Lake Forest’s Olivia Spellmire Named Player of the Year
as NCHA Releases All-League Honors and Awards
The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association announced today the Women’s Conference year-end awards, including Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, All-NCHA and All-Freshmen. League coaches voted to determine the award recipients.
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The 2017-18 NCHA Women’s Player of the Year is Lake Forest College senior Olivia Spellmire. The Bloomington, Minn., native has been the leading scorer in the NCHA nearly from start to the finish of the season. She heads into postseason semifinals at 47 points overall (21G/26A), tops in the league by 12 points and currently ranked fourth in the NCAA in total points, sixth in points-per-game (1.74 ppg), 10th in goals-per-game, fifth in assists-per-game and 11th in game-winning goals (4).
“Olivia is a player that has worked for everything she has,” Lake Forest head coach Carisa Wahlig said. “Since her freshman year, I have watched her improve each year - not just from the work she puts in at practice, but the extra work she consistently puts in on her own, day in and day out.”
It’s the third straight season Spellmire has earned All-NCHA honors. The team captain also looks to close out her career adding All-American honors to her resume a second time, joining the CCM Hockey/American Hockey Coaches Association Second Team West All-American accolades she earned as a sophomore.
“She sees the ice really well, has great hands, and has really developed an eye for the net the last two seasons,” Wahlig said. “We always knew she was an incredibly talented player when we recruited her, but all her extra hard work and dedication to improve has only highlighted how talented she truly is and has become.”
Spellmire appeared in 26 games as a freshman, recording six points (1G/5A). She enjoyed a breakthrough season as a sophomore, tallying 41 points, setting a single-season program record for assists with 27 and a point total that ranked third in team history. Following a 15G/19A-34 point season ago, Spellmire is closing out her time on the ice at Lake Forest with her best season yet, establishing career-highs across the board.
The league coaches also voted for Freshman of the Year, selecting Adrian goalie Kate Turner. She earned the starting job for the Bulldogs in game one of the season and has been nothing short of phenomenal since, leading the NCAA with 11 shutouts. She also currently tops the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association with her 0.93 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. She starts the weekend third in the NCAA in GAA, eighth in save percentage and ninth in winning percentage (20-5-1, .788), having played all but 125 minutes in net so far this season for Adrian.
The 2017-18 Coach of the Year is Adrian’s Chad Davis, who led the Bulldogs to the Kronschnabel Trophy and the top seed in the Slaats Cup Playoffs. This is the fourth straight year Davis has earned the award. Davis led the Bulldogs to a 16-1-1 NCHA record (making them 34-1-1 the past two seasons), with Adrian finishing the regular season 21-5-1 overall, ranked No. 5 in the d3hockey.com and No. 6 in the uscho.com national polls.
The Bulldogs again dominated the All-NCHA Team, placing five different members on the squad.
A pair of forwards earned All-NCHA honors for the first time, with Olivia Fox and Tory Harshman representing the Bulldogs. Fox has scored 23 points this season (11-12-23), with Harshman checking in at 26 (13G/13A) while leading the league in power-play points (8-9-17).
Three members of the Adrian defense – currently second in the NCAA at 1.00 GPG – were honored as well. Joining Turner on the All-NCHA squad were defensemen Kristi Zink and Kelly O’Sullivan. Zink tallied a stat line of 7-21-28, finishing third in the league with her 21 assists and second behind O’Sullivan in defenseman scoring. The league honor for Zink is the second in a row. The same holds true for O’Sullivan, with her 28 points (7G/21A) not only tops in the NCHA, but third in the NCAA in points-per-game by the defense.
Teammates joining Spellmire on the All-NCHA squad were Amy Budde and Lexi Morgan at forward and Kayla Griffith on defense.
Budde is a repeat honoree from a year ago, finishing second in the league in scoring (16-19-35) and first in shorthanded points. Morgan, a member of the All-Freshman Team last winter, sits fourth in points (21-11-32) with her 21 goals tops in the conference and eighth in the NCAA. Griffith continues to shine on defense, earning a spot on the All-NCHA Team for the fourth straight season. She added 24 points (8G/16A) as well.
Lexi Holman of Concordia University Wisconsin rounds out the forward list, repeating her postseason honors from 2016 after a 14-goal, 26-point campaign. College of St. Scholastica’s Mac Johnson made the move to defense a seamless one, picking up top league honors for her work in back. She added 22 points (7G/15A).
In net, Marian University’s Lindsey Strainis is the other goalkeeper pick. The two-time NCHA Defensive Player of the Week posted a 2.64 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Turner also made the NCHA All-Freshman Team, along with teammate Brooke Schembri (8-11-19, second in points by a freshman). Megan Lyke (F) and Jordan Trapp (D) of Lake Forest were named as well. Lyke paced all newcomers with 25 points (13G/12A), a number that stands ninth overall in league.
Forward Nicole McKernan of Aurora University (9-2-11) and defenseman Rebecca Lilly of Finlandia University round out the NCHA All-Freshman squad.
2017-18 NCHA Player of the Year: Olivia Spellmire, Lake Forest College
2017-18 NCHA Freshman of the Year: Kate Turner, Adrian College
2017-18 NCHA Coach of the Year: Chad Davis, Adrian College
2017-18 Women’s NCHA All-Conference Team
Forward: Amy Budde, Lake Forest College (Jr./Lindstrom, Minn.) 2017 All-NCHA | 2016 All-Freshman
Forward: Olivia Fox, Adrian College (Sr./Massillon, Ohio)
Forward: Tory Harshman, Adrian College (Jr./Owen Sound, Ontario)
Forward: Lexi Holman, Concordia Wisconsin (Sr./Sauk Rapids, Minn.) 2016 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshman
Forward: Lexi Morgan, Lake Forest College (Soph./Brunswick, Ohio) 2017 All-Freshman
Forward: Olivia Spellmire, Lake Forest College (Sr./Bloomington, Minn.) 2017 All-NCHA | 2016 All-NCHA
Defense: Kayla Griffith, Lake Forest College (Sr./Woodbury, Minn.) 2017 All-NCHA | 2016 All-NCHA | 2015 All-NCHA | 2015 All-Freshman
Defense: Mac Johnson, College of St. Scholastica (Sr./Monticello, Minn.)
Defense: Kelly O’Sullivan, Adrian College (Soph./Inverness, Ill.) 2017 All-NCHA | 2017 All-Freshman
Defense: Kristi Zink, Adrian College (Sr./Canton, Mich.) 2016 All-NCHA
Goalie: Lindsey Strainis, Marian University (Jr./Green Bay, Wis.) 2016 All-Freshman
Goalie: Kate Turner, Adrian College (Fr./Houston, Texas)
2017-18 Women’s NCHA All-Freshman Team
Forward: Megan Lyke, Lake Forest College (Mounds View, Minn.)
Forward: Nicole McKernan, Aurora University (Westminster, Colo.)
Forward: Brooke Schembri, Adrian College (Canton, Mich.)
Defense: Rebecca Lilly, Finlandia University (Invercargill, New Zealand)
Defense: Jordan Trapp, Lake Forest College (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)
Goalie: Kate Turner, Adrian College (Houston, Texas)