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Evan Marinofsky | NCAA.com | December 18, 2021

Here are the best women's college hockey players from the first half of the season

Hockey slang terms, explained by college stars

Now is when the fun really begins. 

It's the holiday break in women's college hockey, which means the halfway point is here. It's been quite the start to the season with Wisconsin as the dominant team and schools like Northeastern and Ohio State rounding out the top three. 

Since I already ranked my Power 10 of the first half, there's only one thing left to do: Hand out midseason awards. 

It's difficult to narrow down just one MVP, best defensemen, best goalie, etc. Instead, I made a first team, a second team, honorable mentions and an all-freshmen team. Each squad is comprised of three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie. These players were all chosen based on first-half performance. 

Let's dive in. 

First team 

F: Casey O'Brien, Wisconsin
F: Makenna Webster, Wisconsin
F: Caitrin Lonergan, Clarkson 
D: Sophie Jaques, Ohio State 
D: Skylar Fontaine, Northeastern 
G: Aerin Frankel, Northeastern 

Pretty good squad, right? 

It's no surprise to see Wisconsin take two of three forward slots. O'Brien leads the country in both goals (20) and points (36). Webster ranks second in the nation in points with 35. Both have been key cogs in creating college hockey's best offense. Lonergan is tied for first in the country in assists (20) and is fourth in points (32). There's been only two games in which she hasn't registered a point. 

It's also no surprise to see Northeastern snag a spot on defense and in net. Fontaine leads the way for the nation's best backend. She ranks second on both her team and among all defensemen in points with 22. Frankel has been outstanding so far, ranking second in the nation in both save percentage (.962) and goals against average (0.94). She's the biggest reason why the Huskies have given up just 18 goals in 19 games.

Sophie Jaques is the nation's top defender.

Jaques takes the other defensive slot, and rightfully so — she's been college hockey's best defender this season. Her 30 points lead all defensemen and are tied for the lead on her team. 

Second team 

F: Daryl Watts, Wisconsin 
F: Taylor Heise, Minnesota 
F: Gabbie Hughes, Minnesota Duluth 
D: Nicole Gosling, Clarkson 
D: Emma Seitz, Yale 
G: Michelle Pasiechnyk, Clarkson 

Watts had a very strong case for the first team, but making the first team all Wisconsin on offense wouldn't be much fun. But Watts headlines a very strong second team. She ranks third in the nation in points with 34, so yes, the top three point-getters are all Badgers. Heise leads the way offensively for Minnesota with the fifth-most points in the country (31). The Golden Gophers rank fourth in goals for with 77 and Heise is a huge part of that. In the third offensive slot is Hughes, who leads college hockey in points per game with 1.81. 

Daryl Watts ranks third in the nation in points.

On defense, Gosling ranks third among all defensemen in points with 18 and Seitz is fourth with 17. Both have been instrumental in keeping their programs inside the top 10. In net, I went with Pasiechnyk for how consistent she's been over all the games she's played. She's played in all but one of Clarkson's 20 games this season and ranks fifth in GAA (1.33) and is tied for 10th in save percentage (.940). While there are goalies with better numbers, Pasiechnyk ranks second in the country in total minutes played and has numbers that good. That's worthy of a spot on the second team. 

Honorable mentions 

  • Forwards: Jennifer Gardiner (Ohio State), Danielle Serdachny (Colgate), Kalty Kaltounkova (Colgate), Clair DeGeorge (Ohio State), Jenna Buglioni (Ohio State), Elizabeth Giguere (Minnesota Duluth), Anna Klein (Sacred Heart), Elle Hartje (Yale), Dara Greig (Colgate) 
  • Defensemen: Maude Poulin-Labelle (Vermont), Nicole LaMantia (Wisconsin), Sydney Bard (Colgate), Kelly Solak (Sacred Heart), Grace Bowlby (Wisconsin) 
  • Goalies: Corinne Schroeder (Quinnipiac), Rachel McQuigge (Princeton), Mireille Kingsley (Providence), Suzette Faucher (Franklin Pierce), Sandra Abstreiter (Providence), Tindra Holm (Long Island), Gianna Meloni (Yale) 

All-freshmen team 

F: Vanessa Upson, Mercyhurst 
F: Peyton Hemp, Minnesota 
F: Katie Chan, Colgate 
D: Haley Winn, Clarkson 
D: Bri Eid, Long Island 
G: Tindra Holm, Long Island 

Both Upson and Hemp are averaging over a point per game this season. Chan has been a terrific secondary scorer for a very good offensive front with Colgate. On the defensive end, Winn ranks fifth on the Golden Knights in scoring with 15 points and Eid is part of a great, young core that looks poised to bring LIU to prominence in the near future. Another part of that young core is Holm, who's been terrific in net, ranking first in both GAA (1.67) and save percentage (.944). 

That's the future of women's college hockey right there. 

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