NCAA All-Stars: ECAC, Hockey East, and WCHA
Three conferences, twenty-nine teams, and hundreds of players — let’s take a look at who’s made the cut for the ECAC, Hockey East, and WCHA all-star rosters
With seven of of this year’s eight NCAA tournament-qualifying teams and seventeen of the nation’s top twenty scorers belonging to these three conferences, selecting twenty-three players from the ECAC, Hockey East, and the WCHA was quite the feat. After hours of deliberation, though, we’re ready to reveal the last three rosters in The Ice Garden’s 2019-2020 NCAA All-Star Tournament.
Imagining an NCAA All-Star Tournament
ECAC All-Star Roster
|F||Kayla Vespa||St. Lawrence||Sr.|
|F||Kristin Della Rovere||Harvard||So.|
The ECAC’s all-star forwards are certainly a star-studded bunch. Each forward sits at the top of their school’s stats sheet with plenty of goals and assists to their names, while some athletes — like 2020 Patty Kazmaier winner Élizabeth Giguère, and Princeton’s top line of Sarah Fillier, Carly Bullock, and Maggie Connors — preside over the conference’s top five for scoring. The inclusion of underclassmen like Lexie Adzija, Catherine Trevors, and ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year Gabrielle David would also refresh the junior- and senior-heavy rosters at a prospective all-star tournament. While Cornell’s Kristin O’Neill was the sole ECAC forward selection to any of Team Canada’s senior team rosters this season, several of our selections have experience with their respective national teams between the U18 and senior team level.
We have a game in Potsdam! Giguere buries this PP goal to knot things up at 1-1 in this Top-10 matchup!— ECAC Hockey (@ecachockey) November 9, 2019
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/jbFJAAPqpm pic.twitter.com/xo6PF7Wgf4
Jaime Bourbonnais, Ella Shelton, and Micah Zandee-Hart lead all ECAC defenders in scoring with 41, 33 and 32 points respectively, while Shelton and Yale’s Emma Seitz led defenders in shots on goal with 126 apiece. Offensive production, though valuable, isn’t necessarily in the average defender’s job description, which is why it’s worthy to note that six of our eight all-star blueliners were also named to the ECAC’s All-League teams. In terms of international experience, Bourbonnais, Shelton, Claire Thompson, and Zandee-Hart have all represented their country at the national level, with all but Shelton getting selected to represent Canada at the since-cancelled 2020 Women’s World Championship.
NCAA talent populates National Team rosters
Fans of the ECAC won’t be surprised to find Cornell’s Lindsay Browning and Clarkson’s Marie-Pier Coulombe selected to backstop their conference to an all-star championship. Browning is the only goaltender in the entire NCAA to start more than half of the regular season and finish with a GAA of less than 1.00. In 33 games, she allowed just 30 goals and collected twelve shutouts. She averaged a SV% of .952, second only to Northeastern phenom Aerin Frankel. On the other hand, in only her sophomore season, Coulombe posted a 1.234 GAA and a .949 SV%, both good for third in the nation. She was selected as a finalist for ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year, but ultimately lost both the award and the position of All-ECAC First Team goaltender to Browning (and was instead named to the All-ECAC Second Team).
Fan vote suggestions: Dominique Petrie (Forward, Harvard), Skylar Podvey (Defender, St. Lawrence), Abbie Ives (Goaltender, Quinnipiac)
Hockey East All-Star Roster
|D||Abby Cook||Boston Univ.||Sr.|
|D||Cayla Barnes||Boston College||So.|
|F||Carlie Magier||Holy Cross||So.|
|F||Hannah Bilka||Boston College||Fr.|
|F||Kelly Browne||Boston College||So.|
|F||Rachel Moore||Holy Cross||Sr.|
|F||Sammy Davis||Boston Univ.||Sr.|
|G||Corinne Schroeder||Boston Univ.||Jr.|
Unsurprisingly, Hockey East’s all-star forwards are headlined by Alina Müller, one of this season’s Patty Kazmaier Top 3 Finalists and the unanimous selection for both the Hockey East First Team and Hockey East Player of the Year. Many of Hockey East’s offense ranks in the top fifteen in the conference, with several players tied in points — Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Ida Kuoppala, and Natalie Snodgrass all share seventh place with 33 points, though Grant-Mentis has played the fewest games of the three. Additionally, a handful of players selected to Hockey East’s all-star offense have represented or continue to represent their countries in international competitions, including Hannah Bilka and Natalie Snodgrass (USA), Alina Müller (Switzerland), Chloé Aurard (France), Ida Kuoppala (Finland), and Dominika Lásková (Czech Republic).
Rosters released for USA vs. Canada series
Though some selections might be a bit of a head scratcher, due to the selection minimums we first drew each school’s most prolific scorers and then supplemented the roster with additional stand-outs.
