Lovisa Selander, Brooke Stacey: VEDA Players of the Week
By Jane Norton and Nathaniel A. Oliver
For the third consecutive time to start the season, some of the new stars of the league have been crowned the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week. This time, a pair of highly impressive rookies share the title – Swedish goaltender Lovisa Selander of the Boston Pride and RPI, and Canadian forward Brooke Stacey of the Buffalo Beauts and the University of Maine.
“This is a huge honor,” said Selander, who backstopped Boston to back-to-back wins over Minnesota. “Our team had a great weekend, and my Pride teammates made it easy for me to be successful in net.”
On Saturday, Selander was credited with 47 saves and was named First Star in the Pride’s 3-1 victory. Less than 24 hours later, she stopped 35 as Boston completed the weekend sweep of Minnesota with a 5-2 win.
“It’s awesome to have Lovisa in goal for us,” said Pride defender Jenna Rheault. “She makes all of us better because you know how skilled she is, how hard she works, and that she’s going to be there to make the big save.”
Stacey’s scoring prowess helped lead Buffalo to consecutive victories over Connecticut in the Beauts’ home-opening weekend. Between the two wins, Stacey compiled three goals and an assist. She has yet to play an NWHL game where she hasn't recorded at least a point.
When told about the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week honor, Stacey was quick to credit the hockey fans of Western New York for their support all weekend at Northtown Center at Amherst.
"It felt amazing being able to see and hear all of our fans throughout the games," said Stacey, who shares the league lead in goals (6) with Boston’s McKenna Brand. "It really makes a difference when you're playing in front of people who care about the NWHL and about the Buffalo Beauts. The Beauts and I are extremely proud of what we have accomplished at this point, and happy that we had amazing fans there to witness this weekend's sweep.”
Both 23 years of age, Selander and Stacey are among the many new talents to join the NWHL this season. Selander is the NCAA’s all-time leader in saves, was team captain at RPI and was a Top Ten Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. She was also honored as RPI’s MVP, the ECAC Goaltender of the Year, ECAC All-Academic, and was RPI’s first-ever CCM/AHCA National All-America First Team selection. Prior to attending RPI, the native of Sollentuna, Sweden played for SDE of the SDHL. She represented Sweden at the 2019 World Championships and 2018 Four Nations Cup.
Stacey played four years at Maine from 2014-2018. During her senior season, she finished second on the team in points with 30 points on 13 goals and 17 assists in 36 games. As a junior, she finished tied for first on the team in points with 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) and was selected as a Hockey East All-Star Honorable Mention. Before Maine, Stacey won gold with U18 Team Canada at Nationals. In 2017, she played for Team Canada at the Nations Cup.
“I wanted to join the NWHL and the Buffalo Beauts because of the great opportunity presented to me,” said Stacey. “I wanted to be part of a league that has played a vital role in advancing women’s hockey.”
Stacey and Selander have both made the most of their opportunities and exceeded expectations less than one month into their rookie seasons. The Pride, Beauts and the NWHL are ecstatic over what they’ve brought to the league on and off the ice.
The Pride are back home this weekend at Boston's Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m. against the Riveters, while Stacey and the Beauts return to action on Nov. 17 at Connecticut. Tickets for all games are available now at www.nwhl.zone/tickets and at the arena on the day of games.
Photo Credit: Michelle Jay, Mike Hetzel