Nine Blugolds Named to NCHA Women's Hockey All-Academic Team

SAINT PAUL, Minn. ( – Nine UW-Eau Claire women's hockey players have been named to the 2011-12 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) All-Academic Team, NCHA Commissioner Bill Kronschnabel announced today.

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Five Blugolds were named All-Academic team selections for the second time in their careers while four others were first-time recipients.

Two-time winners were Emily Haluska (Jr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH), Kate Loberg-Sonderup (Jr.-Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata), Casey McMullen (Jr.-Minneapolis, Minn./South), Toni Simones (Sr.-Rosemount, Minn./South St. Paul) and Katie Ward (Jr.-Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids).

Haluska, a forward who played in all 27 games, tied for second on the team with six goals and was fifth with 11 points.

Loberg-Sonderup, who played in 15 games, was part of a defense that allowed 729 shots while the Blugolds accumulated 780.

McMullen, a forward, led the Blugolds with 10 goals and 18 points this season. She also tied for a team-best three power-play goals, playing in all 27 games.

Simones, a forward who played in all 27 games, was second on the team with nine goals and 16 points. She led the Blugolds with three game-winning goals.

Ward recorded three goals and four points this season, playing in all 27 games.

Named for the first time were Abbie Hawthorne (Jr.-Brookfield, Wis./Central), Nikki Kothenbeutel (So.-Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice), Mackenzie Miller (Fr.-Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) and Morgan Pieper (Sr.-Williams, Minn./Warroad).

Hawthorne finished the season with seven points as she played in all 27 games.

Kothenbeutel was fourth on the team with 13 points and was tied for second on the team with eight assists. She played in 27 games.

Miller played in all 27 games and recorded one goal and one assist.

Pieper competed in 21 games as goalie, starting 19 of them. Playing almost 1,164 minutes, she had a 2.58 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.