SLU Women's Hockey Holds Zoom Awards Banquet
The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team's 2019-20 season officially came to a close with the presentation of team awards at the team's banquet, held on Zoom due to social distancing and remote learning protocols.
The Saints qualified for the ECAC Hockey tournament for the 21st consecutive season in 2019-20, in spite of the fact that Appleton Arena was unavailable for practices or games for the first half of the season.
The Saints posted a 3-2-3 record in seven games at Roos House Ice Rink at SUNY Canton, including a two-game sweep of Holy Cross and a 3-0 shutout for two ECAC Hockey points against Rensselaer.
"Our team was able to make the most of the situation in the fall while we were able to practice and play over at SUNY Canton," said St. Lawrence head coachChris Wells'92. "The team had fun no matter what they were doing, and that certainly helped during the early part of the season. They connected quickly as a team and that also made a big difference."
The team started practicing at Appleton when they returned from break, and in their first game in the renovated rink, beat seventh-ranked Clarkson 1-0 in front of the second-largest crowd to ever witness a women's hockey game at Appleton.
"One of the highlights of the season was returning to Appleton just after the New Year," said Wells. "Being able to play the first game versus Clarkson in renovated Appleton meant so much to St. Lawrence women's hockey. Our players felt an enormous amount of pride being able to open it back up. It was only fitting a senior,Jacquie Diffley, scored the goal in the 1-0 win."
The St. Lawrence senior class finished their Appleton Arena careers with another memorable win, coming from behind with two third-period goals to beat 10th-ranked Quinnipiac, 3-2.
The Saints finished in eighth place in the final ECAC Hockey standings and faced a tough test in the conference quarterfinals, heading to Lynah Rink in Ithaca to face top-ranked Cornell. While Cornell had a convincing victory in the first game, the Saints didn't go quietly, falling by a 3-2 score in a game that came down to the final seconds in the second game of the series.
Cornell, which finished the season as the nation's top-ranked team and earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Touranment, allowed just 31 goals in 33 games this season. St. Lawrence scored seven of those goals.
"We always play well and have competitive games against Cornell," said Wells. "They had a loaded team this season and we were able to produce against them unlike many teams in the country. It wasn't meant to be, but our younger players gained great confidence moving forward with how we played against the top team on the country."
2019 St. Lawrence Women's Hockey Team Awards
Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey Seventh Player Award —Steph Keryluk '20
The Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey Seventh Player Award is presented to the player who epitomized the ideals of the Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey through their on-ice and off-ice dedication and determination.
Keryluk came to St. Lawrence as a junior transfer last season and scored a goal and added five assists in her senior year. She finished her career with five goals and 13 assists in 132 career games played.
The Martha Middendorf Sportsmanship Award, named after Saints goaltender Martha Middendorf '79, is presented to the player who best demonstrates the qualities of sportsmanship, hard work and grace for which Martha was well-known.
McLaughlin capped her career with three goals and five assists, playing all 36 games in her senior year to finish with a total of 16 goals and 20 assists in 133 games played. Smith served as a backup goaltender and made her first appearance between the pipes in the Saints' exhibition game against the Korean National Team, playing 20 minutes of shutout hockey in the third period of a 7-1 win.
Andrea Blakeley Scholar-Athlete and John Clark Student-Athlete Awards —Kalie Grant'20
The Andrea Blakeley Scholar-Athlete Award is presented annually to the player who epitomizes the ideals of the student-athlete, combining athletic ability with outstanding achievements in the classroom, while the John Clark Student-Athlete Award is presented to the player who achieved the highest level of academic success on the team.
Grant is a four-time winner of the Andrea Blakeley Scholar-Athlete Award, and a three-time winner of the John Clark Student-Athlete Award. A biology and business in the liberal arts double major, she has a 3.706 GPA. She played all 36 games for the Saints this season, scoring two goals and adding three assists. She finished her career with 13 goals and 31 assists in 139 games played.
The Matura Perseverance Award —Charlea Pedersen'21
This award, named after Lauren Matura '89, is presented to a player who inspired her St. Lawrence teammates by exhibiting perseverance and resiliency through challenging circumstances.
Pedersen scored two goals and added two assists in 31 games this season, including a memorable shorthanded goal to give the Saints a 1-0 lead in a 3-2 win over 10th-ranked Quinnipiac in the Saints' final home game of the season.
Best Defensive Player —Amanda Butterfield'20
A three-year winner of the Saints' Best Defensive Player award, Butterfield was one of the top shot blockers in the nation over the course of her career. She ranked third in ECAC Hockey with 74 blocked shots this season and finished with 302 blocked shots in her career. She scored a goal and added three assists as a senior and finished her career with six goals and 15 assists in 133 games played.
Most Improved Player —Kristen Guerriero'22
Last year's Rookie of the Year, Guerriero played on one of the Saints' top-two defensive pairings all season, finishing the year with four assists in 34 games played. She ranked third on the team with 34 blocked shots.
Rookie of the Year —Lucy Morgan'23
An ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team and Third-Team All-ECAC Hockey selection, Morgan won the starting goaltender job for the Saints early in the 2019-20 season, posting a 1.83 goals against average and .928 save percentage in 29 games, including 25 starts. She set a school record with seven ties, and her goals against average (fourth) and save percentage (seventh) both made the Saints' all-time single-season top-10 lists. She tied for fifth on the Saints' single-season shutout list with four.
Bernie McKinnon Most Valuable Player —Kayla Vespa'20
Vespa had a career year as a senior, leading the Saints in all three scoring categories with 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points. She scored two game-winning goals, including the game-winner in the Saints' come-from-behind 3-2 win over 10th-ranked Quinnipiac in her final game at Appleton Arena. She had an eight-game point streak early in the season, recording multiple points in the last seven games of that run, and finished the year with 11 multi-point games. She was also the Saints' best player in the faceoff circle, winning 53% of her draws, and led the team with eight points on the power play. She finished her career with 21 goals and 47 assists in 136 games played.
2019-20 Awards/Honors Summary
AHCA National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year
ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team
Third-Team All-ECAC Hockey
WHCA Rookie of the Month
ECAC Hockey Player of the Month
ECAC Hockey MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Month
ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month
ECAC Player of the Week
Anna Segedi(Oct. 7)
Kayla Vespa(Oct. 14, Oct. 21)
ECAC Hockey MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week
Lucy Morgan(Dec. 9, Jan. 20)
ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week
Julia Gosling(Jan. 27, Feb. 3)
Lucy Morgan(Sept. 30)