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.
Megan Bozek was an NCAA champion at Minnesota and now she is a champion in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).
Bozek had one goal and her defense helped back the goaltending of Brianne McLaughlin, who made 60 saves as the Buffalo Beauts stunned league champion Boston and with a 3-2 victory in the 2017 Isobel Cup final.
Boston was the defending champion, only lost one game in the regular season and beat Connecticut in the playoff semifinals, but Bozek scored the first goal at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. And then McLaughlin took over.
She took a 2-0 lead into the final period and, thanks to a Bozek-led defense that blocked 15 shots, held the high-powered Pride off the board until the final five minutes.
After winning the Isobel Cup Sunday, the Beauts were honored at the Buffalo Sabres' National Hockey league game on Monday.
Bozek's championship capped a stellar week for the former Gopher, who was named the league's Best Defender (as selected by the media) when the NWHL handed out its 2016-17 awards last Tuesday. She was one of three WCHA alumnae to earn year-end honors, as former Wisconsin star Brianna Decker repeated as Most Valuable Player (as selected by the NWHL Players Association), while the media tabbed St. Cloud State alumna Katie Fitzgerald as Best Goaltender.
Nineteen women's hockey finished the 2016-17 season playing in the CWHL, while 16 former WCHA players competed 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, Casey Ambroz 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.
Here are the ex-WCHA players currently on professional team rosters, effective March 1.
Boston: Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin, Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Hillary Knight, Wisconsin
Buffalo: Megan Bozek, Minnesota; Lisa Chesson, Ohio State; Jordyn Burns, Minnesota; Amanda Leveille, Minnesota.
Connecticut: Jordan Brickner, Wisconsin; Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth; Meghan Huertas, Minnesota Duluth.
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; Michela Cava, Minnesota Duluth; Danielle Gagne, Ohio State