COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey senior goalie Nicole Talcott (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) was named to the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) All-Conference second team on Wednesday, based on voting by coaches from around the league. Junior goalie Vika Simons (Essex Junction, Vt./Minnesota Duluth Club) earned an All-Rookie Team selection, while classmate Torrie Gray (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) claimed All-Sportswomanship Team accolades.
Talcott was among 14 student-athletes who nabbed NEWHA All-Conference honors, with seven split between the two teams, and one of two goalies. This was her first career postseason award for her performance on the ice, as she becomes the fifth Purple Knight named all-league, and the first netminder. Simons was one of six All-Rookie Team picks, and is the fourth player from her program to earn the honor, while Gray landed a laurel which recognizes one player from each of the NEWHA's five programs.
Talcott, the team's alternate captain, carries a 2.83 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage into the semifinal round of the NEWHA Tournament, having made all 11 of her appearances as a starter while platooning with Simons. During NEWHA play alone, Talcott was second in the league in save percentage (.938), just a fraction short of the leader, and fourth in GAA (2.30). She has come on strong during her past seven games, toting a 1.98 GAA and a .941 save percentage while going 3-3-1, while included a 50-save, 1-1 tie with Sacred Heart University on Jan. 11 and a 31-save, 5-1 victory against Post University last night during the first round of the NEWHA Tournament. Her save percentage this season is good for 27th across NCAA Division I/II women's ice hockey, better than such noteworthy counterparts as the starters for Sacred Heart and seventh-ranked Boston College.
In her first season of NCAA ice hockey, Simons has turned in a 3.68 GAA and a .912 save percentage with two shutouts, making 13 outings and 12 starts. She recorded at least 30 saves on nine occasions, including 48 and 51 in back-to-back starts against Saint Anselm College on Nov. 16-17, and 56 more during a 5-0 shutout of Post on Feb. 9. Those were the second-most stops by a Division I/II goalie in a shutout this season. Simons is the second Purple Knight goalie to land All-Rookie, joining Melanie Cullen '09, who claimed the honor in 2005-06 in the old Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East.
As put forward by head coach Chris Donovan, Gray was named to the All-Sportswomanship Team as an unheralded but key defender. Her plus-2 rating leads the Purple Knights, and she handed out three assists, all in games decided by two goals or fewer. Gray either had a positive or even +/- in 17 of her 24 games, seeing time in every contest, including going plus-2 against Post in the first-round victory on Tuesday. She added 14 blocked shots and has taken only six penalties while playing on the defensive side of the puck.
As the fourth seed in the NEWHA Tournament, the Purple and Gold takes a 7-16-1 record into a semifinal at No. 1 Saint Anselm on Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner advances to Sunday's 4 p.m. title game, also at Saint Anselm.