Four players from the Finlandia University women’s hockey program received honors from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) back on March 9.
Sara Sleik, Danielle Syrowik, and Ashley Leitch were all named to the All-NCHA Honorable Mention team. Jana Riutta was named to the 2006 All-NCHA Academic Team.
As a forward, Sleik led the Lion offense in all 25 games this season. She scored 14 goals and was credited with six assists (8-0-8 NCHA), leading the Lions in points and 13th in NCHA overall statistics.
“Sara has been an unbelievable workhorse for us game-in-and-game-out for the last two seasons,” says second-year head coach Chris Salani. “She puts everything she has into every part of her game, and it's great to see her being recognized for that as just a sophomore.”
Sophomore forward Syrowik earned nine goals and six assists in her 21 games of play (5-5-10 NCHA). Syrowik ended the season ranked 13th in NCHA conference statistics.
“Danielle has such great instincts with getting the puck to the net and being able to use her abilities to her advantage,” states Salani. “She’s definitely a threat every time she steps on the ice, and the teams of our conference certainly appreciate her abilities.”
The next award went to Leitch for her play as a defenseman. Leitch gave the Lions 14 points in her 25 games (1-4-5 NCHA).
“Ashley is by far the most improved defensemen in the conference and has proved to be as consistent a blue-line performer as there is in the league. I’m really happy for her receiving this recognition, for her best is yet to come,” states Salani.
Riutta, a junior, was named to the 2006 All-NCHA Academic Team. To be named to the team, a player must have a cumulative 3.00 grade point average, have earned at least 50 semester or 75 quarter hours, and be recommended by her head coach. Riutta is currently studying nursing at Finlandia while competing in intercollegiate athletics (women’s ice hockey and women’s softball).
“This is another example of what kind of work ethic Jana has, both on and off the ice. She has wonderful discipline and the maturity to be a positive example for her fellow student-athletes,” says Salani.
Overall, the Lady Lions finished the season with a 7-15-3 overall record (1-12-2 NCHA).