New­found­lan­ders on Saint Mary’s Huskies earn con­fer­ence hon­ours

Grand Falls-Wind­sor’s Laura Hor­wood a rookie all-star; Dunville’s Ni­cole Blanche named top de­fen­sive player again at AUS

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Sports - Sports@thetele­ Twit­ter: @telysports

A cou­ple of New­found­lan­ders play­ing for Saint Mary’s Univer­sity have re­ceived end-of-the sea­son hon­ours in the At­lantic Univer­sity Sports women’s hockey con­fer­ence.

Dunville na­tive and Huskies for­ward Ni­cole Blanche was named the con­fer­ence’s top de­fen­sive player for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son. In fact, the fifth-year com­merce stu­dent is the only win­ner of the award be­cause it was es­tab­lished in 2016-17.

It’s given to a skater who con­sis­tently ex­cels in de­fen­sive as­pects of the game and dis­plays strong play in all ar­eas of the ice in­di­vid­u­ally and also as part of her team’s de­fen­sive tac­tics. Cri­te­ria used in­clude face-off suc­cess, blocked shots, forecheck­ing, rush-zone de­fend­ing, penalty killing and the abil­ity to shut down op­po­nents’ top play­ers.

Blanche fin­ished the sea­son with 21 points, on 10 goals and 11 as­sists, and a plus-mi­nus rat­ing of plus-13 for the Huskies, who fin­ished with a 20-3-1 record, just a sin­gle point be­hind the St. Fran­cis Xavier XWomen.

Blanche’s team­mate, Laura Hor­wood of Grand Falls-Wind­sor, was named to the AUS all­rookie team.

Hor­wood, who is also a for­ward, had seven goals, two as­sists and a plus-three rat­ing in her first AUS sea­son. She also led the Huskies with three power-play mark­ers,

The awards an­nounce­ments came on the eve of the start of the 2018 AUS women’s hockey play­off semi­fi­nals.

One best-of-three se­ries be­gins in Antigo­nish, N.S., where the top-seeded X-Women, whose lineup in­cludes for­ward and Dunville na­tive Brooke Nose­wor­thy, host the Univer­site de Monc­ton. The other gets un­der­way in Hal­i­fax, where the sec­ond-seeded Huskies take on the St. Thomas Tom­mies, whose lineup in­cludes goal­tender Abby Clarke of Spring­dale.


Saint Mary’s Huskies for­ward Ni­cole Blanche (left) has been named the 2017-18 AUS women’s hockey con­fer­ence’s top de­fender, while her team­mate, Laura Hor­wood, was se­lected to the AUS rookie all-star team

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