Story Courtesy of Matt Higgins – Assistant to the Executive Director of the MIAC
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The day before her team will compete for a spot in the NCAA Division III national championship game, Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey player Linsdey Hjelm added another prestigious honor to her senior season. Thursday, Hjelm was announced as the winner of the 2012-13 MIAC Shelia Brown Award.
Hjelm (North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) – who was also the MIAC Women’s Hockey Player-of-the-Year and an All-Conference selection for the fourth-straight season (2012-13 MIAC Women’s Hockey Awards), added the Shelia Brown Award to her trophy case thanks to her performance both on and off the ice. By definition, the Shelia Brown Award is given to one senior who has made long-term contribution to her team’s success and who has consistently competed with good sportsmanship. That certainly describes the Gusties’ star. Since the Shelia Brown Award was established in 2004-05, this is the first time a student-athlete has won both MIAC Player-of-the-Year and the Shelia Brown Award.
The criteria used for selection include team leadership, sportsmanship and volunteer work, academic excellence and hockey skills and production. To be eligible for the honor, a player must be nominated by her coach with information focused on those four criteria. A selection committee chooses the recipient and St. Catherine University presents a plaque to the winner in honor of Shelia Brown, a former Wildcats’ athletic director.
Hjelm’s career and senior season certainly make her a fitting honoree. She’s led Gustavus to four-straight MIAC regular season and Playoff championships, capped with this year’s unbeaten regular season. Gustavus enters the Division III Frozen Four with a 27-0-1 record, and it turned in just the second perfect 18-0 MIAC regular season. Hjelm scored the game-winning goal in her team’s MIAC Playoff semifinal win over Bethel, and the Gusties defeated Concordia two days later to add the postseason title to their tremendous season (2012-13 MIAC Women’s Hockey Playoffs). In her four seasons, Gustavus is 95-14-8 overall and 62-6-4 in conference play.
This season, Hjelm has displayed her versatility by splitting time between forward and defender while flourishing at both positions. Her 28 points and 15 assists rank third in the MIAC, while her 13 goals are tied for fifth-most. Hjelm’s plus/minus rating of plus-28 leads all MIAC skaters, as do her 165 shots. Hjelm had 19 points in conference play with nine goals and 10 assists to rank in the top six in the MIAC in each category. Hjelm was an All-American selection as a junior, and could earn further national honors following her senior season.
Off the ice, Hjelm has been equally spectacular during her collegiate career. During her time at Gustavus she has worked as a peer mentor, a Special Olympics program coordinator, the president of Tri-Beta and an orientation leader. Hjlem was inducted into the Gustavus Guild of Lucia – which is an award presented to 15 women who are juniors and exemplify leadership qualities, academic success and service to the college and community. The Gustie star is also a two-time MIAC Academic All-Conference selection with an opportunity for another honor this season.