Whenever Krissy Wendell was asked who from her team deserved a Player of the Year award, she’d say Natalie Darwitz. Whenever Darwitz was asked the same question, she’d say Krissy Wendell. The WCHA coaches and SIDs finally had to make a decision, and they have chosen Wendell as the WCHA’s Player of the Year for the second straight season. She joins Jenny Potter on the short list of two-time winners.
The awards, announced by the WCHA Wednesday night at the Radisson Metrodome, were dominated by Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, and Wisconsin–the top three teams in the USCHO.com poll. They earned all 12 spots on the All-WCHA teams, half the spots on the All-Rookie team, and swept the major honors.
Wendell, a junior from Brooklyn Park, Minn., was second behind Darwitz in scoring with 67 points and tied for second in goals with 27. Wendell was second in the league in assists with 40, fourth in power play points with 25, tied for fifth with nine power play goals and ranked first with eight shorthanded points. She had five shorthanded goals to tie with Darwitz for the league lead
and added five game-winning goals. Wendell and Darwitz are both top 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award given to the nation’s most outstanding women’s college hockey player.
Another two-time winner was Wisconsin’s Molly Engstrom in the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year category. The senior defenseman from Siren, Wis., tied for third among league defensemen in scoring with 21 points. She also ranked second among blueliners with nine goals. The Badgers defender ranked third in the league with 1.57 goals allowed per game. She is also a Kazmaier finalist.
Minnesota’s Bobbi Ross was selected as the 2004-05 WCHA Rookie of the Year. A freshman forward from Verwood, Saskatchewan, Ross led all freshmen in scoring with 24 points. She also ranked first among rookies with 14 assists and second in goals with 10. Ross finished ranked in the top 10 in the league in goals scored.
Minnesota Duluth senior forward Caroline Ouellette was named the 2004-05 WCHA Scholar-Athlete. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Ouellette led the league with 28 goals and ranked third in scoring, totaling 66 points. Third in assists with 38, Ouellette tied Darwitz with seven game-winning goals. She also ranks fourth nationally in scoring with 69 points coming on 29 goals and 40 assists. Ouellette also excels in the classroom where she is on pace to graduate cum laude with a double major in Criminology and Women’s Studies. She is active
in the community as a youth coach while also completing an internship in law enforcement. Ouellette is also a top 10 finalist for the Kazmaier Award.
Minnesota’s Laura Halldorson was named the 2004-05 WCHA Coach of the Year. Halldorson led her squad to a 25-1-2 league mark and a record 52 points. Overall, Minnesota was 30-2-2, marking its second-straight 30-plus win season. Under Halldorson, the Golden Gophers were unbeaten in 24 consecutive league games. Minnesota has also sat atop both national polls all season.
The conference head coaches and sports information directors vote for the WCHA award winners. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Award was chosen solely by the head coaches, while the WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year was selected by the institutional faculty representatives.
2004-05 All-WCHA First Team
F Krissy Wendell, Jr. Minnesota (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)
F Caroline Ouellette, Sr. Minnesota-Duluth (Montreal, Que.)
F Natalie Darwitz, Jr. Minnesota Jr. (Eagan, Minn.)
D Molly Engstrom, Sr. Wisconsin Sr. (Siren, Wis.)
D Lyndsay Wall, So., Minnesota (Churchville, N.Y.)
G Riitta Schaublin, So. Minnesota Duluth (Basel, Switz.)
2004-05 All-WCHA Second Team
F Kelly Stephens, Sr., Minnesota (Shoreline, Wash.)
F Sara Bauer, So., Wisconsin,(St. Catherines, Ont.)
F Noemie Marin, So, Minnesota-Duluth, (St. Myacinthe, Que.)
D Carla MacLeod, Sr., Wisconsin (Calgary, Alb.)
D Julianne Vashichek, Sr., Minnesota-Duluth (Great Falls, Mont.)
G Jody Horak, Sr., Minnesota (Blaine, Minn.)
2004-05 All-WCHA Rookie Team
F Bobbi Ross, Minnesota (Verwood, Sask.)
F Jinelle Zaugg, Wisconsin (Eagle River, Wis.)
F Cami Wooster, North Dakota (Salvador, Sask.)
D Rachael Drazan, Minnesota-Duluth (Orono, Minn.)
D Kerri Wallace, Minnesota State (Rocky Mountain House, Alberta)
G Emily Brookshaw, Bemidji State (Webster, Wis.)
