Lindenwood Lady Lions women's ice hockey
Current season
UniversityLindenwood University
ConferenceCHA
Head coachShelley Looney
3rd season, 7–29–6
Assistant coachesKristi Kehoe, Mike Venezia
ArenaCentene Community Ice Center
LocationSt. Charles, Missouri
ColorsBlack and gold[1]
   
ACHA Tournament championships
2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
ACHA Tournament appearances
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Conference Tournament championships
CCWHA: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Conference regular season championships
CCWHA: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

The Lindenwood Lady Lions women's ice hockey team represents Lindenwood University located in St. Charles, Missouri. The Lady Lions currently participate in the NCAA Division I competition as a member of College Hockey America (CHA). The team played with no conference affiliation as an Independent program for its first season of NCAA competition.[2] During the 2011–12 season, Lindenwood was accepted into College Hockey America (CHA) beginning in the 2012–2013 season. Prior to 2011 the university was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), because the organization does not sponsor women's ice hockey, the program competed in the American Collegiate Hockey Association at the ACHA DI level.

The university completed the process of transitioning to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II for most athletics except for men's volleyball and women's ice hockey, which compete at the NCAA Division I level.[3][4] As part of the Lindenwood University athletic program's transition to the NCAA, the team was not eligible for NCAA post season play until becoming a full member in 2014.[5]

History

Early history

Lady Lions celebrate a goal against Robert Morris Univ.-Chicago. (2010)
Lady Lions celebrate a goal against Robert Morris Univ.-Chicago. (2010)

Ice hockey at Lindenwood began in 2003, when men's and women's ice hockey were added as part of the ongoing university and athletic department expansion. The NAIA national ice hockey championship for men's hockey was discontinued in 1984, women's was never an NAIA sport Lindenwood fields teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) along with a handful of other NAIA institutions and various club programs of NCAA institutions.[6]

The Lady Lions began competition in the ACHA for the 2003–04 season, the team went 17–3–3 in 23 games that season. Freshman Kathrine Hannah led the team with 25 goals and 36 assists for 61 points.[7] The team qualified for the ACHA Women's Division I National Championship tournament. LU lost 3–6 against the Wisconsin but recovered in the second pool play game beating Northern Michigan 3–2. The Lady Lions recovered with an overtime 5–4 win in the consolation round against West Los Angeles College and finished 5th in the nation.[8]

The 2004–2005 the team improved on the previous season's statistics with a record of 24–3–0. In addition the Lady Lions qualified for the 2005 ACHA Women's Division National Tournament. The team finished the season ranked 2nd in the nation and 1st in the West Region.[9] LU swept through the first rounds with a 2–1 win over the University of Massachusetts Amherst and 10- win over the University of Michigan before losing to the University of Colorado 3–4.[10]

The Lady Lions finished the 2005–06 season 29–3–0, the team swept through the Championship Tournament, hosted for the first time at Lindenwood that season.[11] LU picked up first round wins against Western Michigan University (8–1) and North Dakota State University (6–0). The team then faced off against the University of Colorado, in a rematch of the 2005 tournament. This time the Lady Lions came out on top winning 5–0 and picked up a 4–1 win in the semi-final round vs. Michigan State University. In front of a home crowd LU won their first ice hockey championship, 3–2 over Robert Morris University (Illinois).[12][13]

Despite having the highest number of losses in the history of the program during the 2006–07 season, a record of 27–6–1. The team played strong during the regular season, even during a rebuilding year, highlights of the season included a tough 6–10 loss to NCAA Division I Sacred Heart.[14] The team once again qualified for the ACHA Women's Division I National Championship and advanced to the Championship game again against Robert Morris University. This time the Lady Lions came up short to the Eagles with a 1–4 loss.[15][16]

The 2007–08 season marked the end of LU as an independent team in the ACHA, the Lady Lions joined the Central Collegiate Women's Hockey Association (CCWHA). Lindenwood won the CCWHA Regular season title that season going 10–0 in conference games. The team finished the season with a record of 36–3–0, the best in the program history to date. During the 08–07 season they went 6–1 against NCAA Division III opponents.[13][17] The only loss against NCAA teams 1–2 at St. Mary's University.[18]