Skylar Fontaine, Abby Cook, and Cayla Barnes lead the Hockey East all-star blue line. Fontaine and Cook rank first and second in their conference in terms of offensive production, and Barnes is just one point shy of a tie for fifth place with fellow all-star honoree Sini Karjalainen. Fontaine, Cook, Barnes, Whitney Dove, and Maude Poulin-Labelle were all honored with all-Hockey East team selections this season as well. While Taylor Wabick and Tori Howran have had a bit of a quieter season, they have established presences on their teams’ back ends, and deserve the all-star nod just as much as their more offensively productive counterparts.
Of the selected defenders, only Barnes and Karjalainen have any experience with their respective national teams, both slated to compete at the 2020 Women’s World Championship.
🎥Aaaaand for the third game in a row, an Eagle finds the back of the net as Cayla Barnes puts @USAHockey up 3-0!#WeAreBC🦅 | #WomensWorlds pic.twitter.com/53VHUN6yB0— BC Women's Hockey (@BC_WHockey) April 11, 2019
Aerin Frankel (Northeastern) and Corinne Schroeder (Boston University) are your Hockey East all-star goaltenders. Frankel has been at the top of her game — and the Hockey East standings — for much of her career, and thus far this season has posted a conference-high .958 save percentage and 1.07 GAA. Tailing her by a fair margin is BU’s Corinne Schroeder, whose .943 Save percentage and 1.54 GAA are nothing to scoff at. Frankel proved herself on the international stage as well in December, and kept a star-studded Team Canada roster to only one goal in the second game of the USA vs. Canada Rivalry Series. At the conclusion of the regular season, Frankel and Schroeder were honored with All-Hockey East first and second team honors, respectively.
Fan vote suggestions: Jesse Compher (Forward, Boston University), Breanna Scarpaci (Defender, Boston University), Ava Boutilier (Goaltender, UNH)
WCHA All-Star Roster
|D||Abby Thiessen||St. Cloud State||Sr.|
|D||Anna Wilgren||Minnesota State||So.|
|D||Ashton Bell||Minnesota Duluth||Jr.|
|D||Jincy Dunne||Ohio State||Sr.|
|D||Sophie Jaques||Ohio State||So.|
|D||Tina Kampa||Bemidji State||Jr.|
|F||Clair DeGeorge||Bemidji State||Jr.|
|F||Emma Maltais||Ohio State||Jr.|
|F||Gabbie Hughes||Minnesota Duluth||So.|
|F||Kelsey King||Minnesota State||Fr.|
|F||Klára Hymlárová||St. Cloud State||Fr.|
|F||Liz Schepers||Ohio State||Jr.|
|F||Sydney Brodt||Minnesota Duluth||Sr.|
|G||Maddie Rooney||Minnesota Duluth||Sr.|
Eleven of the nominated forwards made one of the four All-WCHA teams this season, with Clair DeGeorge, Bemidji State’s second in scoring and a future star for USA Hockey, and Liz Schepers, Ohio State’s second in scoring and in the conference’s top ten in scoring, rounding out the pack. Ten of the conference’s top fifteen in scoring made the cut as well, meaning the WCHA’s all-star offense is going to be loaded with talent from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“Absolutely no shortcuts”: Bemidji State’s Clair DeGeorge comfortable with the long road
Sydney Brodt, DeGeorge, Taylor Heise, Abby Roque, and Grace Zumwinkle all garnered invites to USA Hockey’s Winter Training Camp this year, with Brodt, DeGeorge, and Roque making the final cut and joining the United States’ senior team for the Rivalry Series against Canada. Ohio State points leader Emma Maltais has been slowly trending towards a permanent spot on Team Canada’s offense, but didn’t make the cut for the Rivalry Series despite representing her nation at the joint training camp in Pittsburgh.
While all of the defenders selected to represent the WCHA are impressive in the back end, Ashton Bell and Jincy Dunne are the most prolific scorers, with 32 and 32 points to their names. Wisconsin captain Mekenzie Steffen isn’t far off with 29 points. Offense isn’t the most important stat for a defender though — Tina Kampa and Anna Wilgren are first and second in the WCHA in shot blocks (100 and 96). Minnesota’s Emily Brown and Ohio State’s Dunne both garnered invites to the 2019 USA Hockey Winter Training Camp, though neither has cracked the senior team roster. Bell was a staple for Team Canada’s U18 team, but has yet to make the final senior team for any competition since.
🚨 Dunne from Jaques and Levis! #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/COS95oVGqD— Ohio State Women's Hockey (@OhioStateWHKY) February 1, 2020
It comes as no surprise to anyone that the WCHA all-star team is backstopped by Sydney Scobee (Minnesota) and Maddie Rooney (Minnesota-Duluth), who have vied all season for the title of #1 in the WCHA. Both goaltenders dominate in a different category — Scobee tops the conference with her 1.68 GAA, while Rooney has narrowly clinched the highest SV% at .929 and has made the second highest number of overall saves. Among goaltenders Rooney is the only one of the two with national team experience, having led the USA to Olympic gold in 2018.
Fan vote suggestions: Britta Curl (Forward, Wisconsin), Natalie Buchbinder (Defender, Wisconsin), Emma Polusny (Goaltender, St. Cloud State)
All data courtesy of EliteProspects, the NCAA, the USCHO, and league and team websites