF World Championships while playing for Team Canada. She had 229 career points while playing for UMD, among the all-time WCHA leaders, and is a member of the Triple Gold Club as one of only three women to win the Clarkson Cup (the professional league title), a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games, and gold at the IIHF women's world hockey championships. She is also one of only five athletes to win gold in four consecutive Winter Games.
Ouellette's Montreal and former Duluth teammate Noemie Marin had a goal in each game, while another former UMD player, Emmanuelle Blais, had an assist in Sunday's victory.
In other CWHL play last weekend, Calgary swept a weekend series from Toronto by scores of 3-2 and 2-1. Former UMD star Haley Irwin had the overtime game-winner Saturday and Brigette Lacquette, another ex-Duluth player, had a goal and an assist for the Inferno. Toronto's Natalie Spooner, who played for Ohio State, had two assists and ex-UMD player Michelle Cava had a goal Saturday. Cava also had an assist Sunday in the Fury loss.
Montreal's two victories last week lifted them into first place with a 6-0 record and 12 points, four points better than Calgary (4-0). Toronto (3-3) is in third place in the CWHL with six points, while Brampton (1-4-1) has three points and Boston (0-5-1) has one point.
Meanwhile, in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), New York split a series with Buffalo. The Riveters took a 3-2 victory Friday as former St. Cloud State goalie Katie Fitzgerald made 24 saves and registered her first professional victory. Lisa Chesson, who played at Ohio State, had an assist for the Beauts.
In the series finale, Buffalo scored a 4-3 win as ex-Minnesota standout goalie Amanda Leveille made 22 stops in her first pro win and bested Fitzgerald, who had 35 saves. Ex-Gopher Milica McMillan and former Wisconsin forward Madison Packer had goals for New York, while former Minnesota defender Megan Bozek had a goal and an assist to lead Buffalo.
Boston stayed unbeaten with a 3-0 victory over Connecticut. Three former Wisconsin forwards – Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan and Brianna Decker – each had a goal. Decker is tied for second in league scoring with seven points (three goals and four assists) Boston, the defending champion, leads the NWHL with a 5-0 record and 10 points, while Buffalo (2-3-1) is in second place with five points. Connecticut is 2-2 with four points and and New York is 1-3-1 with three points.
Nineteen women's hockey alumni are spending the 2016-17 season playing in the CWHL, while 18 former WCHA players are competing in the NWHL.
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). Seven members of the Whitecaps were on Team USA and won a goal medal at the recently-concluded Four Nations Cup.
The Whitecaps, who won a pair of games at Bemidji State last weekend, play at Syracuse Nov. 19-20.
Here are the ex-WCHA players currently on professional team rosters, effective Oct. 29:
Boston: Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin, Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Hillary Knight, Wisconsin; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth
Buffalo: Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Anne Schleper, Minnesota; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota.
Connecticut: Molly Engstrom, Wisconsin; Ivana Bilic, Bemidji State; Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin.
New York: Courtney Burke, Wisconsin; Madison Packer, Wisconsin; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota; Milica McMillen, Minnesota; Katie Fitzgerald, St. Cloud State
Brampton: Laura McIntosh, Ohio State; Jenna McParland, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne LaRocque, Minnesota Duluth; Kaitlyn Tougas, Bemidji State
Calgary: Sarah Davis, Minnesota; Haley Irwin, Minnesota Duluth; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin; Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Meghan Mickelson, Wisconsin; Jessica Wong, Minnesota Duluth.
Montreal: Caroline Ouellette, Minnesota Duluth; Emanuelle Blais, Minnesota Duluth; Noemie Marin, Minnesota Duluth
Toronto: Carolyne Prevost, Wisconsin; Kelly Terry, Minnesota; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Michelle Cava, Minnesota Duluth; Danielle Gagne, Ohio State; Vanessa Spataro, St. Cloud State.