LU advanced through the CCWHA and won the CCWHA Playoff Championship in their first season in the conference with a 4–0 shutout of Michigan.[19] The team advanced through the ACHA tournament to the championship game for the third straight season, and once again against Robert Morris. LU came out on top 2–1 over RMU and won the school's second ACHA Women's DI National Championship.[19][20] Senior Kat Hannah won the Zoey M. Harris Award given to the ACHA national player of the year. she recorded a team-high 87 points with 37 goals and 50 assists and had a +/- rating of +72.[21]

LU continued their winning tradition in the 2008–09 season, with a record of 32–3–3, 10–0–3 in the CCWHA and 2–2 vs NCAA Division III opponents. LU became the CCWHA regular season champions for the second straight season and won their second straight CCWHA playoff championship with an overtime win over Michigan State. The Lady Lions advance to the ACHA National Championship games with a 2-overtime win over University of Massachusetts and a 3-overtime win over University of Minnesota[22] and won the team's third ACHA Women's DI National Championship and second straight against Robert Morris. Following the season head coach Vince O'Mara was named the 2009 ACHA Division I Women's Coach of the Year.[23]

Rebecca Bernet, the 2010 Zoey M. Harris Award for ACHA national player of the year.
Rebecca Bernet, the 2010 Zoey M. Harris Award for ACHA national player of the year.

LU finished the 2009–10 season with the best record in program history, over previous record set the 2007–08 season. Lindenwood finished with an overall record of 43 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties, including a loss and a tie against NCAA DIII teams. The Lady Lions went 12–0 in the CCWHA and stormed through the CCWHA playoffs, only allowing 2 goals in four playoff games.[24] The team won the fourth ACHA Women's Division I National Championship and third straight with a 2–0 shutout win over Michigan State University.[25][26] In addition to the third straight national championship for the Lady Lions, the men's program also won its second straight ACHA Men's Division I National Championship, marking the first time a school has repeated as back-to-back hockey champions in men's and women's at any collegiate level.[27] The university showcased its hockey tradition also winning the 2010 NCRHA Division I Collegiate Roller Hockey National Championships.[28]

Move to NCAA

Lindenwood announced in July 2010 it would become a member of the NCAA, women's ice hockey as one of the sports included in the list moving to the NCAA. Because the NCAA does not sponsor ice hockey at the Division II level, it was announced the team would compete as a member of Division I.[2] The Lindenwood Lady Lions hockey team is the first and only NCAA women's hockey program in Missouri.[29] The 2010–11 season would be the Lady Lions last as members of the CCWHA and the ACHA DI as part of the team's transition to the NCAA. The Lady Lions concluded the 2010–11 regular season with a 29–2–2 record and .909 winning percentage. The season included a 12-game win streak from November 6, 2010 until January 22, 2011 and a 3–4 loss to UMass Amherst, the team's only regulation loss during the regular season.[30] Portion of the 12-game win streak include a 6-game shutout streak during which the Lady Lions outscored opponents 54–0.[30] The Lady Lions set a program record on January 29, 2011 when the team put up 30 goals against Northern Michigan,[31] surpassing a previous record of 16 goals against Penn State on March 8, 2007 and 17 goals against Western Michigan set earlier the same season on December 5, 2011.[30] The Lady Lions concluded the 2010–11 regular season with a 29–2–2 record and overall record of 33–3–2. The team won a fourth consecutive CCWHA title in a 3–0 win over Grand Valley State,[32] The Lady Lions advanced through pool play before falling 1–3 to rival Michigan State in the semifinal round, taking third place.[33]

