By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Courtney Wittig (sr. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) was selected the Player of the Year to lead the individuals chosen to the 2019 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women's Hockey Team, selected by the league coaches.
Wittig is the first player in program history to receive the award. She claimed first team recognition for the third straight year, joining teammate Erin Connolly as the only Blugolds to accomplish the feat. Wittig leads the WIAC with 24 goals, 36 points, 11 power-play goals and six game-winning goals, while ranking eighth with 12 assists and a plus/minus of +22. She has recorded at least one point in 20 of 27 contests, including nine multi-point performances. Wittig tallied a hat trick against UW-River Falls on Feb. 9, 2019. The senior is also the first NCAA Division III player to be drafted into the National Women's Hockey League.
Four other Blugolds joined Wittig on the First Team: Elizabeth Bauer (Jr. – Wausau, WI/East), Erin Connolly (Jr. – Mequon, WI/Homestead), Holly Turnbull (Sr. – Hayward, WI) and Morgan Zirbel (So. – Green Bay, WI/Ashwaubenon).
Bauer currently leads the WIAC in assists (24) and is second for points (33). The junior also has six career game-winning goals and 79 career points in just 84 games.
Connolly lead all goaltenders with a .929 save percentage. The junior, earning her third-straight First Team honor, had logged over 1200 minutes in net and totaled over 350 saves in the 2018-19 alone.
Turnbull, who is making her second First Team appearance, currently ranks first among defenseman in scoring and is tied for seventh in total points among all WIAC players.
Zirbel has posted 17 total points and an impressive +12 on the ice in her sophomore campaign. The defenseman has helped the Blugold offense, averaging nearly three shots on net per game.
In addition, two Blugolds were named to the All-WIAC Honorable Mention team as Sami Meister (Jr. – Plymouth, MN/Wayzata) and Hanna Zavoral (So. – St. Paul, MN/Highland Park) are both having career seasons for Eau Claire, combining for 13 goals and 21 assists.
The Blugolds will battle for the O'Brien Cup Saturday night as they take on UW-River Falls at 7 p.m. Last season, the Blugold won their first WIAC tournament championship with a 3-2 overtime win over the Falcons. Follow Saturday's action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.