Tribune Staff Report
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- UW-Superior freshman forward Dani Schultz from Morris has been voted the women's Player of the Year in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association by the league coaches, the NCHA announced Thursday.
In just her first season of collegiate hockey, Schultz -- Minnesota's second-leading girls scorer all-time with 404 career points playing for Morris/Benson Area -- established herself as a premier goal-scorer, notching 21 goals in 25 games for the Yellowjackets (15-7-3).
"As a freshman, to come in and be the hardest worker, is remarkable," said UW-Superior head coach Dan Laughlin, who was also voted the Coach of the Year. "We wanted her to come in and score goals, and she has given us a huge boost in that department. She's not the flashiest player, but she has a nose for the net that is just very rare for a freshman."
Schultz's statistics are worthy of the NCHA's highest honor. She put up 28 points in her 25 regular season games. Twenty-one of those points came on goals, and seven of her goals were game-winners -- tied for first in the nation as of Thursday. Six of her game-winners came in NCHA competition, which is quite impressive given the rugged conference schedule.
Schultz posted five multi-goal games this season and 10 multi-point games. She sits tied for sixth in the country in points per game by a rookie.
Schultz's efforts contributed to UW-Superior pulling away and clinching the No. 2 seed for the upcoming O'Brien Cup Playoffs. The Yellowjackets will host St. Norbert having won 8 of their past 11 games. Schultz has 10 goals in that span.
Also playing for Yellowjackets is junior defenseman Chelsey Wierschem (13 points) of Willmar and sophomore forward Jenn Paul (9 points) of Paynesville.