Vichorek awarded with WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarship
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Vichorek awarded with WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarship

MADISON, Wis.  -- Former Bemidji State women’s hockey player Montana Vichorek (Moose Lake, Minn.) was one of three student-athletes awarded with Western Collegiate Hockey Association Post-Graduate Scholarships as announced by the conference office Wednesday afternoon. Vichorek joins Brittany Toor of St. Cloud State University and Brad Eidsness of University of North Dakota as 2012-13 recipients of the scholarships. Vichorek is the first Bemidji State hockey player, either men’s or women’s, to garner a WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarship in the 10 years the conference has been awarding them.

“We are both exceedingly pleased and tremendously proud to announce our latest WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners in Brittany Toor, Montana Vichorek and Brad Eidsness,” said Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod and Associate Commissioner Sara R. Martin in a joint statement. “Representative of the best of collegiate athletics, these three outstanding student-athletes add another distinguished chapter to the league’s long-standing tradition of recognizing and honoring it’s players both on and off the ice.

“The WCHA has been blessed  to have had Montana, Brittany and Brad competing in the league on the ice at the highest levels the past four seasons as well as making their mark in the classroom and setting the stage for future success. Today we salute their tremendous accomplishments and on behalf of the entire Association, we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

An advocate of excellence both on and off the ice for student-athletes, the WCHA initially announced the annual men’s and women’s post-graduate scholarship program in April of 2003, with the initial recipients named after the 2003-04 academic year. The WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarships are grants of $10,000 each that are presented annually to a male and female student-athlete for post-graduate studies. Vichorek and Toor are co-recipients and each will receive a grant of $5,000.

Vichorek, just finished up her senior year as a defenseman for the Beavers. She was a three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete while serving as a hockey team captain in 2011-12. Vichorek was the league’s third highest-scoring blueliner overall with 31 points (8g, 23a) in 34 games played as the Beavers posted the winningest season in program history with a 17-17-3 record. A native of Moose Lake, Minn. (Cloquet HS), she also earned All-WCHA Third Team honors for the second time in her collegiate career, All-WCHA Academic Team accolades for the third time and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 15. She competed in 143 career games for the Beavers with 77 scoring points on 18 goals and a school record 59 career assists for a defenseman, set team records for most assists in a season and most points by a defenseman in a season, and was a member of the USA under-22 National Team in 2010.

“Montana has been the most outstanding defender in my six years at BSU,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “I also believe she has been the top defender in school history. She is extremely gifted in all skill areas – skating, passing, shooting and hockey IQ. She is a leader on the ice in a quiet, humble manner and being voted a captain by her teammates is a testament to her character and the respect her teammates have for her. She has also been an outstanding role model off the ice. She graduates with honors, has been a three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and plans to attend graduate school to become a pharmacist.”

In the classroom, Vichorek compiled a 3.55 (4.0) undergraduate GPA, attaining a Bachelor of Science degree on a Chemistry major and Biology minor and was three times named to the school’s Dean’s List. Among her leadership activities were a presentation on the importance of balancing academics and athletics to a youth hockey team, serving as a teacher’s assistant for a biochemistry lab and serving as a biochemistry group leader. Her community service included volunteering at area nursing homes, reading to elementary school children, the Special Olympics, serving as a fundraiser and volunteer with Relay for Life and participating in Walk for Women to raise scholarships for BSU and she has also worked as a camp counselor and a coach at youth hockey camps.

Vichorek intends to use the scholarship as she pursues her doctor of pharmacy degree at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at the University of Montana in Missoula.

-Portions of this release were pulled from WCHA.com

--bsu--

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