Bemidji State leads WCHA with 25 Scholar-Athlete honorees

Bemidji State leads WCHA with 25 Scholar-Athlete honorees
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Bemidji State leads WCHA with 25 Scholar-Athlete honorees

EDINA, Minn. -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, through Michigan Technological University President Glen Mroz (Chair, Men’s League) and University of Minnesota Duluth Faculty Athletics Representative Steve Castleberry (Chair, Women’s League), along with Commissioners Bill Robertson (Men’s League) and Katie Million (Women’s League), today announced that a record 145 conference-member student-athletes make up the 12th annual group of WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for 2016-17.

Bemidji State's men's (12) and women's (13) teams led their respective league's land combined for a WCHA-best 25 student-athletes honored on the list.

“On behalf of the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association family, we extend our sincere congratulations to all our men’s and women’s WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2016-17,” said Dr. Mroz, Dr. Castleberry, Robertson and Million in a joint statement. “The individuals who compete in our conference are a special group, all embodying the very best of the student-athlete ideal. For the league to recognize a record number of Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for a second-consecutive year is a testament to the ongoing and successful commitment of our member institutions to the WCHA mission of providing the very best experience, both on and off the ice.

“We are thrilled to publicly recognize the wonderful academic accomplishments of these outstanding young men and women. While competing at the top levels of collegiate hockey, our Scholar-Athlete Award winners maintain equally high standards in their studies – a truly exemplary commitment, effort and dedication to all facets of their university experience. These student-athletes are terrific representatives of the WCHA and its member institutions; we commend and applaud each and every one of them.”

The prestigious WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award was developed through Association member faculty representatives and approved by the conference membership beginning with the 2005-06 season.

To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, conference-member student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his or her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.

Over the 12 years of the award, there have now been nearly 1,100 WCHA Scholar-Athlete honorees representing every men's and women's conference-member institution. Sixty-four of this season's 145 recipients are repeat honorees, with 23 of those now being three-time honorees.

In addition, Bemidji State’s Reid Mimmack is now a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award honoree. In the 12-year history of the award, there have been only 13 such student-athletes, which also include former Beavers Whitney Wivoda and Emily Erickson.

BSU players recognized as 2016-17 WCHA Scholar-Athletes are: Justin Baudry (So., D, LaBroquerie, Manitoba); Kyle Bauman** (Jr., F, Apopka, Fla.); Emily Bergland (So., F, Thief River Falls, Minn.); Dan Billett (So., D, Higlands Ranch, Colorado); Michael Bitzer** (Jr., G, Moorhead, Minn.); Mackenzie Bruch** (Sr., G, Barrie, Ontario); Dillon Eichstadt (So., D, Bemidji, Minn.); Carley Esse** (Sr., D, Cloquet, Minn.); Reilly Fawcett** (Jr., F, Proctor, Minn.); Brendan Harms*** (Sr., F, Steinbach, Manitoba); Madison Hutchinson*** (Sr., D, Manitou, Manitoba); Ian Janco (So., D, Bloomington, Minn.); Alexis Joyce** (Jr., D, Lakeville, Minn.); Lisa Laiti (So., D, Fairbanks, Alaska); Adam Lovick (So., F, Lino Lakes, Minn.); Lauren Miller*** (Sr., F, Brockville, Ontario); Reid Mimmack**** (Sr., G, Brainerd, Minn.); Brittni Mowat*** (Sr., G, Glenboro, Manitoba); Charlie O’Connor** (Sr., F, Elk Grove Village, Ill.); Taylor Roo (So., F, Champlin, Minn.); Michael Soucier (So., F, Caledon, Ontario); Natalie Stanwood (So., D, West Vancouver, British Columbia); Emma Terres** (Jr., F/D, New Hope. Minn.); Summer Thibodeau** (Jr., F, Maple Grove, Minn.); Bailey Wright (Jr., F, Anchorage, Alaska)
(** indicates two-time recipient, *** indicates three-time recipient, **** indicates four-time recipient)

For more information on the Bemidji State athletics programs, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of

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).

(Portions of the release courtesy of