The DVCHC announced its 2018 Award Winners on April 14 at the All-Star and New Star Games at the Hershey Bears’ Giant Center, honoring the league’s best and brightest from this season!
The complete list of award winners can be found here.
The league’s most prestigious award, Most Valuable Player, was given to two players whose teams could not have done without them this season – Sarah Jane Graham of Villanova and Taylor Bright of Slippery Rock. Sarah Jane was voted both assistant captain and president of the team this season, honoring her unmatched dedication to hockey and her team. Taylor was a leader on and off the ice as well, playing multiple positions and providing a boost when her team needed it most.
Defensewomen often fly under the radar, but the DVCHC makes sure to recognize the league’s most outstanding blue-liners. This season’s Outstanding Defensewoman Awards went to Nicki Driscoll of Penn and Maggie Columbus of Slippery Rock. A team captain this season, Nicki finished the year with 10 goals, including two game-winners, and 14 assists, while also playing shut-down defense. Maggie, a former figure skater, took well to defense with her ability to skate backwards and stand her ground one-on-one.
The Rookie of the Year Awards, which honor players new to the DVCHC this season who made a big impact on their teams, went to Jessica Chicko of Loyola and Emily Render of Rowan. Jessica led the nation with 41 goals this season, helping the Greyhounds to a program record eight wins. Emily is a goalie, but took on the role of skating out at forward to help out Rowan’s small roster, finishing the season with 23 points.
Penn’s Julianna Emanuel and Slippery Rock’s Brittany Sample were named the league’s New Players of the Year, an award that honors players that have never played hockey until this season. Julianna took on the brave task of suiting up in net for the Quakers, while Brittany showed great improvement and learned that playing with heart is the key to becoming a successful hockey player.
Kelsey Leone of Towson and Hannah McKenzie of Loyola were named the Sportswomen of the Year, an award that honors those that are extraordinary representatives of DVCHC sportsmanship on the ice. Kelsey is known for always having a smile on her face, while Hannah has shown great respect for her opponents, while taking on a gritty role for the benefit of her team.
The DVCHC also recognizes athletes who have excelled off the ice with the Student-Athlete of the Year Award, this year presented to Towson’s Megan McNeill and Montclair’s Kristen Iatterelli. Megan will be graduating this spring with a 3.8 GPA as a deaf studies major, while volunteering at Special Skates and a summer camp for deaf children. Away from hockey, Kristen has dedicated her time to the domestic abuse and sexual assault crisis center of Warren County.
The DVCHC Founders Award is given to those who truly embody everything that the DVCHC stands for and who have made an undeniable positive impact on their team and the league as a whole. This season, the Founders Award was presented to Taylor Hallisey of Villanova and Gabrielle Reed of Slippery Rock. Taylor is always the first one on the ice, and is looked up to new members of the team, always ensuring that the Wildcats are playing as one. Gabrielle rekindled her love for hockey at Slippery Rock after being out of the game for a decade. She didn’t think twice about suiting up when the team needed a goalie, though she had never played the position before, and also graciously stepped in as team president.
Additionally, the DVCHC recognizes those who lead their teams from behind the bench, with Samantha Pulley of Penn and Bill Bright of Slippery Rock taking home Coach of the Year honors. A former high-level player herself, Sam helped turn her team, which included a goalie who was new to the game, into a contender for a Nationals bid. In his first year at the helm of Slippery Rock, Bill showed great commitment to his team and to the league as a whole, including stepping up to participate in the 2018 Covenant Cup, a charity game for the Covenant House in New Jersey.
Finally, the DVCHC honors the season’s statistical leaders. The 2018 Goalies of the Year were Liz Ditzel, who posted an .870 save percentage and two shutout wins for Rowan, and Caitlin Embly, who had no losses, an .856 save percentage, two shutouts, and a 2.06 goals-against average in Virginia’s undefeated season. The 2018 points leaders were Brittany Meneghin of Montclair in D2 with 47 points and Mazzi Hilliard of Virginia in D3 with 41 points.
The DVCHC is proud to be full of bright, talented, hockey-loving individuals! We salute all of our award winners, nominees, and dedicated student-athletes and coaches who make our league so special. See you next season!