BROOKLYN, NY – The National Women's Hockey League recognized some its top players today during the third annual #NWHLAwards, conducted via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Congratulations to this season’s winners!
Most Valuable Player (selected by the NWHL Players Association)
Alexa Gruschow, Metropolitan Riveters
Gruschow: “I want to thank the PA for granting me this remarkable award which I accept with gratification. It is truly an honor to be considered in this competitive category amongst such admirable talent. I find it very humbling and incredibly inspiring to receive tremendous support and encouragement from everyone involved with this growing league. I owe it to my teammates, coaches, family, friends, and the NWHL for helping me find success in my game and highlighting my contributions. I can say with pure confidence that this has been my favorite season of hockey thus far, and I take great pride in being named the NWHL’s MVP.”
In addition, Gruschow was honored as the NWHL’s Leading Scorer.
Rookie of the Year (selected by media)
Hayley Scamurra, Buffalo Beauts
Scamurra: “Excited and surprised! My fellow nominees are all incredible hockey players and all deserve this honor. I want to thank my teammates, especially linemates Maddie Elia and Kourtney Kunichika. We’ve created a team chemistry that has made every player better. Thanks also to our coaches and staff”!
Best Defender (selected by media)
Courtney Burke, Metropolitan Riveters
Burke: “This is an awesome honor because there are a lot of D deserving of this award. All credit goes to my teammates and coaches who helped make us so successful this year and hopefully we can win one more”!
Best Goaltender (selected by media)
Amanda Leveille, Buffalo Beauts
“What a tremendous honor! I’m a firm believer that a goaltender’s success is a reflection of the team in front of them. I can’t thank my coaches and my teammates enough for helping me to achieve this prestigious award.”
Denna Laing Award (to the player who most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport, as chosen by the NWHLPA)
Jillian Dempsey, Boston Pride
Laing: “I’ve been teammates with Jill for 15 years, so I may be biased but she lives and loves hockey more than anyone I know. Her dedication to the game and her teammates is unparalleled. I couldn't be happier she’s receiving this award.”
Dempsey: I am incredibly humbled to be the recipient of the Denna Laing Award. Denna is one of the best and most committed teammates I have ever had. Her perseverance and resilience inspire me to work hard every single day. I am so grateful to play the sport I love alongside her and so many other amazing athletes who share my fierce dedication to the game. Receiving this award is truly an honor.
The NWHL Fans’ Three Stars of the Season (in alphabetical order, as decided by ballots submitted by more than 8,000 fans)
Sophia Agostinelli, Connecticut Whale
Harrison Browne, Metropolitan Riveters
Hayley Scamurra, Buffalo Beauts
NWHL Foundation Award (to the players most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community as well as growing the game and improving hockey culture, as selected by the league office)
Lexi Bender, Boston Pride
Jacquie Greco, Buffalo Beauts
Rachel Ade, Connecticut Whale
Michelle Picard, Metropolitan Riveters
NWHL Deputy Commissioner Hayley Moore: “The NWHL is built upon living out your dreams and inspiring the next generations to dream even bigger. Lexi, Jacquie, Rachael and Shelly have shined as exemplary models of this. We’re proud of their service and know their communities appreciate their impact.”