COLUMBUS, Ohio – As it nears its Sept. 24 season opener, the Ohio State women’s hockey team was picked to finish second in the WCHA Preseason Poll, the conference announced Thursday. Additionally, Andrea Braendli was named to the WCHA’s Preseason All-Conference team.
The Buckeyes earned 40 total points, and one first place vote, in a vote of conference head coaches. Wisconsin was picked to finish first in the league, receiving seven first-place votes and 49 total points. Ohio State was followed by Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, Bemidji State, St. Cloud State and St. Thomas.
Braendli, who most recently played for Switzerland at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships, earned second-team All-WCHA honors following the 2020-21 season. The junior from Zurich, Switzerland became the winningest goaltender in program history during last year’s campaign, earning nine wins on the year for a career record of 47-22-7 (.664). Braendli finished the year with a .915 save percentage against 413 shots faced.
Both Clair DeGeorge and Sophie Jaques were among players receiving votes for preseason conference honors. DeGeorge joins the Buckeyes this season from Bemidji State where she skated in 128 games and recorded 79 points (28 goals, 51 assists). Jaques is a two-time third team All-WCHA honoree and 2021 USCHO third team All-American.
Ohio State opens the 2021-22 campaign at home on Friday, Sept. 24 against St. Thomas. Put drop is set for 6:01 p.m. ET.
WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rk. Team (First Place Votes)
1. Wisconsin (7) 49
2. Ohio State (1) 40
3. Minnesota 37
4. Minnesota Duluth 34
5. Minnesota State 25
6. Bemidji State 16
St. Cloud State 16
8. St. Thomas 7
Predicted order of finish. Based on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Preseason WCHA Player of the Year
Daryl Watts, RSr., F, Wisconsin (3 votes)
Others receiving votes: Andrea Braendli, Sr., G, Ohio State (1),Taylor Heise, Sr., F, Minnesota (2), Sophie Shirley, Sr., F, Wisconsin (1); Gabbie Hughes, Sr., F, Minnesota Duluth (1)
Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year
Peyton Hemp, Fr., F, Minnesota (2 votes) Sara Wozniewicz, Fr, F, Wisconsin (2); Marianne Picard, Fr., F, Wisconsin, (2).
Others receiving votes: Skylar Vetter, Fr., G, Minnesota (1); Emma Connor, Fr., F, Minnesota (1).
F: Gabbie Hughes, Sr., Minnesota Duluth
F: Daryl Watts, RSr., Wisconsin
F: Sophie Shirley, Sr., Wisconsin
D: Grace Bowlby, RSr., Wisconsin
D: Emily Brown, RSr., Minnesota
G: Andrea Braendli, Sr., Ohio State
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Clair DeGeorge, Sr., Ohio State; Taylor Heise, Jr., Minnesota; Elizabeth Giguere, Sr., Minnesota Duluth; Anna Klein, Sr., Minnesota Duluth; Amy Potomak, Sr. Minnesota. Defensemen – Nicole LaMantia, Sr., Wisconsin; Sophie Jaques, Jr., Ohio State; Olivia Knowles, Sr., Minnesota; Anna Wilgren, Sr., Minnesota State. Goaltender – Calla Frank, So., Minnesota State; Emma Soderberg, Sr., Minnesota Duluth.