In the July 2011, Lindenwood announced the 2011–12 schedule, the first of NCAA competition in program history. The schedule included 22 games against NCAA Division I competition, including an inaugural NCAA two-game series against the defending NCAA National Champion Wisconsin Badgers;[34] seven games against NCAA Division III; and five games against former ACHA Division I rivals Robert Morris (IL) and Grand Valley State[34] In September 2011, it was announced that Lindenwood officially submitted an application to join College Hockey America (CHA) for the 2012–2013 season.[35] Lindenwood was admitted into the conference on November 11, 2011 and will begin conference play starting in the 2012–13 season along with Penn State, bringing the CHA's membership to six members.[36] The team finished the 2011–12 season with a record of 8–21–0, not including 3–0–0 record in exhibition play. Although the team was winless in their four regulation games at home, the team finished the season on a six-game win streak that included the program's first win against an NCAA Division I opponent and first shutout of an NCAA Division I opponent with a 4–0 win over Sacred Heart on January 20, 2012.[37] Lindenwood earned its first series sweep in program history over an NCAA Division I opponent on January 21, 2012 with a 5–2 win against Sacred Heart.[38] The Lady Lions ended the game scoring a season-high nine goals and outshooting Saint Michael's 53–12 in the 9–1 win. Lindenwood finished the season on a season high six game win streak and won eight NCAA games overall. In addition Lindenwood swept its exhibition series against rival Robert Morris Illinois.[39] Lindenwood's exhibition series against Grand Valley State scheduled for February 17 and 18 was cancelled.[39] The team finished the season tied for first in the NCAA in shorthanded goals but also recorded the second most penalties. Special teams proved difficult in the program's first season in the NCAA, the Lady Lions were ranked 20th in power play percentage, converting on 21 of 140 power play opportunities. The team finished last, 35th, in penalty killing percentage, having 10 of 163 attempts.[40] Freshman forward, Alison Wickenheiser lead the team with 19 goals, 17 assists for 36 points in 29 games.[41] Wickenheiser lead the team in all three categories: goals, assists and points and finished the 30th ranked offensive player in the NCAA.[41] In goal, freshman Taylor Fairchild recorded a 5–18–0 record, playing 1,400 minutes in goal and stopping 984 shots.[41]

Season by season results

Won Championship Lost Championship Conference Champions League Leader
Year Coach W L T Conference Conf.
W
Conf.
L
Conf.
T
Finish Conference Tournament NCAA Tournament
2020-21 Shelley Looney 2 14 1 CHA 2 13 1 5th Lost Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse (0–6) Did not qualify
2019-20 Shelley Looney 5 25 5 CHA 3 15 2 6th Lost Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse (0–4) Did not qualify
2018–19 Scott Spencer 7 22 4 CHA 3 14 3 6th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse (1–4) Did not qualify
2017–18 Scott Spencer 10 20 1 CHA 8 12 0 5th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Penn State (1–2) Did not qualify
2016–17 Scott Spencer 6 25 2 CHA 3 16 1 6th CHA Won Quarterfinals vs. Mercyhurst (3–2)
Lost Semifinals vs. Robert Morris (1-2)
Did not qualify
2015–16 Scott Spencer 9 24 4 CHA 5 11 4 5th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Robert Morris (4–3, 1–3, 1–5) Did not qualify
2014–15 Scott Spencer 10 21 2 CHA 7 11 2 5th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Penn State (0–1, 1–3) Did not qualify
2013–14 Vince O'Mara 5 26 3 CHA 5 13 2 5th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse (1–4, 0–6) Not eligible*
2012–13 Vince O'Mara 7 26 3 CHA 7 10 3 5th CHA Lost Quarterfinals vs. Robert Morris (1–2 3OT, 0–2) Not eligible*
2011–12 Vince O'Mara 8 21 0 Independent Not eligible*
2010–11 Vince O'Mara 33 3 2 Third Place in ACHA Tournament
2009–10 Vince O'Mara 43 2 2 ACHA National Champion
2008–09 Vince O'Mara 32 3 3 ACHA National Champion
2007–08 Vince O'Mara 36 3 0 ACHA National Champion
2006–07 Vince O'Mara 27 6 1 ACHA National Runner-Up
2005–06 Vince O'Mara 29 3 0 ACHA National Champion
2004–05 Vince O'Mara 24 3 0 ACHA National Quarterfinal
2003–04 Vince O'Mara 17 3 3 Fifth Place in ACHA Tournament

* Note: From 2012–2014 LU not eligible for NCAA post season due to transition process from NAIA to NCAA.

Vince O'Mara behind the bench of the Lindenwood women's ice hockey team.
Vince O'Mara behind the bench of the Lindenwood women's ice hockey team.

