STORRS, Conn. -- After a season that saw it reach the conference semifinals for the first time in five seasons, the UConn women's hockey team announced it team awards for the 2014-15 season. Highlighting the honors are repeat winners in Elaine Chuli as Team MVP and Sarah MacDonnell as the Pat Babcock Award winners, both winning the same honors at the conclusion of 2013-14.
Other award winners include Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) as the Unsung Hero, Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) as Freshman of the Year and Cydnee Cook (Winnipeg, Manitoba) as Most Improved Player. UConn went 11-18-8 this season and won a WHEA Quarterfinal series at Maine before bowing out to No. 1 Boston College in the WHEA semis.
"Our most focused goals are championships and team achievements, but it's rewarding to acknowledge individual achievements within our program," head coach Chris MacKenzie said.
"All of these awards were voted on by our team and the recipients are deserving of these accolades."
Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) garners her second-straight Team MVP award following a junior campaign that saw her also repeat as a WHEA Honorable Mention All Star. The netminder started 25 games in goal and finished with a 2.92 GAA and a .924 save percentage. She placed third in Hockey East and 19th nationally in save percentage. Chuli saved some of her finest performances of the season for the postseason, recording a 1.27 GAA and a .968 save percentage in the WHEA Tournament. She also notched two of the highest save totals in league championship history, picking up 45 saves in a quarterfinal shutout at Maine on Feb. 28 and 51 stops against BC on March 7.
MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) repeats as the winner of the Pat Babcock Award, presented to the UConn student-athlete who best exemplifies Connecticut women's hockey on and off the ice. The Husky captain during her senior season, MacDonnell led UConn in scoring for the second-straight season with an 11-19-30 scoring line. She finished her career tied for fifth in program history with 78 points and fifth all-time with 47 assists. Off the ice, MacDonnell is on pace to become a WHEA Distinguished Scholar as she has been a three-time All-Academic Team member throughout her career.
The Unsung Hero Award goes to Fleming after the walk-on senior scored seven goals and dished out seven assists to finish with 14 points, skating in all 37 contests. A key cog in all facets of UConn's special teams, Fleming was also one of UConn's most consistent centers in the faceoff dot. She scored a dramatic game-winning goal in overtime in the WHEA Quarterfinals at Maine on Feb. 28 to send the Huskies to the next round.
A Hockey East All-Rookie Team member, Lum is UConn's Freshman of the Year after finishing fourth on the team in scoring with a 4-15-19 ledger. The British Columbia-native placed sixth among Hockey East defensemen in points and seventh among all league rookies in scoring. She opened her career with a bang, notching a three-point outing on Sept. 26 vs. No. 10 Minnesota Duluth. Lum also recorded UConn's lone three-assist game with a playmaker at Maine on Feb. 21.
The final honor goes to Cook, UConn's Most Improved Player. The freshman from Winnipeg skated in the final 35 games of the season and finished with five points, all assists. Cook was an even or positive plus/minus in 26 contests and blocked 41 shots on the year, including a season-high five in the WHEA Semis vs. No. 1 BC. She notched her first career points with a two-assist performance at Providence on Nov. 9.
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