UST's Larson, Augsburg's Fuechtmann lead 2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey Awards

UST's Larson, Augsburg's Fuechtmann lead 2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey Awards

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The University of St. Thomas, Bethel University and Augsburg College rose to the top of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) women's hockey standings in 2015-16, so it was no surprise Thursday when individuals from those three teams received the top honors when the 2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey Awards were announced Thursday.

St. Thomas and Bethel shared the MIAC's regular season title, and the Tommies' Kathryn Larson (Jr., Forward, Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View) was honored for her role in her team's success with the MIAC Player-of-the-Year award. Royals' Head Coach Brian Carlson (sixth season) was also rewarded for his team's share of the crown as his peers voted him the MIAC Coach-of-the-Year. Augsburg's Kayla Fuechtmann (Sr., Forward, Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial) was named the recipient of the 2015-16 MIAC Sheila Brown Award, which recognizes greatness on and off the ice.

In addition to the individual awards, the conference also announced the 2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey All-Conference Team, Honorable Mention selections and the All-Rookie Team. The All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team was recognized as well.

Larson certainly made a huge impact on her new team, as the star forward played her junior season for St. Thomas after spending her first two seasons at Bethel. In addition to her Player-of-the-Year honor, she was named to the All-Conference team for the second-straight season after earning All-Rookie Team honors in 2014.

This season, Larson's impact helped the Tommies capture their fourth MIAC regular-season title, and second in three years, as she led the team to an 18-5-2 overall record and a 12-4-2 record in conference play. Her team is not only the conference co-champion, but also the No. 1 seed in the MIAC Playoffs, where they will host the No. 4/5 quarterfinal winner Saturday at home at 2 p.m. UST will try to win its third-straight MIAC Playoff title.

Larson's talent was evident on the stat sheet, as she led the MIAC in points (28) and assists (15) and finished tied for second with a plus-15 rating, and third with her 13 goals. In conference play she was just as good, ranking first in assists (11), second in points (20) and sixth in goals (nine) and plus-minus rating (+15). Larson scored a pair of game-winning goals this season to also rank in the top 10 in that category.

Fuechtmann's prestigious honor was fittingly named for former St. Catherine Athletic Director Sheila Brown. By definition, the Sheila 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. The Augsburg senior certainly possesses those characteristics.

This season, Fuechtmann led Augsburg to one of its best seasons in recent history with a 13-9-3 overall record and a third-place finish in the MIAC with 23 points and a 10-5-3 mark. It's the team's first MIAC Playoff appearance since 2004-05. She was named to the MIAC All-Conference Team for the second time in her career, as she also earned All-MIAC honors as a sophomore and Honorable Mention accolades as a junior.

On the ice, her impact was obvious as her 11 goals were sixth-most in the league and she ranked eighth in plus-minus rating (+12), ninth in points (18), fourth in power-play goals (three) and 10th in game-winners (two). She had 15 points on eight goals and seven assists in MIAC play, with a +9 rating and three power-play goals to rank third in that category. She is a team captain and her leadership has been a big reason for Augsburg's success.

Off the ice, Fuechtmann is also a leader on campus, where she serves as a Biology tutor and a Student Ambassador for Augsburg's development office. The Biology major and Chemistry minor has a 3.83 grade point average and is an Academic All-Conference and Dean's List selection. Fuechtmann is also a Tri-Beta member, which is a National Honor Society for Biology majors. She has also made an impact in the community, volunteering to benefit Feed My Starving Children, Special Olympics Minnesota, the Masonic Children's Hospital, the Lupus 5k Run, and she volunteers for the Minneapolis DinoMights hockey organization, which teaches hockey and life skills to low-income and first-generation community members.

Bethel's Carlson received his first MIAC Coach-of-the-Year honor from his peers after guiding the Royals to their first-ever conference championship. Carlson's club posted a 14-9-2 overall record during the regular season, with a 12-4-2 MIAC mark to match St. Thomas with 26 points and share the conference title. The Royals' program has steadily improved under Carlson's direction with a Playoff bid in each of his seasons, and last season (2014-15) was highlighted by a second trip to the MIAC Playoff title game.

Carlson, who is Bethel's all-time women's hockey leader in coaching victories coached three players to All-MIAC honors in 2015-16, as well as two Honorable Mention selections and one All-Rookie Team pick. His squad will enjoy home-ice advantage in the MIAC Playoff semifinals Saturday when they host No. 3 Augsburg at 2 p.m. at Schwan Super Rink.

Larson and Fuechtmann both headlined the 2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey All-Conference team, along with Saint Mary's Macki Fadness who received All-MIAC honors for the fourth-straight season. Gustavus' Allison Eder Zdechlik, Bethel's Erin Harper and St. Thomas' Megan Juricko each received their third-straight All-Conference honor. St. Thomas' Larson and Nuala Flood and Gustavus' Eric Power were all repeat selections, and Augsburg's Fuechtmann and Erika Allen both received their second career All-MIAC honor after also being selected in 2014.

The All-Conference team included the top 21 players - 13 forwards, six defenders and two goalies - in the MIAC in 2015-16, with 10 seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and two first-year players honored. St. Thomas led the way with five All-Conference selections, with Bethel, Augsburg and Saint Mary's each placing three players on the team. Gustavus and St. Catherine had a pair of players picked apiece, and Concordia, Saint Benedict and St. Olaf each had one player selected.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 10th 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. 