2004-05 WCHA Scoring Champion
Natalie Darwitz, Minnesota
2004-05 WCHA Goaltending Champion
Jody Horak, Minnesota
2004-05 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year
Molly Engstrom, Wisconsin
2004-05 WCHA Rookie of the Year
Bobbi Ross, Minnesota
2004-05 WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year
Caroline Ouellette, Minnesota Duluth
2004-05 WCHA Player of the Year
Krissy Wendell, Minnesota
2004-05 WCHA Coach of the Year
Laura Halldorson, Minnesota
2004-05 WCHA All-Academic Team
To earn a position on the WCHA ll-Academic Team, each player must meet the following criteria: 1) Must have completed at least one year of eligibility at present institution, prior to current academic year; 2) Have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 for the two previous semesters or three quarters; 3) Have competed in at least one-half of her institution’s varsity intercollegiate ice hockey games during the current season (goaltenders must have played in 33 percent of all games).
Bemidji State University (6)
Laura Lankton, Jr., D, Houghton, Mich.; Jill Luebke, Jr., G, Neenah, Wis.; Asley Medori, Sr., D, Onoway, Alberta; Kate Robinson, So., F, Shanty Bay, Ontario; Jenny Schnickel, Sr., D, Coon Rapids, Minn.; Nina Ziegenhals, So., D, Sankt Augustin, Germany
University of Minnesota Duluth (9)
Jessica Koizumi, So., F, Simi Valley, Calif.; Noemie Marin, So., F, St. Myacinthe, Quebec ; Caroline Ouellette, Sr., F, Montreal, Quebec; Jill Sales, So., D, Edmonton, Alberta; Riita Schaublin, So, G, Basel, Switzerland; Megan Stotts, Sr., F, Duluth, Minn.; Nora Tallus, Sr., F, Kerava, Finland; Suvi Vacker, So., D, Jyvaskyla, Finland; Julianne Vasichek, Sr., D, Great Falls, Mont.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities (11)
Chelsey Brodt, Jr., D, Roseville, Minn.; Natalie Darwitz, Jr., F, Eagan, Minn.; Krista Johnson, Jr., D, Blaine, Minn.; Andrea Nichols, So., F, Mt. Iron, Minn.; Brenda Reinen, Sr., G, Sun Prairie, Wis.; Allsion Sanchez, Jr., D, St. Paul, Minn.; Margaret Souba, So., F/D, Moorhead, Minn.; Kelly Stephens, Sr., F, Shoreline, Wash., Noelle Sutton, Sr., F, Maple Grove, Minn.; Stacy Troumbly. Sr., F, Bovey, Minn.; Krissy Wendell, Jr., F, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Minnesota State University Mankato (6)
Laura Brennan, So., G, White Bear Lake, Minn.; Megan Jedinak, So., D, Fridley, Minn.; Jennifer Jonsson, Jr., D, Oakview, Minn.; Lindsay McCulloch, Sr., D, Toronto, Ontario; Amber Sharratt, Jr., D, Ramsey, Minn.; Richelle St. Croix, So., D, Winnipeg, Manitoba
University of North Dakota (8)
Devon Fingland, Jr., D, Lundar, Manitoba; Marissa Hangsleben, Sr., F, Grand Forks, N.D.; Meghan Hopps, So., F, Bemidji, Minn.; Meghan Mutrie, Jr., F, Calgary, Alberta; Anne Girtz, Jr., F, Shoreview, Minn.; Amber Hasbargen, Jr., G,
Warroad, Minn.; Jessica Kovacevich, Jr., D, Anchorage, Alaska; Meaghan Nelson, Sr., D/F, Grand Forks, N.D.
Ohio State University (6)
Amber Bowman, So., D, Innisfil, Ontario; Jeni Creary, Sr., F, Shell Lake, Saskatchewan; Katie Maroney, So., W/D, LaPorte, Ind.; Lacey Schultz, So., D, Kelvington, Saskatchewan; Erika Vanderveer, So., G, Bradford, Ontario; Melissa Glaser, Sr., G, Rockford, Ill.
St. Cloud State (5)
Bobbie Anderson, Sr., F, Whitecourt, Alberta; Tricia Fast, So., D, Calgary, Alberta; Randie Jelinski, Jr., D, Regina, Saskatchewan; Lauri St. Jacques, So., G, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario; Kari Turkowski, Sr., F, Cold Spring, Minn.
University of Wisconsin (9)
Sara Bauer, So., F, St. Catherines, Ontario; Nikki Burish, Jr., F, Madison, Wis., Sharon Cole, Jr., F, Bloomington, Minn.; Heidi Kletzien, So., F, Manitowoc, Wis.; Carla MacLeod, Sr., D, Calgary, Alberta; Lindsay Macy, So., F, Ellendale, Minn.; Meaghan Mikkelson, So., F, St. Albert, Alberta; Phoebe Monteleone, So., F, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Amy Vermeulen, Sr., F, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan