St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team put the finishing touches on what was another successful season Friday night when it held its annual postseason banquet in the Heritage Room of the Jackson Student Center. The team voted on four awards, which were headlined by Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.). Hjelm capped off her long list of senior season accolades by being voted the Andrea Peterson Most Valuable Player by her teammates.
The Most Valuable Player award is named after four-time AHCA All-American and four-time MIAC MVP Andrea Peterson `07. Peterson played a total of 114 games, setting program records for career points (185) and assists (107), while also scoring a school record 32 goals during the 2004-05 season.
Lindsey Hjelm, already decorated with AHCA First Team All-America honors, D3hockey.com First Team All-America honors, the D3hockey.com West Region Player-of-the-Year, the MIAC Player-of-the-Year, the MIAC Shelia Brown Award, and her fourth straight All-MIAC selection, proved just how versatile and “valuable” she was on the ice in her final season wearing a Black and Gold sweater. After scoring six points (2 G, 4 A) as a defender through the first 10 games of the year, Hjelm made the switch to forward in what proved to be a stroke of genius by head coach Mike Carroll. She went on to score 24 points (12 G, 12 A) over the final 20 games of the season to finish with 30 points (14 G, 16 A) in her senior campaign.
A two-year captain, Hjelm leaves her mark in the Gustavus women’s hockey record books following her storied tenure in St. Peter. Lindsey leaves as the all-time leader in games played (120) and penalty minutes (224), and is the 11th player to score 100 points in her career. Hjelm finished with 48 goals and 62 assists for a total of 110 points, which ranks 10th on the all-time points list, just one behind Katie Deschneau `04.
The Molly Doyle Most Outstanding First-Year Player award is named after 2008 Gustavus graduate Molly Doyle, who turned in one of the best rookie seasons in the history of Gustavus women’s hockey. Doyle scored 46 points on 19 goals and 27 assists during her debut year, ranking 10th all-time in season scoring. She was named MIAC All-Conference and was a member of the MIAC All-Rookie team. With a solid season of her own, Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) was honored with the award after being named to the MIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention team, as well as the MIAC All-Rookie team.
Eder-Zdechlik bolted on to the scene from the opening faceoff this season, recording a point in each of her first two collegiate games. From there, the first-year went on to amass 13 more goals and nine more assists on her way to a 14-goal, 10-assist rookie season for a total of 24 points. Eder-Zdechlik’s 24 points ranked eighth in the NCAA amongst rookies and second of all first-year players in the MIAC.
After scoring a total of 39 points through her freshman and sophomore seasons, Laura Stypulkowski `05 exploded for 36 points (13G, 23A) her junior year and 48 points (17G, 31A) her senior year. An All-American in 2005 and a two-time All-MIAC performer, she ranks third in all-time scoring at Gustavus with 135 points (53G, 82A), thus stamping her mark on the Laura Stypulkowski Most Improved Player award. This year’s recipient, Courtney Boucher (So., Hastings, Minn.), is a repeat award winner from a season ago when she earned the award as a first-year.
Boucher played in all 30 games in the 2012-13 campaign, scoring five goals to go along with four assists for a total of nine points. The sophomore also registered a plus-minus rating of +8 on the year. Her improvement throughout the season was displayed on the biggest stage of all at the end of the season in Superior, Wis. when the team competed in NCAA Championship weekend. Although she did not register a point in either game, Boucher was a force on the ice against the best competition the Gusties had faced all year.
The last of the awards that were voted on by the team was the Laura Vannelli Most Inspirational Player award. A key defender for the Gusties from 2004-to-2008, Laura Vannelli `08 exemplified a team player in the Gustavus women’s hockey program. A two-time captain during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns, Vannelli played selfless hockey on the Gustie blue line for four seasons, suiting up in a total of 111 games and scoring 42 career points (21G, 21A).
A pair of skaters received this year’s Most Inspirational Player award. Kayla Ingbretson (Sr., Mound, Minn.) and Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) split the votes, causing a tie for the honor. Ingbretson, who played in all 30 games in her senior season, was Gustavus’ representative on the women’s hockey All-MIAC Sportsmanship team this season after tallying two goals and three assists for a total five points and only served two minutes in the penalty box.
Draayer was named to the MIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention team following her 13 goal, seven assist effort this season. To go along with her 20 points on the ice, Draayer also excelled off of it. Given to the player with the highest grade point average who is competing at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships, the Elite 89 award for Division III women’s hockey landed in Draayer’s hands for her excellence as a communication studies major.
In addition to the team awards handed out at the banquet, Maddie Bergh (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Carolyn Draayer, Lindsey Hjelm, Leah Johnson (So., Chanhassen, Minn.), Kelsey Kennedy (Sr., Eagan, Minn.), and Heidi Korin (So., Corcoran, Minn.) were named National Scholar Athletes by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). National Scholar Athletes are recognized for their outstanding academic achievement while participating in collegiate women’s ice hockey. To be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be at least a sophomore with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or above.
After cruising through the regular season to a 24-0-1 record, the first unbeaten season in the history of Gustavus women’s hockey, the Gusties finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 27-2-1 overall and 18-0-0 in the MIAC. Gustavus captured its ninth consecutive MIAC regular season title before claiming its 10th straight MIAC Playoff championship. Along the way, head coach Mike Carroll became just the second coach in NCAA Division III women’s hockey history to win 300 games and was named the MIAC Coach-of-the-Year for the sixth time in his decorated career.
In their 10th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Gusties advanced to the national semifinals for the fourth year in a row after defeating UW-River Falls 2-1 in the opening round. From there, Gustavus went on to drop consecutive games in Superior, Wis. on championship weekend, the first of which was a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to the eventual national champion Elmira Eagles. Gustavus then went on to fall at the hands of Plattsburgh State by the final score of 4-0 in the third place game and finish fourth in the country for the fourth consecutive time.