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First-Teamer Dunne Leads Five Lady Ice Lions Receiving All-ECWHL Honors

Cassie Dunne capped her Penn State career with one more honor



In a legendary career that didn't need much more bookending after captaining the U.S. National University Team to a bronze medal at the World University Games, Cassie Dunne found one last bit of icing: first-team All-ECWHL recognition.

The turn at WUG, although not specifically considered for ACHA conference awards, certainly did help the Princeton Tiger Lilies product's profile across the association. And deservedly so - only two American teams have medaled at World University Games in the modern era, and only three players in ACHA history have worn a C for those teams (Ramey Weaver captained the 2013 bronze medal squad, while Jessie Rushing was Dunne's co-captain in 2017).

Stateside, of course, Dunne has enjoyed a prolific offensive year in leading Penn State in goals with six. Five have been on the power play - setting a new team single-season record in that category - including an overtime winner at Vermont back on October 1st, PSU's first win of the season. Beyond the UVM tally, all of her scoring burned national contenders: Rhode Island (twice), Massachusetts, Michigan State and Liberty.

She becomes just the second Penn Stater to crack the ECWHL's first team since PSU re-joined the conference in 2014, joining Darby Kern in 2014-15.

The defenseman was one of the five Lady Ice Lions recognized overall, as Riley O'Connor, Meghan Miller, Meg Lydick and Kelly Watson all garnered honorable mention nods.

O'Connor, on the surface, has struggled statistically in her junior year, but the word "struggle" only really applies for those who haven't actually watched her play. She has blossomed as a leader on and off the ice, while centering PSU's top line all season long. The speedy and gritty O'Connor also scored Penn State's first shorthanded goal since 2014 on a breakaway against Liberty on January 27th. She was an All-ECWHL honorable mention in 2015-16.

Rhode Island native Miller stands as the Lady Ice Lions' leading scorer (12 points) with one game remaining in the year, but well beyond that, has been a smart and responsible two-way player either at center or on O'Connor's wing, where she has been late in the season. She has been exceptionally good down the stretch, posting eight points in PSU's last 11 games.

Lydick is perhaps the most essential player on Penn State's team: its only goalie. She has played every minute of every game for the Lady Ice Lions and, somewhat unsurprisingly given that situation, set a new single-season team saves record with 826 and counting. Lydick also set a single-game record in the category with 64 (on 68 shots) at Michigan State on January 21st and posted her first career shutout against NCAA Division III's Lebanon Valley College on February 4th.

Team captain Watson, an All-ECWHL second teamer last season, has continued as a quiet and effective model player. Her four goals are second only to Dunne among Penn Staters, including the game winner in the aforementioned LVC contest on February 4th. She also scored in both ends of the series at Vermont on September 30th and October 1st and in the ECWHL semifinals against Rhode Island.

Here is the complete list of All-ECWHL selections:

First Team
All-ECWHL
Second Team
All-ECWHL
Amber Greene
Massachusetts
G
Abbey Torres
Rhode Island
Brittani Lanzilli
Massachusetts
F
Jojo Olson
Massachusetts
Madison Balutowski
Rhode Island
F
Casey McCormick
Rhode Island
Michaela Tosone
Massachusetts
F
Janessa Courtney
Rhode Island
Cassie Dunne
Penn State
D
Tatum Schulz
Massachusetts
Vicki Bortolussi
Massachusetts
D
Alex Celia
Vermont

Honorable Mention
All-ECWHL
Pos.
School
Riley O'Connor
F
Penn State
Meghan Miller
F
Penn State
Kelly Watson
D
Penn State
Meg Lydick
G
Penn State
Carly Tashman
F
Vermont
Nicole Raccuia
F
Vermont
Estelle Ip
F
Northeastern
Christina Grassie
D
Northeastern
Tessa Griffin
G
Northeastern

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