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2008-09 Women's Hockey Season Preview
Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team will look to experience to help it improve over last season's fourth place finish in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). The season gets underway this Friday at Hobbs Ice Center.
A year ago the Blugolds finished fourth in the NCHA, their best finish since the 2004-05 season. Eau Claire completed the season with a 9-9-0 conference mark, winning the most NCHA games in program history. The team advanced to the NCHA post-season tournament, but fell in the first round in a closely contested match against Lake Forest College by a score of 1-0 in double overtime.
This year's team features 12 returning letterwinners and 11 newcomers, including two seniors, two juniors, eight sophomores and 11 freshmen. Eau Claire did not lose anyone to graduation last season as they had no seniors on the 2007-08 squad.
The Blugolds have a lot of fire power back, with eight of the top scorers from a season ago returning. Each of the players accumulated eight or more points throughout the course of the season. Also, of the Blugolds' 59 total goals last season, 54 were scored by players who are back this season.
Highlighting this year's offensive returners is sophomore Kristin Faber (Austin, Minn.), who earned All-NCHA honorable mention recognition her freshman year. She led the team with 22 points and 13 goals and was tied for second on the team with nine assists. Faber also had a team-high four game-winning goals.
Lauren Havard (Sr.-San Angelo, Texas/Araphaoe), who received second team All-NCHA honors for the 2005-06 season, is also back. Havard scored five goals and picked up six assists last year. She also saw some time on the defensive end due to injuries teammates' suffered last year.
Michelle Stohr (Jr.-South St. Paul, Minn.), who received All-NCHA first team recognition a year ago, also returns for Eau Claire. She completed last season with 11 points (six goals, five assists), playing as a defenseman. Three other defensemen are also back for Eau Claire while head coach Mike Collins has added four others.
At goalie, Danika Porter (So.-Rosemount, Minn./South St. Paul) returns. Last year she saw time in 15 games, while starting in 14. Porter completed her freshman year with a save percentage of .911 and a goals-against-average of 1.86. Two new goalies are also on this year's roster, Morgan Pieper (Fr.-Williams, Minn./Warroad) and Lea Jondal (Fr.-Somerset, Wis./Cretin-Derham Hall).
The Blugolds will kick off the 2008-09 season this weekend with two home games. Friday they face Bethel University at 8 p.m., while they take on St. Mary's at 7 p.m. Saturday. Both games will take place at Hobbs Ice Center.
- KM -