With the regular season now over it is time for some awards to be handed out! The WCHA conference released their all-conference teams on Thursday and four Wisconsin Badgers made the teams. The WCHA champions are represented by forwards Daryl Watts and Abby Roque made the first team and forward Sophie Shirley and defensewoman Mekenzie Steffen made the second team.
Watts, Roque and Shirley are also all finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given out annually to the best women’s hockey player in the country. The Badgers have this weekend off since they won the conference and will await to see who they play in two weekends in Minneapolis at the Final Faceoff.
Here are the write ups, provided by the UW Athletic Department’s A.J. Harrison about each player.
Watts: “Anchoring the top line for the Badgers this year, Watts recently earned the NCAA Third Star of the Week and the WCHA Forward of the Week after posting a six-point weekend against Minnesota Duluth. The 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award Winner has been stellar for the Badgers as she leads the country with 73 points in 34 games and is the only player in the country with better than a 2.00 points-per-game average. A Toronto native, Watts broke the UW program record with her 49 assists that also lead the NCAA.”
Roque: “An alternate captain for the Badgers, Roque is tied for fifth in the country with 57 points while her 24 goals rank fourth. The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, native has been clutch for UW as her five game-winning tallies this year pace the WCHA. As a center, Roque has been prime in the faceoff circle for UW as her 494 faceoff wins and her .663 faceoff percentage lead the NCAA. The 2017 Rookie of the Year was named to the All-WCHA First Team once before in 2018 and named to the 2019 Second Team.”
Shirley: “Shirley, the 2019 WCHA Rookie of the Year, ranks second in the NCAA with 28 goals while her 59 points put her in a tie for third in the country. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native has already set career-best marks in goals, assists and points this year while her +35 plus/minus rating ranks in the top-10 nationally. Named to the 2018 All-WCHA second team, Shirley has points in 30 of UW’s 34 contests this year and has 17 multi-point games to her credit.”
Steffen: “Captain Steffen ranks seventh in program history among defensemen with 84 career points. The Centerville, Minnesota native is enjoying a career year this season posting a best of six goals and 22 assists. Named to the All-WCHA First Team honors last year, Steffen has been named the WCHA Defenseman of the Week twice this year and honored as the WCHA Defenseman of the Month in October.”
In addition, 16 Badgers earned All-Academic honors from the league, including Breanna Blesi, Grace Bowlby, Natalie Buchbinder, Kristen Campbell, Britta Curl, Jesse DeVito, Cami Kronish, Nicole LaMantia, Alexis Mauermann, Presley Norby, Brette Pettet, Abby Roque, Caitlin Schneider, Sophie Shirley and Mekenzie Steffen.