The Ohio State women’s hockey team, who won the 2020 WCHA tournament, was picked to finish third in the conference’s preseason poll. Senior forward Emma Maltais and junior goalkeeper Andrea Braendli were named to the WCHA’s Preseason All-Conference team.
Nadine Muzerall’s squad received 28 total points in a vote of WCHA head coaches. Wisconsin was picked to win the league, receiving four first-place votes and 34 total points. Minnesota was second with three first place-votes (31 points), followed by Ohio State (28), Minnesota Duluth (21), Bemidji State (14), Minnesota State (13) and St. Cloud State (6).
Maltais, a Burlington, Ontario, native, earned second-team AHCA All-American honors in 2019-20 after she set Ohio State’s single-season points record with 59 on 19 goals and a program-record 40 assists. She finished sixth in the country in scoring, as well as third in the WCHA.
Braendli, who hails from Zurich, Switzerland, earned third-team All-WCHA accolades last season, as well as a spot on the WCHA All-Tournament Team. The shutdown goaltender posted a 20-5-5 record in 31 games last season, setting an Ohio State single-season record for wins. Braendli’s .929 save percentage overall and .928 save percentage in WCHA games ranked No. 2 in the prestigious conference.
Sophie Jacques, a junior defender, also received votes for the All-WCHA preseason team after earning third-team All-WCHA honors as a sophomore. The Toronto, Ontario, native totaled 22 points as a sophomore, marking the second-highest defensive total on the team behind three-time All-American Jincy Dunne.
Jacques scored a defense-high eight goals and dished out 14 assists. Her 22 points in the regular season puts her fifth among WCHA defenseman, while her 115 shots on goal represented the most of any WCHA blueliner.
The Buckeyes, who were ranked No. 5 in the USCHO Division I Women’s Poll, will open their season on Nov. 21 when it travels to Minneapolis to take on No. 4 Minnesota for a two-game series. Ohio State’s first open home game is on Nov. 27, starting a two-game series against No. 1 Wisconsin.
WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rank. Team (First Place Votes) Points
- Wisconsin (4) 34 pts.
- Minnesota (3) 31 pts.
- Ohio State 28 pts.
- Minnesota Duluth 21 pts.
- Bemidji State 14 pts.
- Minnesota State 13 pts.
- St. Cloud State 6 pts.
Predicted order of finish. Based on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Preseason WCHA Player of the Year: Daryl Watts, Sr., F, Wisconsin (3 votes)
Others receiving votes: Emma Maltais, Sr., F, Ohio State (2); Grace Zumwinkle, Sr., F, Minnesota (1); Gabbie Hughes, Jr., F, Minnesota Duluth (1)
Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year: Abbey Murphy, Fr., F, Minnesota (4)
Others receiving votes: Anne Cherkowski, Fr., F, Minnesota (1); Emma Gentry, Fr., F, St. Cloud State (1); Casey O’Brien, Fr., F, Wisconsin (1).
F: Emma Maltais, Sr., Ohio State
F: Daryl Watts, Sr., Wisconsin
F: Sophie Shirley, Jr., Wisconsin
D: Ashton Bell, Sr., Minnesota Duluth
D: Emily Brown, Sr., Minnesota
G: Andrea Braendli, Jr., Ohio State
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Clair DeGeorge, Sr., Bemidji State; Taylor Heise, Jr., Minnesota; Gabbie Hughes, Jr., Minnesota Duluth; Klara Hymlarova, So., St. Cloud State; Grace Zumwinkle, Sr. Minnesota. Defensemen – Grace Bowlby, Sr., Wisconsin; Sophie Jaques, Jr., Ohio State; Olivia Knowles, Sr., Minnesota; Anna Wilgren, Jr., Minnesota State. Goaltender – Calla Frank, So., Minnesota State; Emma Polusny, Sr., St. Cloud State.
Women’s Hockey Partial 2020-21 Schedule:
Saturday, Nov. 21 – at Minnesota (4 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 22 – at Minnesota (3 p.m.)
Friday, Nov. 27 – vs. Wisconsin (OSU Ice Rink, 6 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 28 – vs. Wisconsin (OSU Ice Rink, 3 p.m.)
Friday, Dec. 11 – vs. Minnesota (OSU Ice Rink, 6 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 12 – vs. Minnesota (OSU Ice Rink, 3 p.m.)
Friday, Dec. 18 – at Wisconsin (3 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 19 – at Wisconsin (3 p.m.)