The first few games have already trickled in for the 2016-17 women’s hockey season.
The previous season ended with Minnesota grabbing its seventh national championship, but now it faces a challenge following the graduation of star forward Hannah Brandt. Another superstar, Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne, has also moved on, leaving some voids atop the offensive leaderboards.
Still, there is some outstanding talent returning for their teams, giving plenty to watch out for this season. Here’s the ultimate lineup of talent from around the country.
F: Dani Cameranesi | Minnesota
2015-16: 40 games, 33 goals, 35 assists, 68 points
The Plymouth, Minnesota, product has put up back-to-back 65-plus point seasons, landing on the All-American second team each time. There isn’t much the senior hasn’t accomplished so far in college, so it will be fun to see what she has in store for her final rodeo.
F: Taylar Cianfarano | Quinnipiac
2015-16: 37 games, 28 goals, 24 assists, 52 points
The sky is truly the limit for Cianfarano, who approached several single-season Quinnipiac records last year and should start finding herself more in the career record area as her college career continues.
F: Annie Pankowski | Wisconsin
2015-16: 40 games, 22 goals, 36 assists, 58 points
Wisconsin is never a team with any shortage of talent, but Pankowski has a way of making the players sharing the ice with her much better, while also putting up flashy numbers herself. She should have a bright future on the national circuit, but first the Badgers are enjoying her final two years in Madison.
D: Megan Keller | Boston College
2015-16: 41 games, 12 goals, 40 assists, 52 points
Keller averaged nearly an assist per game last season while providing stellar defense and a great presence on the power play. Four of her 12 goals last year came on the power play, and she crushed the program record for points by a defenseman, which was previously 42.
D: Kelsey Koelzer | Princeton
2015-16: 33 games, 17 goals, 16 assists, 33 points
G: Ann-Renée Desbiens | Wisconsin
2015-16: 32-4-1, 0.76 goals-against average, .960 save percentage
The Quebec native broke the NCAA men’s or women’s record with 21 shutouts and posted nearly 544 consecutive minutes of shutout hockey, also a college record. She also set records in save percentage and goals-against average.
Desbiens posted yet another shutout in the season opener at St. Cloud State, but the Huskies managed to get two shots past her in the second game. We will see if that was just a blip on the radar and she is able to challenge her own spot in the record books.