St. Scholastica’s Rachel Anderson Named Player of the
Year as NCHA Releases All-League Honors and Awards
The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Women’s Conference announced the 2018-19 season award winners today, including Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, All-Conference team and All-Freshmen team.
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The 2018-19 Player of the Year is Rachel Anderson (Shoreview, Minn.), a sophomore forward at the College of St. Scholastica. Anderson leads the NCHA with 42 points, 30 assists and five game-winning goals as the Saints head into the Slaats Cup Semifinal against Lake Forest College this Friday night. She leads or is tied for the lead in those categories in both overall and conference statistics, and her point total is nine more than the next-highest point scorer. Her 30 assists are the second-most in the nation and her 42 points are tied for fourth.
“Rachel obviously has extremely gifted hands and probably the best patience with the puck on her stick that I’ve seen at this level,” St. Scholastica head coach Jackie MacMillan said. “Her play-making ability is extremely unique because it goes beyond the moves she makes at the net or against the opponent.”
Anderson is the first non-senior to win the league’s highest honor since 2014 (Kim Herring, Lake Forest College) and just the fourth in the last twelve years. She is the second player from St. Scholastica to win the award (Nina Waidacher, 2015).
Anderson posted multi-point games fourteen times this year. Nine of her multi-point performances came in games decided by three goals or less. Of St. Scholastica’s 27 games, Anderson recorded at least a point in all but five. Nearly half of the Saints’ goals this year included Anderson with the goal or an assist.
“Rachel tends to elevate her play in high pressure or big game situations,” said MacMillan. “Her best moments tend to come in games that are tight, especially late into games where she can make plays that create multiple scoring opportunities.”
Anderson scored many important goals this season. All five of her game-winning goals came when the game’s outcome was far from evident. Two of her game-winners were the lone goal scored in the hockey game: an overtime goal in a win over Marian back in November and a mid-third period goal in a win over Lake Forest two weeks ago.
League coaches voted Trine forward Theresa DiMaggio (Shelby Township, Mich.) the 2018-19 Freshman of the Year for her efforts in helping the Thunder reach the postseason for the first time. She posted 14 points on eight goals and six assists. Two of her goals were game-winners and both came in critical contests toward the end of the season as her team chased a playoff spot. DiMaggio exploded during the second half of the year, putting up four multi-point games after the holiday break.
The 2018-19 Coach of the Year is St. Scholastica’s Jackie MacMillan, as voted by the league coaches. MacMillan led the Saints to an 18-6-1 regular season record and now carries 20 wins into the Slaats Cup Semifinal this weekend against Lake Forest. St. Scholastica is on a 10-game winning streak dating back to January 26th. This is the first Coach of the Year award for MacMillan, who has been behind the Saints bench since the program began in 2010-11.
The 2018-19 All-Conference team features two players earning the honor for the third time. Lake Forest senior forward Amy Budde (Lindstrom, Minn.) and Adrian junior defenseman Kelly O’Sullivan (Inverness, Ill.) both were named All-Conference in 2017 and 2018. Budde ranks first in the conference in goals (21) and game-winning goals (5) and she is second in the conference with 33 points; O’Sullivan leads all defensemen in points with 21 and has anchored a defensive core for Adrian that has allowed just 1.30 goals per game.
St. Scholastica leads the way with five players on the All-Conference team, with Adrian just behind at four. All five of St. Scholastica’s All-Conference players are earning the award for the first time in their careers. Anderson, Alexia Klaas (Duluth, Minn.) and Taylor Thompson (Buffalo, Minn.) garner honors at forward, Greta Nundahl (New Brighton, Minn.) at defense and Lexi Thomeczek (St. Louis, Mo.) at goaltender.
Adrian’s Tory Harshman (Owen Sound, Ont.), who was All-NCHA a year ago, earned her second award as a forward, while Shelly Czarnowczan (Shelby Township, Mich.) and Denisa Jandova (Vejprnice, Czech Republic) were named to their first All-NCHA teams as a defenseman and goalie, respectively. O’Sullivan rounds out the group of four Bulldogs.
Concordia Wisconsin was the only other school to send multiple players to the All-Conference team. Forward Natasha Wanless (Madison, Wis.) and defenseman Emily Godwin (London, Ont.) earned awards for the first time each. Wanless led the league in power-play points, ranked second in goals and was top-ten in overall points this season; Godwin was tied for second in points by defensemen.
Goaltender Gabby Suhr (Kasson, Minn.) becomes the first player from Northland College to be named All-Conference, as a result of her dominant performance for the LumberJills this season. Suhr was among the league leaders in statistics while seeing more than 30 shots on goal in most of her games. She posted three wins with 30-plus saves and made 30 or more saves 15 times. Five of her starts included save totals of 39 or more.
The All-Freshmen team features a pair of players from Adrian in goalie Denisa Jandova and defenseman Julia Barrett (Wixom, Mich.). Jandova was also voted All-NCHA.
Freshman of the Year Theresa DiMaggio of Trine was All-Freshmen at forward, along with Maddy Millar (Anchorage, Alaska) of Concordia Wisconsin and Amber Tilander (International Falls, Minn.) of St. Scholastica. Lake Forest’s Olyvia Opsahl (Duluth, Minn.) pairs with Adrian’s Barrett to complete the All-Freshmen team on defense.
2018-19 NCHA Player of the Year: Rachel Anderson, College of St. Scholastica
2018-19 NCHA Freshman of the Year: Theresa DiMaggio, Trine University
2018-19 NCHA Coach of the Year: Jackie MacMillan, College of St. Scholastica
2018-19 Women’s NCHA All-Conference Team
Forward: Rachel Anderson, College of St. Scholastica (So./Shoreview, Minn.)
Forward: Amy Budde, Lake Forest College (Sr./Lindstrom, Minn.) 2018 All-NCHA | 2017 All-NCHA | 2016 All-Freshman
Forward: Tory Harshman, Adrian College (Sr./Owen Sound, Ontario) 2018 All-NCHA
Forward: Alexia Klaas, College of St. Scholastica (Sr./Duluth, Minn.)
Forward: Taylor Thompson, College of St. Scholastica (So./Buffalo, Minn.)
Forward: Natasha Wanless, Concordia University Wisconsin (Jr./Madison, Wis.)
Defense: Shelly Czarnowczan, Adrian College (Sr./Shelby Twp., Mich.)
Defense: Emily Godwin, Concordia University Wisconsin (Jr./London, Ontario)
Defense: Greta Nundahl, College of St. Scholastica (Jr./New Brighton, Minn.)
Defense: Kelly O’Sullivan, Adrian College (Jr./Inverness, Ill.) 2018 All-NCHA | 2017 All-NCHA | 2017 All-Freshman
Goalie: Denisa Jandova, Adrian College (Fr./Vejprnice, Czech Republic) 2019 All-Freshman
Goalie: Gabby Suhr, Northland College (So./Kasson, Minn.)
Goalie: Lexi Thomeczek, College of St. Scholastica (Jr./St. Louis, Mo.)
-Additional goalie due to tie in voting
2018-19 Women’s NCHA All-Freshman Team
Forward: Theresa DiMaggio, Trine University (Shelby Township, Mich.)
Forward: Maddy Millar, Concordia University Wisconsin (Anchorage, Alaska)
Forward: Amber Tilander, College of St. Scholastica (International Falls, Minn.)
Defense: Julia Barrett, Adrian College (Wixom, Mich.)
Defense: Olyvia Opsahl, Lake Forest College (Duluth, Minn.)
Goalie: Denisa Jandova, Adrian College (Vejprnice, Czech Republic)