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Wisconsin women’s hockey: all-WCHA teams announced, featuring Daryl Watts, Sophie Shirley and Grace Bowlby

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The WCHA announced their all-conference teams on Wednesday and the Badgers were well represented.

Grace Bowlby streaking towards First Team All-WCHA.
Mel Giammarco

The WCHA regular season champion Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team was, unsurprisingly, well-represented on the end of season all-conference teams that were announced on Wednesday. The No. 2/No. 1 (USCHO.com poll/USA Today poll) Badgers had half of the first and third teams and one member on the second team.

Forwards Sophie Shirley and Daryl Watts (both Patty Kazmaier Award finalists) are joined on the first team by defenseman Grace Bowlby (who was also named the WCHA Defenseman of the Week for the final week of the season, the WCHA Defenseman of the Month for February AND the Howie’s Hockey Tape Performeance of the Week for notching two assists in UW’s title-clinching win over Duluth).

Watts finished the regular season with 31 points on 15 goals and 16 assists in just 16 games, and boasts the most points per game and goals per game of any player in the NCAA who played more than two games. Shirley posted the third-most points in the WCHA, tallying nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points. Bowlby held the scoring lead among defensemen with 15 points from 15 assists, which ranked second among all WCHA skaters.

Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (forward) and Minnesota Duluth’s Ashton Bell (defenseman) and Emma Soderberg (goalie) rounded out the rest of the first team.

Junior defenseman Nicole LaMantia was named to the second team. She recorded nine points on two goals and seven assists for the Badgers in WCHA contests this season.

Senior Brette Pettet and junior Britta Curl were two of the three forwards on the third team and senior goalie Kennedy Blair also made the team. Pettet checks in at sixth in the league in point scoring, tallying 10 goals and nine helpers for 19 points in the regular season and was one of less than 20 players in the nation to record a hat trick this season. Curl registered six goals and seven helpers as well to reach her 13 points. Blair recorded the second-best save percentage in the league at .935. She tallied five shutouts, which ties for the second-highest numbers of whitewashes in the NCAA in 2020-21, and posted a 1.59 goals against average.

Wisconsin didn’t have any members on the WCHA All-Rookie team but that’s probably only because Lacey Eden didn’t join the team until halfway through the season. Eden, however, did receive a consolation prize as she was named National Rookie of the Month by the American Hockey Coaches Association after notching three goals and four assists in six games in February. She was also named the WCHA Rookie of the Month so, you know, no big deal.

The 2020-21 WCHA Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Goaltender, Rookie, Outstanding Student-Athlete and Coach of the Year will be announced March 4. The overall WCHA Player of the Year will be recognized on March 5.