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STAMFORD, Conn. – Five former Quinnipiac women's ice hockey players attended the first professional summer training camp of the newly formed National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) on May 9 and 10 at Chelsea Piers Rink in Stamford, Conn.
Seniors Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minnesota), Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa), and Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Michigan) along with former players Kelly Babstock and Elena Orlando took part in the first summer training camp of the league with the only Connecticut-based team in the league, the Connecticut Whale.
The open tryout featured 28 players including 19 forwards, four defenseman and five goaltenders. Included among the 28 players were 19 former Division I women's ice hockey players, seven of whom just completed their senior seasons this year.
Laden, Fritz-Ward and Darkangelo just finished their senior seasons with the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team, leading the Bobcats to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. The Bobcats also picked up their most wins in program history with a 26-9-3 record and 15-5-2 record in ECAC Hockey play, also a program record for conference wins.
Laden set numerous program records this season between the pipes for Quinnipiac. She went 25-9-2, winning the most games in program history. Laden also recorded the lowest single-season GAA in program history (1.19), most single-season shutouts in program history and ECAC Hockey history (16), lowest career GAA in program history (1.56) and tied for the most career shutouts in program history (25).
Darkangelo finished her playing career with 102 points, tallying 56 goals and 46 assists between Syracuse and Quinnipiac. As a senior, Darkangelo tallied 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. Also during her senior season, Darkangelo was named to the US Women's Senior National Team for Four Nations Cup.
Fritz-Ward tallied a career-high 19 points as a senior for the Bobcats with four goals and a career-high 15 assists. In her four-year career, Fritz-Ward recorded 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points. This past season, she was named the Team MVP, as voted on by her teammates.
Babstock finished her four-year career for the Bobcats in 2014 before playing two seasons for the Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team while she finished her graduate degree. Babstock recorded a program record 203 points in her career, with 95 goals and 108 assists. In her lacrosse career, Babstock scored 33 goals and assisted 14 more for 54 points.
Orlando was a dual athlete for two seasons as she played both women's ice hockey and joined the women's rugby team. In her ice hockey career, Orlando recorded three goals and eight assists, appearing in 84 games for the Bobcats.
The NWHL is new professional women's ice hockey league which officially launched on April 8, 2015 and will be the first paid professional women's hockey league in North America. It consists of four teams: the Connecticut Whale in Stamford, Connecticut, the New York Riveters, the Boston Pride and the Buffalo Beauts. The season will begin on October 17, 2015 and run through March 2016. Each team will play 18 games, nine home and nine away.
The league also has a draft scheduled for June 20 in which players who have completed their junior season of college hockey will be eligible to be drafted. Players not drafted, or those that have completed their senior seasons, are eligible to sign as free agents.
Three more tryout locations will be located at the sights of three other teams in the league. The New York Riveters will host tryouts on May 16 and 17 from 4:45 to 6:15 P.M. at the Twin Rinks Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York, the Boston Pride will host tryouts on the same days from 10 to 11:30 A.M. at the Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Massachusetts and the Buffalo Beauts will host tryouts on May 23 from 6:15 to 7:45 P.M. and May 24 from 3:45 to 5:15 P.M. at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York.