Coaches

From the program's inception to the end of the 2013–2014 season, Vince O'Mara was the head coach of the Lady Lions women's ice hockey program. Prior to joining the NCAA, O'Mara was a 2-time ACHA Coach of the Year (2005–06,[42] 2009–10[43]). He has compiled a record of 241–26–11 over 8 seasons behind the bench of the Lady Lions and is currently 0–1–0 against NCAA Division I opponents, 9–4–1 against NCAA Division III opponents, and 231–21–10 against ACHA opponents. In 2010 O'Mara was named assistant coach on the 2011 United States University Women’s Select Team that competed at the 2011 Winter World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey.[44]

Following the 2013–2014 season, O'Mara's contract was not renewed owing largely to their 20–73–6 record in Division 1. Scott Spencer was hired to replace O'Mara. Spencer spent 2012–2014 with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, BC after spending 2006–2011 as an assistant coach for Robert Morris and 2005 as an assistant coach at Ohio State.[45]

After the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, the program announced head coach Scott Spencer had been relieved of his duties and was beginning a search for a new head coach. Spencer compiled a 42-112-13 record in his five seasons at Lindenwood, including a 26-64-10 mark inside conference play. A few months later former Olympic gold medalist Shelley Looney was hired to replace Spencer.

Players

Current roster

As of October 3, 2021[46]

No. S/P/C Player Class Pos Height DoB Hometown Previous team
1 Pennsylvania Annika Asplundh Senior G 5' 7" (1.7 m) New Hope, Pennsylvania New Jersey Colonials
2 Illinois Rachel Goff Junior F 5' 0" (1.52 m) Naperville, Illinois Chicago Mission
4 New York (state) Casey Adimey Senior D 5' 8" (1.73 m) Amherst, New York UMass Boston
7 Ontario Sierra Burt Graduate F 5' 6" (1.68 m) Bayfield, Ontario Bluewater Junior Hawks
8 Ontario Maddison Stitt Senior D 5' 10" (1.78 m) Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Lady Senators
9 Ontario Meara Ryan Junior F 5' 7" (1.7 m) Pembroke, Ontario Ottawa Lady Senators
10 Minnesota Sarah Dravis Sophomore F 5' 2" (1.57 m) Rochester, Minnesota Lourdes
11 Texas Sydney Rarick Freshman F 5' 6" (1.68 m) Houston, Texas Selects Hockey Academey
13 Illinois Megan Wagner Graduate F 5' 1" (1.55 m) Niles, Illinois Chicago Mission
14 Michigan Morgan Neitzke Freshman F 5' 7" (1.7 m) Jackson, Michigan Honeybaked AAA
15 Ontario Sydney Mcash Freshman F 5' 7" (1.7 m) Clinton, Ontario Bluewater Hawks
16 Kansas Kaitlin Finnegan Sophomore F 5' 4" (1.63 m) Tecumseh, Kansas Dallas Stars Elite
17 Ontario Gigi Pora Junior F 5' 8" (1.73 m) Greely, Ontario Ottawa Lady Senators
18 Texas Teagan Heaslip Sophomore F 5' 7" (1.7 m) Fort Worth, Texas Meijer AAA Hockey
19 Illinois Valerie Caldwell Graduate F 5' 6" (1.68 m) Glenview, Illinois University of Vermont
20 Indiana Madilynn Hickey Junior F 5' 6" (1.68 m) Lowell, Indiana Culver Academy
22 Norway Thea Jørgensen Sophomore D 5' 9" (1.75 m) Oslo, Norway Linkoping Hockey Club
24 Ontario Jada Burke Senior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) Nepean, Ontario Nepean Wildcats
25 Minnesota Chloe Corbin Sophomore F 5' 7" (1.7 m) Maple Grove, Minnesota Maple Grove
26 Michigan Kayla Martinez Senior D 5' 7" (1.7 m) Livonia, Michigan Detroit Honeybaked
27 Minnesota Brooke Pioske Freshman D 5' 7" (1.7 m) Mound, Minnesota Mound Westonka
30 Michigan Julia Maguire Junior G 5' 7" (1.7 m) Muskegon, Michigan Mercyhurst University
31 New York (state) Emily Finach Freshman G 5' 7" (1.7 m) Hamburg, New York Selects Hockey Academy U19
35 Michigan Natalie Ferenc Junior G 5' 5" (1.65 m) West Bloomfield, Michigan University of Vermont

Awards and honors

College Hockey America

International play

In February 2016, Nicole Hensley was named one of three goaltenders to compete for the United States women's national ice hockey team at the 2016 IIHF Women's World Championship in Kamloops, BC.[50]

Championships

School records

The following are the Lindenwood school records. Statistics are accurate as of the 2009–10 season.[51][52][53]

Note: Italics indicate a player is still an active Lady Lion.

Individual records

Team records

Lions in professional hockey

= CWHL All-Star = NWHL All-Star = Clarkson Cup Champion = Isobel Cup Champion