2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey Awards

Player-of-the-Year - Kathryn Larson, St. Thomas (Jr., Forward, Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View)
Sheila Brown Award - Kayla Fuechtmann, Augsburg (Sr., Forward, Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial)
Coach-of-the-Year - Brian Carlson, Bethel (Sixth Season)

2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey All-Conference Team

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Erika Allen Augsburg Sr. Goalie Roseville, Minn.
Tori Davis Concordia So.  Forward Sabin, Minn. / Moorhead 
Allison Eder-Zdechlik            Gustavus  Sr. Forward  Stillwater, Minn. 
Macki Fadness  Saint Mary's        Sr. Defense  Eau Claire, Wis. 
Nuala Flood St. Thomas Sr.  Defense St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall    
Hannah Forliti St. Olaf Jr.  Defense Shoreview, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall   
Kayla Fuechtmann Augsburg Sr. Forward Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial
Erin Harper
Sr. Defense Blaine, Minn. / Blaine
Jamie Henderson Saint Mary's So.  Forward Madison, Wis. / 
Megan Juricko 
St. Thomas  Sr.  Defense  Eagan, Minn.
Caroline Kivisto Bethel Sr. Forward Dassel, Minn. / Dassel-Cokato
Lauren Kolak Bethel Jr. Forward Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial
Kathryn Larson St. Thomas Jr. Forward Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View
Elli Marvin Saint Benedict    Jr.  Forward Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View 
Callen Naasz Augsburg Jr. Forward Lakeville, Minn. / South
McKenna Parent Saint Mary's Sr.  Forward Anoka, Minn.
Kristen Pechacek St. Catherine So.  Goalie Park Falls, Wis. / Chequamegon 
Erica Power Gustavus So.  Forward    Lakeville, Minn. / Apple Valley
Mallory Ryan St. Catherine Sr.  Defense Cottage Grove, Minn. / Park
Leah Schwartzman St. Thomas Fy.  Forward Hopkins, Minn. / Breck 
Becca Zarembinski St. Thomas Fy.  Forward Maplewood, Minn. / Hill-Murray 

2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey All-Rookie Team

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Sarina Goos Bethel Fy.  Forward    Roseau, Minn. / Roseau 
Erin Moes Gustavus Fy.  Defense Hastings, Minn. 
Leah Schwartzman           St. Thomas    Fy.  Forward Hopkins, Minn. / Breck 
Mackenzie Torpy St. Thomas Fy.  Goalie Oregon, Wis. 
Valerie Whichello Augsburg Fy.  Defense Woodbury, Minn. / East Ridge 
Becca Zarembinski St. Thomas Fy.  Forward Maplewood, Minn. / Hill Murray   

2015-16 MIAC Women's Hockey All-Conference Honorable Mention

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Tori Bailey St. Thomas Sr.  Defense Lakeville, Minn. / South 
Allie Borgstrom St. Thomas So. Forward     Lindstrom, Minn. / Chisago Lakes
Randi Fabsits St. Catherine Sr. Defense Tinley Park, Ill. / Victor J. Andrew 
Danielle Heitkamp           Augsburg Jr. Defense Bismarck, N.D. / Grand Rapids (Minn.)
Tori Herrmann Saint Mary's Sr. Goalie Elk River, Minn.
Megan Johnson Augsburg Fy. Forward Madison, Wis. / Memorial 
Hannah Johnston Concordia Sr.  Defense Warroad, Minn.
Michelle Klimstra Bethel So. Goalie Elk River, Minn. / Rogers 
Andrea Klug Concordia Jr. Goalie West Fargo, N.D.
Chelsea Koehn Hamline Sr. Forward Clyde, Mich.
Jena Kosley Hamline Jr. Forward Colorado Springs, Colo.
Brigette Miller Saint Benedict    So. Forward Inver Grove Heights, Minn. / South St. Paul   
Maddie Rainey Saint Benedict Jr.  Defense Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Prairie
Jaci Reinke Hamline Jr.  Defense Waconia, Minn. 
Amber Schaack Concordia Jr. Forward Jamestown, N.D.
Natalie Simons Bethel So. Defense  Hastings, Minn. 
Mackenzie Torpy St. Thomas Fy.  Goalie  Oregon, Wis. 
Jane Vezina St. Olaf So. Forward  Stillwater, Minn.
Anna Westmark Concordia Sr.  Forward  Appleton, Minn. / North
Valerie Whichello Augsburg Fy. Defense  Woodbury, Minn. / East Ridge

2015-16 Women's Hockey All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team

Augsburg - Sarah Buckner (Sr., Duluth, Minn. / East)
Bethel - Kelsey Johnston (Sr., Rogers, Minn.)
Concordia - Abby Kratzke (Sr., Zimmerman, Minn.)
Gustavus - Emily Reibert (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn. / South St. Paul)
Hamline - Haleigh Bolton (Sr., Grosse Pointe, Mich. / University Liggett)
Saint Benedict - Hannah Esselman (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn. / Rosemount)
St. Catherine - Annie Buttermore (Sr., Grant, Minn. / Mahtomedi)
Saint Mary's - Katie LeTourneau (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.)
St. Olaf - Kiki Platek (Jr., Skokie, Ill. / Niles Township West)
St. Thomas - Rachel Friberg (Sr., West St. Paul, Minn. / Henry Sibley)

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