April 27, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The Providence College women's ice hockey team announced its annual year end awards on Saturday, April 26 at the team's year-end Awards Banquet, held at the Providence Marriott Downtown. The Friars also recognized their four graduating seniors at the banquet.
Senior Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.) was awarded with the team's Most Valuable Player Award. Classmates Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario) and Emily Groth (Monona, Wis.) were awarded with the team's Captain's Award and the Unsung Hero Award, respectively.
Four other team awards were given out, including the team's Most Improved Player Award, the Seventh Player Award, the Coaches' Award and the team's Academic Award. Vella was awarded with the team's 2012 Academic Award.
The Academic Award is presented to the player with the highest cumulative grade point average from the spring semester of 2012 through the fall semester of the 2012 academic year. Runner-ups for the award included seniors Jessica Cohen (Anchorage, Alaska), who achieved an impressive 3.93 as a Global Studies and Philosophy double major and Anderson, who was third on the team with an outstanding GPA of 3.66 as a Psychology major. Vella earned the honor with a remarkable 3.96 GPA as a Health Policy Management major.
Vella was also awarded with the team's 2013 Captains Award, which is annually presented to the captain of the Providence College women's ice hockey team. Vella was a standout leader during her four years with the program. This explosive forward notched three game-winning tallies and was a key component to the Friars special teams. She was recognized once during her senior season with Player of the Week honors from the league.
Freshman Courtney Kukowski (Apple Valley, Minn.) was awarded with the team's Most Improved Player award. The award is given to the player voted by her teammates to have shown the greatest improvement over the course of the season. It was the third year in a row that a freshman was recognized with the teams Most Improved Player award. "Courtney brings a combination of hard work and humility to the rink every day, which has allowed her to continuously develop her game," Assistant Coach Melanie Ruzzi shared about Kukowski. "It is clear from watching the way she communicates with her line mates and our staff that she thinks about the game and is absorbing as much knowledge as she can to contribute to the success of the team. It is without question, she loves to play. She is willing to step outside her comfort zone to constantly challenge herself because she knows it will eventually lead to greatness."
Sophomore sensation Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.) was recognized with the team's Seventh Player Award. The award recognizes the player who performed above and beyond expectations throughout the season. The Seventh Player contributes heavily to the overall success of the team, yet did not receive the recognition she deserves. This year, Simpson enjoyed a breakout season from her forward position, tallying a career-high 26 points on seven goals and a team-best 19 assists.
The fifth award of the night was given to Groth as the Unsung Hero for the 2012-13 season. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to the player, voted by her teammates, who consistently contributed to the team and its success, but did not necessarily receive the recognition that she deserved. "The more the struggle the more the admiration for someone when they reach their achievements," Head Coach Bob Deraney shared about Groth. "I have the utmost admiration for Emily. It is not the number of minutes you play but the quality of those minutes. Every shift she played was vital to the success of the team."
The team's 2013 Coaches' Award was given to junior defenseman Maggie Pendleton (Woodbury, Minn.). Pendleton was recognized by the coaching staff as the player that excelled beyond expectations at her position. Pendleton had a standout season for the Friars collecting a career-high 19 points. Fourteen of her 19 points came in league play, ranking her tied for fourth among all Hockey East defensemen.
The final award of the night was the team's Most Valuable Player Award. The recipient is voted upon by the team and honors the player whose contributions to the team were unequaled and vital to the success of the team as a whole. This year, Anderson had a career best season for the Friars. She led the team in scoring with 35 points, more than doubling her previous single-season high. She led the team in goals with a career-best 19. Her 35 points this season nearly eclipsed her career total of 36 points entering her senior season. This season she had seven multi-point games, including two hat tricks. She was named Hockey East Player of The Week on October 29 and again on March 4 for her play in the Hockey East quarterfinals, where she tallied three points in the comeback overtime win at New Hampshire.
Prior to the awards presentation the four graduating seniors were honored for their contributions to both the College and the women's ice hockey program.
The class of 2013 were together for a total of 68 victories. They helped the Friars become the only team in Hockey East to advance to the semifinals 11 straight times since the leagues inauguration. The foursome were on the ice for two historical program achievements; the team's 300th win in Schneider Arena and the team's 600th over all win. They were apart of the squad that became the first Hockey East team to defeat New Hampshire in the Whittemore Center. Lastly, they were members of the 2009-10 team that won the Hockey East Regular Season title.