The NWHL is set to take the ice for professional women’s hockey action this fall. With the inaugural draft having taken place, the teams have moved on to filling up their rosters for this season.
The Connecticut Whale made the first three signings in club history by inking forwards Sam Faber and Shiann Darkangelo, as well as goaltender Chelsea Laden to one-year deals.
“I’m excited to get the signings underway.” said Whale General Manager Chris Ardito. “It’s another positive step towards October. As the Whale forms, I think people are going realize we are going to be a hard team to play against each week.”
Here’s a look at the three players Connecticut inked:
Faber played for the University of New Hampshire from 2005-2009, playing in a total of 143 games for the Wildcats. She tallied a total of 189 points in her four years with the Wildcats (77 goals, 112 assists). In her junior year, Faber finished in the top ten for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the top player in women’s college hockey every year. That same year, she set an NCAA record for most game-winning goals in a season, with 13.
Alum Sam Faber signed with the Connecticut Whale as one of the first three members. Making history! http://t.co/UfmEIqBWyD
— NorthwoodGirlsHockey (@nwgirlshockey) June 26, 2015
She also has seen time in the red, white, and blue, as Faber played on the United States national team, which took home gold from China that same year.
“I can’t explain in words how happy and grateful I am to get the chance to play for the Whale and be a part of history playing in the NWHL” Faber said, per NWHL.co. “When I stopped playing, I focused on building a career in coaching and now I finally have the chance to play again. I am extremely humbled and honored for the opportunity in front of me.”
The Whale signed another forward with a strong offensive game in Quinnipiac Bobcat Shiann Darkangelo.
Darkangelo led the Bobcats with 23 goals as a junior, and went on to tally a total of 102 points in 144 collegiate games. She too, has represented her country, as she played with the United States at the 2014 Four Nations Cup in November.
Darkangelo is also excited to continue her career in hockey:
“It means I am able to continue to chase my dream while being part of something bigger than myself, and continuing to help grow the sport doing what I love.”
Chelsea Laden, who is also out of Quinnipiac, is a strong and consistent goaltender who can certainly help to lead the Whale in their inaugural season. She posted outstanding collegiate numbers with the Bobcats, earning a .923 career save percentage, and 1.56 goals against average. On top of that, she posted a tremendous total of 26 shutouts in 88 games.
— Quinnipiac Athletics (@QUAthletics) June 26, 2015
Her most successful season came last year, as a senior. In her final campaign as a Bobcat, Laden posted an extremely impressive 1.16 goals against average, with a .930 save percentage and a ridiculously impressive 16 shutouts. Her tremendous numbers earned her the Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year award, given out by the ECAC.
Laden will certainly look to make a big impact for the Whale this season.
Stay tuned to the Hockey Writers as we cover the NWHL further throughout the year.