April 17, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s hockey team recently announced team award winners for the 2013-14 season. Headlined by Team MVP Elaine Chuli, the Huskies in total honored five student-athletes for their work on and off the ice in his first season.
Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) earned MVP honors after turning in one of the best seasons for a goaltender in program history. Chuli finished the year with a 2.57 GAA and a .929 save percentage, earning a WHEA Honorable Mention All Star nod. The sophomore also recorded her first two career shutouts, including a 45-save blanking of then-No. 7 Boston College on Feb. 8. Her .929 save percentage stands as the third best single-season mark in program history, and her 790 total saves rank fifth.
Chuli had a run from Jan. 3 to Feb. 9 in which she was nearly impossible to score on, turning in a 1.56 GAA and a .956 save percentage during the stretch. The UConn keeper was named WHEA Defensive Player of the Week three times this year, Co-Player of the Week once, and earned Co-Goaltender of the Month laurels for January.
The Unsung Hero Award went to senior captain Erin Burns (Listowel, Ontario), a consistent force on the blue line for the Huskies in 2014. Burns played in the final 32 games of the year after returning for her senior season following a second hip surgery and posted a goal and an assist. She also finished among the WHEA leaders with 48 blocked shots and was a key member of UConn’s penalty killing units.
UConn’s Most Improved Player Award goes to freshman Alexandra Lersch (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), another blueliner. Lersch came on strong as the season progressed, skating in UConn’s final 17 games and 29 contests in all. Over that final stretch, Lersch turned in a +4 plus/minus rating and finished the year among the UConn leaders with a -3 mark. She picked up her first career point with an assist in a 2-0 win at Vermont on Jan. 11.
Jessica Stott (Niverville, Manitoba) earned the Rookie of the Year award after skating in 33-of-35 games during her freshman campaign. Stott scored her first career goal on the power play in a win over RPI on Oct. 25, and remained a strong presence at the point on the Husky power play all season. Over her final 24 games, Stott was a +2 and finished just behind Lersch with a -5 rating on the season.
The final honor went to Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick), 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 junior assistant captain led the Huskies in goals and points in 2013-14, posting a 12-15-27 scoring line. Her 27 points placed her in a tie for 10th-most in a single season in UConn history. Also a star in the classroom, MacDonnell is primed to earn her third consecutive WHEA All-Academic Team nod and was a 2013 Academic All Star.
UConn went 9-24-2 in 2013-14, marking a six-win improvement in Chris MacKenzie’s first season behind the bench.
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