CHA Season in Review: Farewell to the Class of 2015

As part of our Season in Review, AES will recognize the careers of several outstanding seniors from around each conference. Here’s a look at seven players from College Hockey America who have contributed an exceptional amount to their programs and to women’s college hockey.

For a look at Hockey East’s Class of 2015, please click here.

Ali Binnington, Goaltender, RIT

1.73 GAA, .937 save percentage, 49-30-9 record in 92 career games

No single player helped smooth over the Tigers’ transition to Division I more so than Binnington. She was a member of RIT’s Division III national championship squad in 2012, and continued to put up stellar numbers once the team made the jump the following season. She shattered the Tigers’ career saves record with 2,292, and also now owns the program shutout record with 19. She ranks third in save percentage for RIT all-time and second all-time in wins. Binnington backstopped the Tigers to consecutive CHA Tournament championships in 2014 and 2015, earning Most Valuable Player honors in both cases and helping the team capture its first NCAA Division I Tournament bid in 2015. As a freshman, Binnington was selected to the ECAC West All-Rookie Team and was also named the CHA’s Goaltender of the Year in 2013-14.

Molly Byrne, Defense, Mercyhurst

20 goals, 97 assists, 117 points in 143 career games

Byrne’s dynamic presence will be missed on the Mercyhurst blue line in the years to come. Her production provided the Lakers with an offensive boost throughout her career, beginning with her freshman season, when she scored at a point-per-game clip en route to winning the league’s Best Defenseman award. She earned a place on both the All-CHA Rookie Team and First Team in 2011-12 as well. Byrne was a four-time All-CHA honoree, collecting Second Team honors in 2012-13 before garnering Best Defenseman accolades once again the following seasons as a junior and senior. In all, she was a three-time All-CHA First Team selection, and finishes her career as one of the most decorated defensemen in program and league history.

Akane Hosoyamada, Defense, Syracuse

10 goals, 51 assists, 61 points in 151 career games

Hosoyamada closes out her career as one of the best defensemen to skate for the Orange. She holds the program record for most career points by a defenseman with 61, which is good enough for eighth all-time in program history. She also finishes as the Orange’s all-time leader in games played with 151, and second in Syracuse history with 51 career assists. Hosoyamada was named to the All-CHA Rookie Team in 2010-11, and after redshirting the following season due to injury, she picked up the league’s Best Defenseman award as a sophomore in 2012-13. She was tabbed to All-CHA Teams twice in her career, once as a First Team selection in 2012-13 and again as a Second Team pick in 2014-15.

Amanda Makela, Goaltender, Mercyhurst

1.72 GAA, .925 save percentage, 52-21-8 record in 84 career games

Makela’s 781 saves in the 2013-14 season are a single-season program record, while she ranks fourth on the Lakers’ all-time list of career saves with 1,683. She is sixth in program history in career goals-against average, and ranks first in career saves per game at 20.03. A three-year starter for Mercyhurst, Makela provided the club with dependable goaltending, and grew into one of the team’s most valuable players by the 2014-15 season, when she was named the CHA’s Goaltender of the Year.

Kolbee McCrea, Forward, RIT

68 goals, 36 assists, 104 points in 122 career games

McCrea spent two seasons at the Division III level and two at Division I with the Tigers, so she was also a part of their national championship team and both CHA Tournament championship squads. She ranks ninth on their career scoring list, and she’s also the ninth player in their history to break the 100-point barrier. McCrea finishes third in program history in goals with 68 and tied for second in power-play goals with 21, and owns the program record for penalty minutes with 230 in her career. She collected All-ECAC West Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2011-12 as she helped RIT capture the national title.

Rebecca Vint, Forward, Robert Morris

73 goals, 61 assists, 134 points in 127 career games

Vint ends her career atop the Colonials’ all-time points list with 134, and first in program history with 73 career goals. Although her production tailed off in her final season, she posted two 40-point seasons at Robert Morris and finishes her career as a point-per-game player. The Colonials have always counted on Vint to produce; she put together two different 12-game point streaks, the longest individual streaks all-time for the program. Her 18 career game-winners double Brianna Delaney’s output, ranking Vint first there as well. She was named the CHA’s Rookie of the Year in 2011-12, and is a four-time All-CHA Team honoree, making the First Team three times and the Second Team once.

Alyssa West, Forward, Lindenwood

26 goals, 42 assists, 68 points in 121 career games

West helped usher the Lions into the program’s Division I era, as her freshman season was their first year as a DI independent school. As part of the first DI graduating class, she was a key player for Lindenwood as it made its transition. She finishes atop the program in points with 68, assists with 42, and power-plays goals with 11. West is also second in career goals with 26 and third in scoring rate at 0.56 points per game. The Lions’ Division I history is short, but West helped write it all to this point, and ends her career as one of the most important players in their start at the NCAA level.

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