COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kassidy Sauve, a redshirt junior on the Ohio State women’s hockey team, has been selected the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. Sauve was a Second Team All-American in 2016-17 after setting single season school records in saves and save percentage.
The league also announced its annual WCHA Head Coaches’ Preseason Poll. The Buckeyes were tied for third with Minnesota Duluth, behind Minnesota and Wisconsin. Coaches could not vote for their own teams in the poll and points were awarded on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 system.
“We are very excited here in Columbus to start off a new year,” Nadine Muzerall said on the WCHA preseason conference call Tuesday. “We are grateful we are tied for third in the WCHA [poll]. It’s been a while since we’ve been ranked that high and that’s the goal - we want to continue to strive to be better each year. Our team continues to grow with our new staff and our new direction.”
Last season, Sauve, who started 36 of 37 games for the Buckeyes, earned All-WCHA Second Team honors and was a three-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. She finished the season as the all-time single-season saves (1,135) and save percentage (.942) leader in Ohio State history and posted six shutouts to bring her career total to 12, tying the program’s record. This summer, Sauve was invited to and participated in Canada’s National Women’s Development Team Camp.
“As we recruit, we like to recruit from the back up,” Muzerall said. “We have, I think, the best goalie in the country, not just in our league, with Kassidy Sauve. We look for her to quarterback our team.”
The Buckeyes open their season with an exhibition game vs. the South Korean National Team at 7 p.m. Sept. 26. The regular season starts with a two-game series vs. Rensselaer in Columbus. The Buckeyes and Engineers will meet at 6:07 p.m. Sept. 29 and at 3:07 p.m. Sept. 30. Both games will be played in OSU Ice Rink, with free admission.