Minnesota Duluth’s Stalder captures WCHA Player of the Year, Student-Athlete of the Year laurels

The women’s WCHA announced its postseason awards and all-league teams for the 2016-17 season on Thursday.

Minnesota Duluth senior forward Lara Stalder is the WCHA Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year.

Stalder, a finalist for the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, finished second in the conference scoring race with 39 points during league play, while pacing the circuit with 18 goals and an outstanding plus-36 rating in 26 WCHA contests. The Bulldogs’ 19 WCHA wins were the program’s most since the 2009-10 campaign and Stalder had a hand in the game-winning goal in 15 of those contests, scoring a league-high six on her own, while assisting on nine others.

Overall, she ranks second in the WCHA with 53 points in 32 games (her 1.66 points-per-game average is just .01 behind the leader), while she is tops with an NCAA-best plust-47 rating. She is also second nationally for points-per-game, fifth for total points and tied for fifth with 22 goals. To top it all off, Stalder missed two WCHA games while helping her native Swiss qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Away from AMSOIL Arena, Stalder has maintained a 3.80 GPA in the school’s prestigious Labovitz School of Business and Economics. A two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient, she is one of a select number in the school’s ReMAP project that is engaged in analyses of various business in the Duluth area.

The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year is UMD senior Sidney Morin.

One of the Bulldogs’ co-captains, Morin is the defensive backbone and veteran leader for a Minnesota Duluth team that has won 24 games entering the 2017 WCHA Final Face-Off. She has excelled on both ends of the ice, tying for the NCAA lead among defensemen with a plus-37 rating and tying for sixth with 23 points (WCHA-best seven goals and 16 assists). She compiled a league defenseman-high 96 shots on goal in 28 WCHA games, while tying for third with a plus-26 rating and ranking fifth with 14 points (6g-8a). Morin has also helped the Bulldogs hold opponents to just 1.65 goals-per-game, good for second in the WCHA and sixth nationally.

Wisconsin’s Abby Roque captured the WCHA Rookie of the Year award.

Roque emerged at the top of the WCHA freshmen class, pacing league rookies in several offensive categories to help top-ranked Wisconsin repeat as league regular-season champions. A premier playmaker who also excelled in special teams play, she led league rookies in WCHA play with 17 assists, 24 points (the only freshman to finish in the top-10 among all league skaters), four power-play goals, seven power-play points and 85 shots on goal. She was also tops among her peers with 233 face-off wins and a .605 percentage in the circle. Roque also led WCHA freshmen in many of the same overall categories, with 19 assists (third nationally), 27 points (tied for eighth in the NCAA), four power-play goals, 112 shots on goal, 300 face-off wins and a .599 percentage.

UMD’s Maura Crowell was named the WCHA Coach of the Year.

In her second season behind the Bulldogs bench, Crowell has engineered Minnesota Duluth’s best campaign since the early part of the decade. After guiding UMD to a surprise trip to the WCHA Final Face-Off in 2016, she brings the Bulldogs back to the league playoff championship in 2017 as the nation’s second-ranked team – the program’s highest perch since the 2010-11 season. Minnesota Duluth posted a third-place finish in the WCHA regular season standings with a 19-5-4-1 record, marking the Bulldogs’ highest finish since 2010-11 and most league wins since 2009-10. While playing the nation’s third-toughest schedule to date, UMD enters the Final Face-Off at 24-5-5 overall – the Bulldogs’ most victories since the 2009-10 national champions finished 31-8-2.

In addition, the Scoring Champion trophy was awarded to Minnesota junior forward Kelly Pannek and the Goaltending Champion award went to Wisconsin senior Ann-Renée Desbiens.

First Team All-WCHA

Player's NamePositionClassSchool
Lara StalderFSr.Minnesota Duluth
Kelly PannekFJr.Minnesota
Annie PankowskiFJr.Wisconsin
Lee SteckleinDSr.Minnesota
Jenny RyanDSr.Wisconsin
Ann-Renee DesbiensGSr.Wisconsin

Second Team All-WCHA

Player's NamePositionClassSchool
Ashleigh BrykaliukFSr.Minnesota Duluth
Sarah PotomakFSo.Minnesota
Sarah NurseFSr.Wisconsin
Sidney MorinDSr.Minnesota Duluth
Halli KrzyzaniakDSr.North Dakota
Kassidy SauveGRS-So.Ohio State

Third Team All-WCHA

Player's NamePositionClassSchool
Katherine McGovernFSr.Minnesota Duluth
Dani CameranesiFSr.Minnesota
Emily ClarkFJr.Wisconsin
Megan WolfeDSr.Minnesota
Jincy DunneDRS-Fr.Ohio State
Maddie RooneyGSo.Minnesota Duluth

WCHA All-Rookie Team

Player's NamePositionSchool
Abby RoqueFWisconsin
Ryleigh HoustonFNorth Dakota
Sydney BrodtFMinnesota Duluth
Jincy DunneDOhio State
Mekenzie SteffenDWisconsin
Janine AlderGSt. Cloud State