MINNEAPOLIS – Five Golden Gophers were honored with All-WCHA accolades as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced the league's annual postseason awards Thursday. Seniors Dani Cameranesi, Lee Stecklein, and Megan Wolfe, junior Kelly Pannek, and sophomore Sarah Potomak earned All-WCHA honors, and Pannek was crowned the 2017 WCHA Scoring Champion.
Pannek and Stecklein were named All-WCHA First Team honorees while Potomak was chosen as a member of the All-WCHA Second Team. Cameranesi and Wolfe earned All-WCHA Third Team honors.
After leading the nation in scoring during the regular season with 57 points (17g-40a), Pannek was named to the All-WCHA First Team. She was also named the 2017 WCHA Scoring Champion with 44 points (14g-30a) in 28 conference games. The Plymouth, Minn., native led all WCHA players with 44 points, 1.57 points per game, 30 assists, and 1.07 assists per game in league play. During the 2016-17 regular season, she was a two-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week and earned Offensive Player of the Month honors for November 2016. Pannek was selected as a top-10 finalist for the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as well.
Stecklein was named to the All-WCHA First Team for the third-straight year. The Roseville, Minn., native recorded 16 points, including a league-high 15 assists among WCHA defensemen, in 25 WCHA regular-season games played. For the regular season, Stecklein ranked fourth among NCAA defensemen with 0.73 points per game. She recorded 22 points (3g-19a) in 30 regular season games. Stecklein was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week after leading Minnesota with four points in a road sweep at St. Cloud State (Jan. 27-28) as well.
Potomak earned All-WCHA Second Team honors after ranking eighth among all NCAA players with 46 points (17g-29a) during 32 regular season games played. She was WCHA's third-leading scorer with 38 points (14g-24a) in 28 league games played. The Aldergrove, B.C., native took home WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors after scoring three goals, including both game-winners, in the Gophers' series sweep against UMD (Oct. 14-15); she was named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Month for October 2016 as well. Potomak was also honored as a top-10 finalist for this year's Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Despite missing 14 of 33 regular season games due to injury, Cameranesi was named to the All-WCHA Third Team. She recorded 28 points (16g-12a) in 17 conference games played, ranking tied for eighth in scoring among WCHA players despite missing 11 of Minnesota's 28 WCHA games. Cameranesi's 18 goals were tied for 13th nationally during regular season play and led the country in goals per game most of the season. The Plymouth, Minn., native earned WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors after recording six points (3g-3a) in series sweep against St. Cloud State (Oct. 27-28) as well.
Wolfe earned her first All-WCHA award of her career in being named to the All-WCHA Third Team. This season, the Eagan, Minn., native was tied for eighth in scoring among WCHA defensemen with 12 points (2g-10a) in 26 league games played. Her seven points on the power play tied for the WCHA lead among blue-liners. Nationally, Wolfe ranked ninth in scoring among NCAA defensemen with 0.68 points per game; she recorded a career-high six goals during 31 regular season games (6g-15a).
In addition to the accolades on the ice, a program-record 17 Gophers earned WCHA All-academic honors this season in Sydney Baldwin, Anna Barlow, Dani Cameranesi, Kelsey Cline, Paige Haley, Tianna Gunderson, Emma May, Kelly Pannek, Sidney Peters, Cara Piazza, Sarah Potomak, Nicole Schammel, Kate Schipper, Sierra Smith, Lee Stecklein, Taylor Williamson, and Megan Wolfe.
To qualify for the WCHA All-Academic Team, student-athletes must have completed one year of eligibility at their present institution, prior to the current academic year, and have a GPA of at least 3.0 for the previous two semesters or three quarters.
The 2016-17 postseason continues with the WCHA Final Face-Off set for this Saturday and Sunday at Ridder Arena. The league's top four teams, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, and North Dakota will battle for the WCHA postseason crown and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
2016-17 WCHA Individual Awards
Player of the Year: Lara Stalder, Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth
Defensive Player of the Year: Sidney Morin, Sr., D, Minnesota Duluth
Rookie of the Year: Abby Roque, Fr., F, Wisconsin
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year: Lara Stalder, Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth
Coach of the Year: Maura Crowell, Minnesota Duluth
Scoring Champion: Kelly Pannek, Jr., F, Minnesota
Goaltending Champion: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., G, Wisconsin
2016-17 All-WCHA First Team
Lara Stalder, Sr., Minnesota Duluth, F
Kelly Pannek, Jr., Minnesota, F
Annie Pankowski, Jr., Wisconsin, F
Lee Stecklein, Sr., Minnesota, D
Jenny Ryan, Sr., Wisconsin, D
Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sr., Wisconsin, G
2016-17 All-WCHA Second Team
Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Sr., Minnesota Duluth, F
Sarah Potomak, So., Minnesota, F
Sarah Nurse, Sr., Wisconsin, F
Sidney Morin, Sr., Minnesota Duluth, D
Halli Krzyzaniak, Sr., North Dakota, D
Kassidy Sauve, RS-So., Ohio State, G
2016-17 All-WCHA Third Team
Katherine McGovern, Sr., Minnesota Duluth, F
Dani Cameranesi, Sr., Minnesota, F
Emily Clark, Jr., Wisconsin, F
Megan Wolfe, Sr., Minnesota, D
Jincy Dunne, RS-Fr., Ohio State, D
Maddie Rooney, So., Minnesota Duluth, G
2016-17 WCHA All-Rookie Team
Abby Roque, Wisconsin, F
Ryleigh Houston, North Dakota, F
Sydney Brodt, Minnesota Duluth, F
Jincy Dunne, Ohio State, D
Mekenzie Steffen, Wisconsin, D
Janine Alder, St. Cloud State, G
Gophers Meet with Media
Members of the Gopher women's hockey team met with the media to preview the team's upcoming series at UMD.
Gophers in the Polls: Oct. 18
The University of Minnesota continues to represent at a high level as multiple Golden Gopher teams achieved national rankings this week.
Baldwin Earns WCHA Weekly Honors
Senior defense Sydney Baldwin led the Gophers with four points against Bemidji State last weekend.