BEMIDJI, Minn. – Three members from the No. 10 Bemidji State University women’s hockey team earned postseason awards from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Thursday. Ivana Bilic, Brittni Mowat and Melissa Hunt all represent Bemidji State on the list.
Senior Ivana Bilic headlines the honorees after being named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for 2015-16. This is the first time during her four-year career that Bilic has been honored with the award and the first member from Bemidji State since Zuzana Tomcikova was voted the Co-Player of the Year in 2009-10. Bilic tied for sixth in the conference for defensemen with 22 points this season but was one of the top defenders in the nation finishing second in blocked shots (98).
The Coquitlam, British Columbia native lead the Beavers in points per game (0.67) and tied for second in the WCHA in power play points with 11 (2g-9a). Bilic’s play was good enough to earn her a spot on the All-WCHA Third Team, also the first time she has made the list.
Junior Brittni Mowat joins Bilic as those honored with All-WCHA awards after being named to the second team. This is the third time in Mowat’s three-year career earning All-WCHA honors after being named to the first team in 2014-15 and the rookie team in 2013-14.
The Glenboro, Manitoba native led the Beavers with a 22-11-2 record and finished third in the WCHA in save percentage (.938) and fourth in goals against average (1.68). Mowat spent the most time in net out of any goaltender in the WCHA with 2067:59 minutes, the second most in program history. Mowat owns numerous career records at BSU including the most wins in a career (51) and wins in a season (22). She also is the current leader at BSU in career save percentage (.934) and goals against average (1.93).
Freshman Melissa Hunt earns her first-ever league award and was named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team. Hunt is just the seventh player from Bemidji State to be named to the rookie team and follows Alexis Joyce who was selected to the team in 2014-15.
The Hartney, Manitoba native played in all 36 games as a blueliner for the Beavers and tallied two points (1g-1a) on the season. Hunt scored the first goal and point of her career on the road, Jan. 22 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Hunt finished third on the team among defensemen and held a +4 rating on the season.
Ann-Renee Desbiens was selected as the conference’s player of the year after leading the University of Wisconsin Badgers to a regular season title and setting an NCAA record of 18 shutouts during the season. Sarah Potomak from the University of Minnesota was voted the WCHA Rookie of the Year while Mark Johnson from Wisconsin earned coach of the year.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).