St. Paul, Minn. – Following the first unbeaten season in the history of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) women’s hockey, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team continued its dominance with a strong showing in the MIAC postseason awards, which were announced last week. Senior forward Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.) was crowned the league’s Player-of-the-Year, and becomes the second straight Gustavus player to do so after Allie Schwab `12 received the honor a year ago. Hjelm was joined by eight of her teammates and Head Coach Mike Carroll in receiving recognition from the conference for their performance this season. Carroll was named the MIAC Coach-of-the-Year for the sixth time in his tenure after leading the Gusties to their ninth consecutive regular season conference title.
Lindsey Hjelm becomes the fifth Gustavus player to ever be pronounced the MIAC Player-of-the-Year. Those five Gusties have combined to garner the award a total of nine times, the most by any MIAC institution. After beginning the season as a defender, Hjelm made the switch from defense to offense at the holiday break, inserting herself on the top line for the Gusties. Since that time, Gustavus has increased its scoring output from 2.9 goals per game to 3.9 goals per game.
For the season, Hjelm has scored a total of 27 points on 13 goals and 14 assists to lead the team in all three categories. The senior is also among the leading scorers in the conference, ranking third in points, sixth in goals, and fourth in assists in the MIAC. On top of the season success, Hjelm also reached the 100-point mark for her career this season. She became the 11th player in Gustavus women’s hockey history to accomplish the feat and now posts 46 goals with 60 assists for 105 career points in a Gustavus sweater. Her total ranks 10th in the 16-year history of the Gustavus women’s hockey program. It is the fourth straight time that Hjelm has been named to the MIAC All-Conference team.
Head Coach Mike Carroll was named the MIAC Coach-of-the-Year for the sixth time at the helm of the Gustavus women’s hockey program. Carroll led the Gusties to the program’s first unbeaten season with a record of 24-0-1. After finishing the regular season a perfect 18-0-0 in league play for just the second time in school history, Carroll’s Gustavus squad was crowned the MIAC regular season champion for the ninth straight year and the 12th time in the Carroll era.
The Gusties continued on to win their 10th consecutive playoff title – the 11th all-time – with a 4-2 win over Concordia on March 2nd and improve their unbeaten record to 26-0-1. With the victory, Gustavus advances to its 10th straight NCAA Tournament. To top off his blockbuster year, Carroll recorded his 300th win on January 19th in a 2-1 victory over St. Catherine. Carroll became just the second coach in Division III and the eighth in all Divisions of NCAA women’s hockey history to reach the milestone.
Joining Hjelm on the All-Conference team were teammates Maddie Bergh (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Kelsey Kennedy (Sr., Eagan, Minn.), and Meagan Wanecke (Sr., Delafield, Wis.). Bergh and Kennedy have paired up to anchor a Gustie blue line that has played a major part in allowing an average of 1.15 goals per game, which ranks third in the nation.
Bergh earns her first All-Conference honor after being named to the All-Rookie team in her debut season in 2010-11. The junior has notched a total of five points on five assists to go along with a plus-minus rating of +14 on the year. For her career, Bergh has accounted for three goals and 22 assists for 25 points on her way to a rating of +41 in 84 games.
Kennedy is named to the All-Conference team for the first time in her career after being a member of the Honorable Mention team each of the last two years and a member of the All-Rookie team in her rookie season. The senior has amassed seven points on one goal and six assists as well as a plus-minus of +17 this season. Her seven points ranks tied for 10th among league defenders. In her four-year tenure, Kennedy has played in all but three games, stepping on the ice in 114 games. In those 114 games, the senior has registered four goals and 45 assists for a total of 49 points with a plus-minus of +71.
After scoring a total of 28 points over the past two seasons, Meagan Wanecke has erupted to score a career-high 24 points on 12 goals and 12 assists in her senior season. For her performance this year, she earns the first All-Conferece honor of her tenure donning the Three Crowns. Wanecke’s 24 points on the year are tied for seventh in the MIAC while her totals of 12 goals and 12 assists are tied for ninth and 10th, respectively. Her four game-winning goals are tied for fourth in the league and rank second on the team. In her career, Wanecke has played in 116 games, amassing 38 goals and 36 assists for 74 points.
Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) continued the postseason highlights for Gustavus. Eder-Zdechlik was named to the All-Rookie team following a stellar debut season. The first-year has racked up 14 goals and 10 assists for a total of 24 points on the year, and also maintains a plus-minus rating of +19. Eder-Zdechlik’s total of 24 points sits atop all MIAC rookies and sits tied for seventh overall with her teammate Meagan Wanecke. She ranks tied for fourth in the MIAC in goals scored, third in power play goals (5), and third in game-winning goals (5). Eder-Zdechlik was also named to the All-Conference Honorable Mention team.
Next to Eder-Zdechlik, three more Gusties landed on the All-Conference Honorable Mention team. Marissa Brandt (So., Vadnais Heights, Minn.) joins the Honorable Mention team for the first time in her career after becoming a mainstay at defense in the starting lineup. Brandt has played in all but one game this season as a part of the league’s best defense. The sophomore has tallied three goals and six assists for nine points on the year, which gives her eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in her career.
Senior captain Jenna Christensen (Sr., Albert Lea, Minn.) joins the Honorable Mention squad for the first time in her collegiate career following the best season of her tenure wearing a Gustavus sweater. Christensen scored six goals to go along with 12 assists for a career-high 18 points this season. Christensen’s mark of 12 assists ranks tied for 10th in the MIAC with her teammate Meagan Wanecke.
Sophomore Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) rounds out the four Gusties on the Honorable Mention team after receiving the honor for the second straight year. Draayer scored 13 goals to go along with seven assists for 20 points this season. Her total of 13 goals ranks tied for sixth in the MIAC. Draayer also ranks tied for the league-lead in power play goals (6), second in game-winning goals (6), and tied for fourth in power play points (8). In her career, Draayer has now amassed 32 goals and 15 assists for a total of 47 points.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for women’s hockey. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. Gustavus’ representative on this year’s All-MIAC Sportsmanship team is Kayla Ingbretson (Sr., Mound, Minn.).