Three Gustavus women’s hockey players were named to the 2012 CCM Division III Women’s Hockey All-America Team on Thursday night at the NCAA Championship banquet held in Rochester, New York. Of the 24 players honored as All-Americans, 12 of which were members of the final four teams competing in Rochester over the weekend. Representing Gustavus on the West First Team are first-time recipients Allie Schwab (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.), Mollie Carroll (Sr., Eagan, Minn.), and Lindsey Hjelm (Jr., North Oaks, Minn.).
This year’s All-America Teams feature players that hail from seven states, four provinces and three countries. Minnesota leads the way with seven selections. Three players come from California including both West goaltenders. The CCM Hockey All-America Ice Hockey Teams are chosen by members of the American Hockey Coaches Association. This is the first year that a West Second Team has been selected.
“What’s special about being named an All-American is that the players are voted on by coaches throughout the country. It is a tremendous honor to have three outstanding players receive such a great honor this season. That says a lot about our team and them as individuals,” said Head Coach Mike Carroll.
Allie Schwab turned in her best season in a Gustavus sweater this season, being named the MIAC Player-of-the-Year following league play. Schwab registered career-highs in goals (24), assists (19), and points (43) to lead the lead the team and league in points and goals scored. Schwab’s 43 points this season ranked fourth in the nation heading into the 2012 NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Championship.
Scoring goals in big spots was a specialty of Schwab’s, as the center scored eight game-winning goals (1st/NCAA) and eight goals on the power play (8th/NCAA) this season. She also tallied three hat tricks, the first Gustie hockey player to do so since Mickenzie Stensland recorded three herself during the 2001-02 season. The Stillwater, Minn. native carried a +34 rating this season and won face-offs at a 67.7-percent rate.
With yesterday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Norwich in the NCAA Semifinals, Schwab broke current Gustavus assistant coach Kirstin Peterson’s games played school record (116). The top line forward is the program’s new “Iron Woman,” playing in all 117 games of her collegiate career.
A two-time All-Conference performer (2009-10 & 2011-12) and a member of the 2008-09 All-Rookie Team, Schwab’s career 123 (70G, 53A) points ranks sixth while her 70 career goals ranks third in Gustavus women’s hockey history. With the Player-of-the-Year honor, Schwab joined the likes of Sarah Garrison-Moe (1998-99, 2001-02), Andrea Peterson (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) and Stefanie Ubl (2007-08) as Gusties to receive the recognition.
“Allie has done a tremendous job all season. She can play in all three zones, is tough on the face-off, and is a great specialist on both the power play and penalty kill. We would have had a tough time getting back here [NCAA Championship] without her” said Head Coach Mike Carroll.
Allie’s fellow senior Mollie Carroll also earned on spot on the first team after the best season of her four-year career. A top-line forward alongside Schwab and Amanda Cartony, Carroll set career-highs in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38) this season. Her 22 assists led the conference, while her 38 points ranked second in the league and ninth in Division III. Carroll has scored 46.9-percent of her career points this season and was also named MIAC Women’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week twice on Nov. 14th and March 3rd. The Eagan, Minn. native became the 21st player in Gustavus women’s hockey history to play in over 100 games this season, recording career totals of 35 goals and 46 assists for 81 points in 109 contests. The senior forward earned All-Conference honors for the first time during her four years wearing the black and gold this season.
“It’s really rewarding for a coach when you have a player who has her best season as a senior. This year, we have two players in Allie and Mollie. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for,” said Carroll.
“Mollie is a great leader that has also persevered through some injuries over her career. She is willing to play hurt and you really come to respect someone with such a strong mindset like Mollie’s,” he added.
Aftter her first season playing strictly on the blue line, Lindsey Hjelm is First Team All-American as a junior. Although the extremely physical Hjelm has a tendency to get into trouble with her style of play, coach Carroll is very pleased in the junior’s switch from forward to defense.
“In that regard, Lindsey is a very unselfish player. She recognized the fact that making the move to defense would help out our team, and she didn’t hesitate. Its been a work in progress, but for her to make that transition and not only earn All-Conference, but now All-American, shows how good she is.”
Hjelm took home All-Conference honors for the third time in her career this season. She finished league play as the second-ranked scoring defender in the MIAC with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. Her 0.86 points per game average ranks ninth in NCAA Division III among defenders.
Running the point on the player advantage, Hjelm has tallied 12 power play points this season (5G, 7A), ranking third on the team. Lindsey has skated in all 89 games games of her collegiate career, tallying 79 career points (33G, 46A).
Schwab, Carroll, and Hjelm are the 10th, 11th, and 12th players in Gustavus women’s hockey history to achieve All-American status. It is the first time that three Gustavus skaters have been named to the AHCA All-America West First Team.