PHF awards: Finalists and snubs — Must-click women’s hockey links

The IX: Hockey Friday with Eleni Demestihas, Mar. 24, 2023

Happy Friday! This week I’m going to give you some links to click around the hockey world and go in depth on the PHF award finalists and who I would have chosen (and why). 

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As you may have seen, the Whitecaps swept the Pride to advance to the Isobel Cup final. Dan Rice at The Ice Garden has a recap for you.

The Toronto Six won a stunner against the Connecticut Whale to advance to their first championship game, and Elaine Chuli had a shutout — an impressive feat at any time but especially in an elimination game. You can read a preview of the finals matchup here from the Victory Press.

Ohio State defender Sophie Jaques won the Patty Kazmeier award last week. She’s the first ever Ohio State player to win the award (which is also almost never awarded to a defender), and the first Black winner of the award. 

Ohio State’s team itself fell to Wisconsin in the NCAA title game, shut out by goalie Cami Kronish and a hungry Badgers team. You can read a recap of that game and a roundup of some other events around the sport here from The Hockey News. 

The PHF announced award finalists for the 2022-2023 season this week, including returning awards MVP, Newcomer of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, Defender of the Year and the Denna Laing Award. The new awards this year are a separate Rookie of the Year Award, Outstanding Player of the Year (awarded by the PHFPA) and Offensive Player of the Year (the top scorer’s award).

Here are the finalists:

Most Valuable Player

Loren Gabel (BOS)

Kennedy Marchment (CTW)

Corinne Schroeder (BOS)

Outstanding Player of the Year

Loren Gabel (BOS)

Kennedy Marchment (CTW)

Corinne Schroeder (BOS)

Defender of the Year

Kali Flanagan (BOS)

Sidney Morin (MIN)

Minttu Tuominen (MET)

Goaltender of the Year

Elaine Chuli (TOR)

Amanda Leveille (MIN)

Corinne Schroeder (BOS)

Newcomer of the Year

Ann-Sophie Bettez (MON)

Loren Gabel (BOS)

Brittany Howard (TOR)

Rookie of the Year

Élizabeth Giguère (BOS)

Corinne Schroeder (BOS)

Natalie Snodgrass (MIN)

Denna Laing Award

Lauren Kelly (BOS)

Lovisa Berndtsson (BUF)

Mallory Souliotis (CTW)

Kaycie Anderson (MET)

Jonna Albers (MIN)

Ann-Sophie Bettez (MON)

Breanne Wilson-Bennett (TOR)

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For MVP, although I think you can make a good argument for both Gabel and Schroeder, I would have bumped one of them for Leveille. When she was injured the Whitecaps struggled mightily and when she returned for the playoffs they made the final. They clearly play confidently in front of her and she stole probably seventy percent of the games that she won this season. To me, that’s an MVP. 

Outstanding Player of the Year is selected by the PHFPA and we don’t know what metrics they use (or if it’s just vibes which is also valid), so no comment there. 

Defender of the Year is the award that I would have had the most overhaul for if I was selecting finalists. All these players are great. However, to me, your defender of the year should be someone who provides the most impact at that position — which requires them to be highly-rated defensively, not just offensively. Players who should have been included here in my view are Allie Munroe of the Connecticut Whale and Kati Tabin of the Toronto Six. 

The Goaltender of the Year nominees are who I would have picked, too. I don’t think there’s any chance that anyone but Schroeder wins it (and she should), but a solid list nonetheless. 

Newcomer of the Year is an almost perfect list to me, but I would have swapped out Bettez for Jade Downie-Landry. It’s close and both of them are deserving of the award, but JDL had 23 points in 24 games, 11 blocked shots, three powerplay goals and three game-winners. Bettez had just slightly fewer points, and fewer blocks and game-winners. 

Rookie of the Year is an alright list and I do expect Snodgrass to win it, which to me is the correct choice, but Caitrin Lonergan of the Whale should have been a finalist. As a rookie she was solid up and down the lineup and came in clutch more than once during the playoffs when a lot of her teammates were struggling. 

Denna and her family select the Denna Laing Award recipient. It used to be known as the Perseverance Award, to give you an idea of the context. 

The Isobel Cup Final will be on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m. MT (8 p.m. ET).

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Eleni Demestihas