In our third and final retrospective piece on the first quarter of the season we look at the top three forwards in each conference. The look back at the top goalies can be read here and the top defensemen breakdown can be read here.
The position of forward is the most glamorous in hockey. All of the attention is placed on the star forward, and usually highlights feature prominent forwards scoring. This season the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, the award for the top player in the country, will be awarded for the 20th time. The previous 19 iterations have seen a goalie win it twice and a defender win it only once, with the remaining 16 going to forwards.
University of Minnesota: Sarah Potomak and Dani Cameranesi
Minnesota’s offense is striking on all cylinders so far this season. And that is in large part thanks to last year’s super freshman, Sarah Potomak. After a fantastic freshman campaign, she was named Most Outstanding Player for the NCAA Championship — scoring a mere 13 seconds into that game. This season she has continued on that roll leading the nation in game winners with five.
Potomak’s linemate Cameranesi is also having a strong season, as she is currently tied with her for first in the nation in scoring with 26 points. The NWHL’s 2016 3rd overall selection has amassed a staggering 5.08 shots-per-game through 12 games played thus far.
University of Minnesota-Duluth: Lara Stalder
Third out of the WCHA is Minnesota Duluth’s Stalder, who is producing slightly better then her junior campaign and has tallied three game winners, helping Duluth to a home ice slot in the early polls. Like her Gopher rival, Stalder is also an elite NCAA shooter with 56 shots on goal in 10 games played.
St. Lawrence University: Kennedy Marchment and Brooke Webster
The Saints have been the surprise darlings of the season, and much of that is thanks to the superb play by their top line, led by Webster and Marchment. Marchment is tied for fifth in the nation in scoring with 18 points. Webster is right behind her with 15 points and, if she stays hot, the Saints will be dangerous.
Colgate University: Jessie Eldridge
The darkhorse pick in the ECAC was Colgate who had a good season last year. So far this season they have outplayed most of an incredibly deep ECAC and are being led by Jessie Eldridge, who is having a breakout sophomore campaign — scoring in all but one contest. With 19 points in 11 games played, she is already more then halfway to the 27 total points she had last season.
Northeastern University: Denisa Křížová
Northeastern lost their all-time program scoring leader (men or women) after last season in Kendall Coyne, who leaves some huge skates to fill. Křížová has stepped up and is averaging nearly a point and a half per game with 1.42PTS/GP.
Providence College: Cassidy Carels
For a Providence team that is looking to return to the conference tournament, senior captain Carels’ emergence is welcomed. So far this season she has nearly doubled her points-per-game total en route to four conference points in the first three games, which puts the Friars in a great position.
Boston College: Caitrin Lonergan
It is said good teams reload instead of rebuild — well, over on Chestnut Hill they decided to take this as a challenge, adding yet another super freshman in the form of Lonergan. Lonergan has registered a point in all but two games (in one of those BC was shut out entirely), including goals in her first three games.
Pennsylvania State University: Laura Bowman and Amy Petersen
For Penn State, both Bowman and Petersen have taken major steps forward as seniors, which has put the Nittany Lions in a position to challenge for CHA supremacy. The duo provide a variety of scoring in different situations - all 10 of Bowman’s goals have been at even-strength and Petersen has been a special teams ace with four goals on the powerplay and two shorthanded.
Robert Morris University: Brittany Howard
Howard is a 40 point-per-season skater, except during her injury-shortened sophomore campaign, and is on pace to do that one more time in her senior season. The heartbeat of the Colonials attack, Howard has managed to lead the team in points this season with 16 despite serving the 2nd most penalty minutes on the team with 22.