Five Connecticut Whale players have been selected to play in the upcoming National Women’s Hockey League All-Star game on February 12 in Pittsburgh.
Kelly Babstock, the NWHL’s leading scorer with six goals, eight assists and 14 points, was named to the team by a select group of media that follow the league. Forwards Kelly Stack (5-4, 9 points), Haley Skarupa (5-5, 10) and Dana Trivigno (3-2, 5) were also selected to play in the All-Star Game.
Whale goalie Nicole Stock (3-3, 2.41 ERA) was also selected to play.
Stack, who will be playing in the game for the second consecutive year, will play for the Amanda Kessel team along with Trivigno and Stock. Stack was the No. 1 pick by Kessel in the draft with All-Star captain Kelley Steadman. Babstock and Skarupa are playing on Team Steadman.
It is the first NWHL All-Star Game appearance for Babstock, Stock and Connecticut rookies Skarupa and Trivigno. The All-Star game is Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Lemieux Sports Complex, the state-of-the-art practice facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The NWHL Skills Showdown will be Saturday, Feb. 11, at 4 p.m.
Team Kessel will be coached by Riveters head coach Chad Wiseman, while Team Steadman will be led by Riveters assistant coach Sis Paulsen. Babstock and New York’s Ashley Johnston were selected by a panel of NWHL reporters. Boston’s Gigi Marvin, Buffalo’s Harrison Browne, New York’s Madison Packer and New York’s Rebecca Russo were the fans’ four picks.
Last year, Connecticut had four players in the All-Star game – Stack, goalie Jamie Leonoff, defenseman Jordan Brickner and Buffalo defenseman Shiann Darkangelo, who earned a trip to Pittsburgh this year.
The Whale (4-6) return to the ice on Sunday when they host defending NWHL champion Boston (8-0) at the Northford Ice Arena in North Branford at 3 p.m. It’s the beginning of a two-game series for the two teams in North Branford. Boston, which had a league-high eight players selected for the All-Star game, returns to Northford on Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m. The Whale will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
Goaltenders (2): Brittany Ott, Boston; Nicole Stock, Connecticut
Defenders (4): Kacey Bellamy, Boston; Megan Bozek, Buffalo; Courtney Burke, New York; Gigi Marvin, Boston
Forwards (8): Harrison Browne, Buffalo; Meghan Duggan, Boston; Zoe Hickel, Boston; Amanda Kessel, New York; Hilary Knight, Boston; Rebecca Russo, New York; Kelli Stack, Connecticut; Dana Trivigno, Connecticut
Goaltenders (2): Katie Fitzgerald, New York; Brianne McLaughlin, Buffalo
Defenders (4): Blake Bolden, Boston; Kaleigh Fratkin, New York; Emily Pfalzer, Buffalo; Ashley Johnston, New York
Forwards (8): Kelly Babstock, Connecticut; Corinne Buie, Buffalo; Alex Carpenter, Boston; Shiann Darkangelo, Buffalo; Brianna Decker, Boston; Madison Packer, New York; Haley Skarupa, Connecticut; Kelley Steadman, Bufffalo