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 already the leading scorer in the history of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL), and the former Minnesota Duluth star became the first player to ever score 300 career CWHL points over the weekend as her Montreal team split two games with Calgary and stayed in first place.
Montreal edged the Inferno 1-0 on Saturday and Ouellette, a two-time CWHL most valuable player, had two assists in a 5-3 loss to Calgary on Sunday. Calgary got goals from ex-Minnesota forward Sarah Davis, ex-Wisconsin forward Blayre Turnbull and former UMD star Brigette Lacquette. Haley Irwin had an assist as the Inferno stayed on Montreal's heels for the league lead.
In the other CWHL series last weekend, Toronto and Boston split a series. Former UMD star Michela Cava and ex-Wisconsin forward Carolyn Prevost each scored a goal for Toronto to help the Fury take a 4-3 series-opening triumph. Boston got its first victory of the season Sunday, winning a shootout after teams tied 2-2 in regulation. Cava again scored a goal for Toronto.
Ouellette's weekend kept her in the lead in the CWHL scoring race with 23 points (CWHL-best 13 goals and eight assists). Despite playing just 166 games, she is within two of Jayna Hefford's CWHL record of 130 career goals. Toronto's Natalie Spooner, a former Ohio State star, is in fourth place with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and Cava cracked the top 10. She now has 11 points (six goals, five assists).
Caroline is one of the stars highlighted as Sports Illustrated looks at the CWHL's first 10 years in this story: http://www.si.com/nhl/2016/12/09/cwhl-10-brenda-andress-marie-philip-poulin?xid=socialflow_twitter_si
The CWHL standings show Montreal (10-3-1) in the league lead with 21 points, one more than Calgary (9-1-0). Toronto (7-4-2) is third with 17 points, while Brampton (4-6-1) has 10 points and Boston (1-10-1) has three points.
In the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) over the weekend, Connecticut won a pair of games and moved into second place. The Whale crushed Buffalo 6-1 Saturday as former Bemidji State defenseman Ivana Bilic had an assist. Connecticut completed its big weekend with a 4-2 victory over the New York Riveters on Sunday. Madison Packer, who played at Wisconsin, and ex-UW defenseman Courtney Burke each had an assist for New York. Goalie Katie Fitzgerald, a former St. Cloud State standout, made 20 saves for New York.
Boston leads the NWHL with an 8-0-0-0 record and 16 points, while Connecticut (4-4-0-0) vaulted into second place with eight points. Buffalo (3-5-1-0) is in third place with seven points, one better than New York (2-5-1-1).
Boston's Brianna Decker, former Patty Kazmaier Award winner from Wisconsin, leads the NWHL in goals scored with six on the season and she is fourth in the league in scoring with 10 points (six goals and four assists). Fitzgerald is fourth among NWHL goalies in save percentage (.898) and goals-against average (3.17). She is second in shutouts with one.
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 Four Nations Cup last month.
The Whitecaps are idle until Jan. 6-7 when they play at Minnesota.
Here are the ex-WCHA players currently on professional team rosters, effective Dec. 8:
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.