There are a countless number of seniors every year who deserve plenty of acclaim and recognition. Here’s a look at ten of the best players that this year’s class has to offer.
Blake Bolden, Defense, Boston College
138 games played, 27 goals, 56 assists, 83 points
Over her four-year career with the Eagles, Bolden has made a name for herself as one of, if not the best blue-liner in school history. She ranks second all-time in goals, assists, and points by a defenseman at Boston College. She was also a two-time Hockey East All-Stars First Team selection, and is one of just four players in school history to be named to an All-America team. Bolden has been an integral part of the team’s success as well over the years. While she was anchoring their defensive corps, the Eagles advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four three years in a row.
Megan Bozek, Defense, Minnesota
157 games played, 47 goals, 99 assists, 146 points
A two-time All-WCHA First Team selection and a 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-three finalist, Bozek capped off a great career with a spectacular senior season. Her 57 points in 2012-2013 were a Minnesota record for single-season points by a defenseman; she’s also the school’s record-holder in career points by a defenseman. Bozek played a huge role in the Gophers going undefeated this year. She was the cornerstone of the country’s best defense on one of the best teams ever assembled, and it’s been a real treat to watch her game develop as far as it has at both ends of the rink over the last four years. Bozek is also a two-time First Team All-American.
Brianna Decker, Forward, Wisconsin
143 games played, 115 goals, 129 assists, 244 points
Decker’s graduation marks the end of an era in Madison, as she was last in a long line of great players that led the Badgers to six national championship game appearances and four national titles in a span of seven seasons. But even with all the talent that has suited up for Wisconsin over the years, Brianna Decker has done her part to cement herself in the revered program’s history. She is a three-time All-WCHA First Team selection and a two-time All-American. She holds Wisconsin’s program record for longest points streak at 32 games and career WCHA goals with 75, as well as a host of other school records. She scored 82 points in her junior season, good for the third-best season in Badgers history. Decker was also the winner of the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award after that spectacular campaign. Although her production regressed this year, she was still top-10 in the country in scoring, despite being the main focus of every opponent’s defense.
Jillian Dempsey, Forward, Harvard
129 games played, 76 goals, 72 assists, 148 points
Much like Decker, Dempsey attended a school that’s been home to its share of talent over the years, such as Patty Kazmaier Award winners A.J. Mleczko, Jennifer Botterill, Angela Ruggiero, Julie Chu, and Sarah Vaillancourt. Jill Dempsey also made her mark on the storied program over the years. A two-time All-ECAC First Team selection, she ranks ninth in career points for the Crimson, showing how valuable she’s been to the team offensively during her tenure. Dempsey was the engine that made Harvard’s offense go, especially this past year; she recorded points in 30 straight games and was one of ten finalists named for the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award.
Jocelyne Lamoureux, Forward, North Dakota
149 games played, 125 goals, 160 assists, 285 points
For the three-time All-WCHA First Team honoree and two-time First Team All-American, the numbers speak for themselves. As one of the most prolific scorers in college hockey history, Lamoureux passed Hilary Knight this past year to become the WCHA’s all-time leading scorer. She finishes her career tied for second in NCAA career points with former Harvard player Julie Chu. She’s also fourth all-time in NCAA career goals and second all-time in career assists. Put simply, the Grand Forks native is without a doubt one of the best forwards to have ever competed in the NCAA.
Monique Lamoureux, Forward/Defense, North Dakota
149 games played, 113 goals, 152 assists, 265 points
Monique has also put up some remarkable numbers over the years, despite spending more than half her career playing defense. Though she’s typically a forward like her twin sister, she selflessly made the switch to defense after transferring to North Dakota, as they lacked depth at that position. Monique also passed Hilary Knight in WCHA career points, and ranks second behind Jocelyne in that category. She was a two-time All-WCHA First Team selection and a two-time All-American during her four-year career, and is tied for fourth in the NCAA in career points.
You’d be hard-pressed to find two players who have had a bigger effect on the NCAA women’s hockey landscape than the Lamoureux twins. Their decision to transfer from Minnesota to North Dakota after their freshman season is one that will impact the sport forever. They immediately put UND on the map, helping to elevate the team to its current level and setting it up for future success. North Dakota’s program likely does not make such huge strides in such a short period of time without Jocelyne and Monique. Monique’s overtime goal against Bemidji State to send UND to the 2011 Final Face-off is the one moment that truly epitomizes the Lamoureuxs’ impact more than any other.
Noora Räty, Goaltender, Minnesota
135 games played, .946 save %, 1.34 GAA, 43 shutouts
Räty was a huge part of the Gophers’ run to a historic, undefeated season this past year; it tends to really benefit a team when its goalie posts a .956 save percentage, which happens to be an NCAA single-season record. If that number doesn’t astound you, maybe the rest will. Räty owns the NCAA records for career shutouts, wins (114), and save percentage. She’s third all-time in both career goals against average and career winning percentage, and also posted a single-season record 17 shutouts in 2012-2013. The three-time All-America honoree and 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-three finalist was nothing but dominant in her NCAA career, and there’s a strong case to be made for calling Räty the best goaltender in women’s college hockey history.
Lauriane Rougeau, Defense, Cornell
133 games played, 27 goals, 90 assists, 117 points
Over the course of her career, Lauriane Rougeau has solidified herself as one of the most consistent two-way defensemen in the game. She’s not extra flashy, but as the numbers indiciate, she’s no slouch offensively; she’s tied for eighth all-time in assists by any Cornell player. Rougeau has also proven to have great defensive value as well, winning the ECAC’s Best Defensive Defenseman Award in each of the last three seasons. As a four-time Second Team All-American and a four-time All-ECAC First Team selection, she’s racked up awards and accolades year after year. Rougeau also scored one of the most memorable goals in both Cornell and NCAA Tournament history, in triple overtime against Boston University in 2012.
Kelly Sabatine, Forward, St. Lawrence
144 games played, 64 goals, 80 assists, 144 points
A two-time All-ECAC Second Team selection, Sabatine put together a more-than-decent career production-wise. She leaves the Saints after putting up the sixth-best career point total and fourth-best career assist total in program history. It’s not just the overall numbers that stick out about her career, however. Sabatine basically re-defined “performing in the clutch” in the 2012 ECAC playoffs, where she helped St. Lawrence win their first ECAC Tournament championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. She netted two overtime winners to help the Saints advance to the championship game against Cornell, where she tallied the game-winner in the dying minutes of the third.
Victoria Vigilanti, Goaltender, Quinnipiac
131 games played, .931 save %, 1.69 GAA, 30 shutouts
Although Noora Räty stole the show as far as goaltenders go this year, Vigilanti capped off a pretty special career as well. An All-ECAC First and Second Team selection, she had a monumental impact on Quinnipiac’s program, as she is undoubtedly the best netminder to have ever played for the Bobcats. She owns the school records for career saves, save percentage, goals against average, shutouts, and wins. Not many players graduate having had such a resounding influence on their school, but that’s exactly what Vigilanti has done. She hasn’t gone down in just Quinnipiac’s record books, however; she’s tied for the third-most career shutouts and the 11th-best career save percentage in NCAA history.
Gabriella is now in her third season of covering NCAA and international women’s hockey for The Hockey Writers. She is the founding editor of At Even Strength, a website dedicated to providing full-time coverage and analysis of women’s hockey. She is currently working towards a degree in Communication at the University of North Dakota, and is also interning with UND Athletic Media Relations. She can be reached on Twitter (@gabfun) or via e-mail (gfundaro10 [at] gmail [dot] com).