College Hockey:
This week in D-III Women’s Hockey: Feb. 5, 2009

Laura Hurd Award Outlook

Now that the calendar has turned to February its time to start the discussion about who deserves the prestigious Laura Hurd Award. The Laura Hurd Award has been awarded to the top Division III womens hockey player as voted on by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) since 2000.

Last year, the AHCA named the award after the 2005 recipient, Laura Hurd, who died in a tragic car accident in June of 2006. Hurd was the first ever four-time First Team All-American in NCAA Division III womens hockey history. She led Elmira College to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2002 and 2003 in the first two seasons of the program and a runner-up finish in 2005. Hurd ended her illustrious four-year career in the purple and gold as the NCAA all-time career point leader with 120 goals and 117 assists for 237 points.

Press release from Elmira’s website

The award has traditionally been given to a senior rewarding a career more than one individual seasons accomplishments. Last years winner was Plattsburgh forward Danielle Blanchard becoming the first non-senior to win the award in its nine year history. Here is last years AHCA press release on Danielle Blanchard winning the award and a brief history of it with a list of every winner since its inception in 2000.

Laura Hurd Award History

The Candidates

This in no way is the official list of candidates for the 2009 award. This is simply just the top six players in my opinion that are the leading candidates for the award this season based on the past precedent that in most years the award rewards a seniors career rather than an individual season.

Alex Blackwell, Manhattanville
Hometown: Brewster, N.Y.

Alex has tallied 16 goals on the season and 11 assists for 27 points. Her eight power play goals, five game winning goals, and +13 plus/minus rating are all tops on the team. She is tied for the team goals scored lead with Holly Nonis.

National Rankings
Points: 9th (27)
Goals: 4th (16)
Power Play goals: 2nd (8)
Game winning goals: 2nd (5)

Career Stats
Senior: 16 goals, 11 assists for 27 points
Junior: 7 goals, 3 assists for 10 points
Sophomore: 16 goals, 16 assists for 32 points
Freshman: 13 goals, 16 assists for 29 points
Career Total: 52 goals, 46 assists for 98 points

Other Accolades: Named to ECAC East All-Rookie team (2006), Two-time ECAC East All-Academic Team (2006, 2007)

Coaches Synopsis:

Alex Blackwell has demonstrated to be the most intense player I have ever coached. However, even more significant then Alexs hockey skills are her leadership abilities, her drive to succeed, and her dedication both on and off the ice. From the minute the puck dropped at our first practice and through every second of every shift of every game, Alex gives maximum effort. Besides Alexs talent and skills as a player, her leadership qualities are second to none both amongst her teammates as well as within her community. She has been one of the most actively involved members of the team in the Tunnel to Towers Run and our first ever Think Pink game.

-Eric Lang, Manhattanville head coach

Kayla Coady, Elmira
Hometown: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Kayla has tallied 12 goals and 23 assists on the season for 35 points. Her 23 assists, 35 points, and 3 shorthanded goals are all tops on the team.

National Rankings
Points: 2nd (35)
Assists: 1st (23)
Power Play Goals: 6th (6)
Short handed Goals: 1st (3)

Career Stats
Senior: 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points
Junior: 21 goals, 16 assists for 37 points
Sophomore: 20 goals, 27 assists for 47 points
Freshman: 20 goals, 22 assists for 42 points
Career Total: 73 goals, 88 assists for 161 points

Other Accolades: 2nd Team All-American (2008), 1st Team All-ECAC West (2007, 2008), ECAC West All-Academic Team (2007), ECAC West Rookie of the Year (2006), ECAC West All-Rookie Team (2006)

Coaches Synopsis:

Kayla is having another outstanding season. Day in and day out she gives 100% effort in everything that she approaches while expecting the same of her teammates. Kayla is remarkably competitive, skilled and a smart hockey player who has the ability to take over a hockey game. Her contributions to our team are not limited to her offensive production as she has flourished while playing many key minutes in key situations throughout the year. Kayla is a genuine team player humbled by her achievements as a student-athlete. Her contributions to Elmira College, the hockey program and the Elmira community are simply unmatched.

-Greg Fargo, Elmira head coach

Danielle Blanchard, Plattsburgh
Hometown: Newmarket, Ontario

Danielle has tallied seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points on the season. Her 14 assists lead the team and her seven goals rank third on the team.

National Rankings
Assists: 15th (14)

Career Stats
Senior: 7 goals, 14 assists for 21 points
Junior: 28 goals, 20 assists for 48 points
Sophomore: 24 goals, 27 assists for 51 points
Freshman: 21 goals, 20 assists for 41 points
Career Total: 80 goals, 81 assists for 161 points

Other Accolades: 2nd Team All-American (2006), 1st Team All-American (2007, 2008), Laura Hurd Award winner (2008), ECAC West All-Rookie Team (2006), 2nd Team All ECAC West (2006, 2007), Most Outstanding Player of ECAC West Tournament (2007), NCAA All-Tournament Team (2007, 2008)

Jackie Carroll, St. Thomas
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

Jackie has tallied six goals and 17 assists for 23 points on the season. She leads the team in assists and is third on the team in goals with six. She is tied for the team in game winning goals.

National Rankings
Assists: 6th (17)
Points: 16th (23)
Game Winning Goals: 8th (3)

Career Stats
Senior: 6 goals, 17 assists for 23 points
Junior: 13 goals, 24 assists for 37 points
Sophomore: 16 goals, 10 assists for 26 points
Freshman: 21 goals, 19 assists for 40 points
Career Total: 56 goals, 70 assists for 126 points

Other Accolades: 1st Team All-MIAC (2007, 2008), MIAC Rookie of the Year (2006), MIAC All-Rookie Team (2006)

Coaches Synopsis:

Jackie Carroll has been a tremendous player for St Thomas for 4 years. Jackie leads both on & off the ice as a captain & by her play on a nightly basis. She loves playing the game of hockey, and being around her teammates. Jackie makes the players around her better, she is always looking to set up her teammates, almost to much from a coaching aspect as I find myself yelling for her to shoot quite often, but then see her setting up a line mate going to the net for a scoring opportunity. Jackie makes up for her lack of speed with her tremendous hands & vision. She handles the puck in traffic like few others. She has had a knack for finding the pipes this year but in big games, vs. Amherst she carried the load & she will down the stretch for the Tommies.

-Tom Palkowski, St. Thomas head coach

Nicole Grossman, Stevens Point
Hometown: Lindstrom, Minnesota

Nicole has tallied 13 goals and nine assists on the season. She is second on the team in goals, assists, and power play goals. She leads the team with shorthanded goals with three.

National Rankings
Goals: 14th (13)
Shorthanded goals: 1st (3)

Career Stats
Senior: 13 goals, 9 assists for 22 points
Junior: 20 goals, 17 assists for 37 points
Sophomore: 17 goals, 12 assists for 29 points
Freshman: 16 goals, 9 assists for 25 points
Career Total: 66 goals, 47 assists for 113 points

Other Accolades: 1st Team All-NCHA (2006, 2007, 2008), 1st Team All-American (2008)

Coaches Synopsis:

Of the many outstanding qualities Nicole embodies, it is her ability to change an entire

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