March 5, 2009
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - It was announced by the Hockey East Association Friday night at the annual awards banquet that women's hockey freshman goaltender Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ont.) was named the 2009 Mission Hockey Rookie of the Year. It was also announced that freshman forward Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.) was named to the 2009 Hockey East All-Rookie Team.
On a night in which Lacasse made several trips to the podium, she was also honored as the Goaltending Champion for having the best combined goals against average and save percentage in conference play. She was named a Second Team All-Star and also joined Veharanta on the All-Rookie Team.
Lacasse is the first Rookie of the Year for Providence since Sonny Watrous in 2003-04. In conference play, she finished first in the league with a .940 save percentage and second with a 1.55 gaa. Those statistics garnered her the award for Goaltending Champion, the first Friar to earn the award. Lacasse was named Rookie of the Week on three occassions (11/17, 1/12, 1/26) and Defensive Player of the Week on March 2. She was also named Rookie of the Month for November after posting a 4-1 record to go along with a 1.22 goals against average and an impressive .966 save percentage. Lacasse also registered an assist on the game-winning goal in Providence's 1-0 victory over Brown on Saturday, November 29, in the 14th annual Mayor's Cup. Overall she stands at 15-10-1 while posting six shutouts on the season. She owns a 10-5-1 mark in conference play.
Veharanta earned All-Rookie honors after finishing the season ranked second in conference play with 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists. On the season, she registered a team best 31 points, 16 goals, eight power-play goals and the second most assists with 15. Veharanta was the only unanimous selection to the All-Rookie team. She joins Alyse Ruff (07-08), Watrous (04-05), and Jana Bugden (03-04) as the only Friars to be unanimous selections to the All-Rookie Team. Veharanta was also honored as an Honorable Mention All-Star.
The Friars return to action as the fourth seed as they face off against top-seeded New Hampshire in the semifinals on Saturday, March 7 at 12:00 p.m. at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. The seventh annual WHEA Championship Game will be played on Sunday, March 8 at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on NESN on a tape delay basis at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
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