Women's Ice Hockey Announces Its Hockey East Tenth-Anniversary Team

Kelli Halcisak '04

Dec. 22, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - In honor of the ten-year anniversary of the Women's Hockey East Association, the Providence College women's ice hockey program has announced its Hockey East Tenth-Anniversary Team. The Friar honorees include six forwards, five defensemen and two goalies that excelled on and off the ice during the ten years.

The Conference will be releasing its league-wide Anniversary Team later this season.

Up front, the Friar forwards include Jenn Butsch '03 (Berlin, Vt.), Ashley Payton '06 (Chesterfield, Mo.), Darlene Stephenson '04 (Virden, Manitoba), Karen Thatcher '06 (Franklin, Mass.), Sonny Watrous '07 (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Rush Zimmerman '05 (Grosse Point, Mich.).

On the blue line, the honorees include Kristen Gigliotti '07 (Sauquoit, N.Y.) Kelli Halcisak '04 (Grosse Ile, Mich.), Erin Normore '09 (Cambridge, Ontario), Meredith Roth '04 (Dubuque, Iowa) and Kathleen Smith '08 (Waterloo, Ontario).

In goal, the Friar selections include Jana Bugden '07 (Corner Brook, New Foundland) and the only active player to make the list, senior Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario).



Butsch was a senior during the inaugural Hockey East campaign of 2002-03. That year, the speedy forward compiled totals of 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 36 games and captained the Friars to the first ever Hockey East Tournament Championship. The Vermont native was named a Hockey East First-Team All-Star, as well as an All-Academic Team selection. For her career, Butsch compiled totals of 56 goals and 51 assists for 107 points in 132 games.

Payton played three seasons in Hockey East, earning Hockey East First-Team honors in 2003. For her career, she compiled totals of 48 goals and 68 assists for 111 points, despite having to sit out one year due to injury. She was on the ice to help the Friars win two Hockey East Tournament titles (and one ECAC crown). She was selected to the conference's all-Academic team in 2006.

Stephenson shined in two Hockey East campaigns as a junior and a senior, helping to lead the Friars to two tournament victories. She was twice named a Hockey East Second-Team All-Star, while garnering the conference's Sportsmanship Award in 2003. In 140 career games, the Manitoba native registered 55 goals and 72 assists for 127 points. She sits 20th all-time on the Providence career-scoring list. She, too, was selected to the All-Academic team.

Thatcher is one of the most decorated athletes to ever wear the Friar uniform. In 2005, the Massachusetts native was named Hockey East Co-Player of the Year and a Second-Team All-American. The forward was on the ice for two Hockey East Tournament victories. She was a two-time First-Team Hockey East All-Star, and was named to the All-Tournament Team in 2004. In 132 career games, she compiled 65 goals and 102 assists for 167 points, good for 10th on the Friars' all-time scoring list. She landed on the Hockey East All-Academic team every year. Thatcher went on to help Team USA claim silver at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and is now the Friars' assistant coach.

Watrous was also on the ice for two of the three Hockey East championships earned by the program. The only Friar ever to hail from the state of New Mexico, Watrous was a 2006 Second-Team All-Star, the 2004 Conference Rookie of the Year, and a two-time All-Tournament selection. Her totals of 67 goals and 70 assists for 137 points place her 17th on the all-time list. she was also a two-time All-Academic selection.

Zimmerman was a key figure in all three Friar Hockey East Tournament championships (in addition to one ECAC title as a freshman.) She was a three-time Hockey East All-Star, a two-time Hockey East Tournament All-Star, and the 2005 Tournament MVP. In 135 games, the Michigan native totaled 73 goals and 88 assists for 161 points. She stands 11th on the Friars' all-time scoring list.

A member of two title teams, Gigliotti was recognized in 2006 as a Second-Team All-American, the fifth All-American in program history. The New York native was a two-time Hockey East First-Team All-Star, as well as a two-time All-Tournament selection. Excelling on both ends of the ice, she registered 40 goals and 63 assists for 103 points in her career. She was a three-time All-Academic honoree.

Halcisak is one of the all-time greats to wear a PC jersey. She joined Sara DeCosta as the only Friars to earn All-American status twice in her career, recognized on the Second Team in 2003 and the First Team in 2004. A part of two Hockey East championship teams (and one ECAC title), the Michigan native was a two-time All Hockey East selection. She was twice honored as the Hockey East Tournament MVP. In 136 games, she accounted for 56 goals and 103 assists for 159 points. She is 12th on the Friars' all-time scoring list. Halcisak was recognized as a 2004 All-Academic honoree.

Before graduating in 2009, Normore tied the school-record with 143 career games played, never missing a start in her four-year career. She broke the 20-point plateau each season, finishing with 91 points on 25 goals and 66 assists. She was also a Hockey East All-Rookie selection as a freshman.

Roth played a leadership role for three championship teams, helping to claim the ECAC crown in 2002 and the Hockey East titles in '03 and '04 (serving as captain). An All-Hockey East Second Team selection in 2003, she finished her career on the blue line with 23 goals and 52 assists for 75 points. Hockey East recognized roth as an All-Academic selection in 2004.

Smith graduated in 2008 with numerous conference accolades on her resume. As a freshman in 2005, she was named an All-Rookie selection and a Second Team All-Star. As a senior in 2008, she was a First Team All-Star and landed on the All-Tournament team. She totaled 29 goals and 55 assists for 84 points.

Bugden and Lacasse are synonymous with goaltending excellence at Providence College, sharing all major school records. Bugden backstopped the championship teams of 2003 and 2004, pitching shutouts in both title games. She was twice named to the All-Tournament team, and was named Tourney MVP in 2007. Hailing from Newfoundland, Bugden was also an All-Rookie selection in 2003.

Lacasse is the Providence College record holder for career saves (3,027), saves in a season (948) and shutouts (16). She is one win shy of tying Bugden's mark of 58 career wins, and two games shy of Bugden's 115 career games played. Lacasse is also the bearer of the Hockey East Tournament record for saves in a game with 58. The Ontario native was the conference's Rookie of the Year in 2009, and a two-time Second-Team All-Star.

The Providence All-Decade Team will be honored on January 28, 2012 during the current edition's meeting with Connecticut at Schneider Arena. Face-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and tickets are available by calling (401) 865 GO PC or by visiting Friars.com. The game will serve as the Friars' annual Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer event, and proceeds will benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

- Go Friars -

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