NWHL FOUNDATION AWARD WINNERS: BENDER, BRICKNER, MORSE, RUGGIERO & THUNSTROM
The recipients of the 2019-20 NWHL Foundation Awards were announced today by the league. Selected by the NWHL in consultation with the staff of each team, the Foundation Awards are presented annually to “the players most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community as well as growing and improving hockey culture.”
There were innumerable candidates for the Foundation Awards, but these five honorees were selected for their work on and off the ice during the league’s historic fifth season:
Lexi Bender, Boston Pride
Jordan Brickner, Connecticut Whale
Rebecca Morse, Metropolitan Riveters
Emma Ruggiero, Buffalo Beauts
Allie Thunstrom, Minnesota Whitecaps
In the 2019-20 season, the NWHL was blessed by the presence of every one of the more than 110 players who competed on the ice while promoting not just women’s professional hockey but the game at all levels and for everyone. The league has dozens of players who are program leaders, coaches and volunteers in girls’ hockey, and every player builds connections with the fans –whether it’s through the post-game meet-and-greets, at special events, or via social media.
In addition, through collaborations with teams like the Bruins, Wild, Rangers and Lightning, or led entirely by NWHL teams and players, youth clinics were conducted all over the country in the last year. As just one example of a superb player and role model, Boston’s Lexi Bender – also currently a law student at Northeastern – not only is a regular and the Pride/Bruins Learn to Play events, but she has been instrumental in advancing the game in her home state of Washington.
“Through their hard work and generosity of spirit with fans and young players, Lexi Bender, Jordan Brickner, Rebecca Morse, Emma Ruggiero, and Allie Thunstrom are extremely worthy recipients of the 2019-20 NWHL Foundation Awards,” said NWHL Deputy Commissioner/Director of Player Development Michelle Picard. “They are phenomenal representatives for our league, and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work this season.”