Seniors Hannah Okerstrom and Sara Bustad were voted co-Most Valuable Players for the Stillwater girls’ hockey team, which was announced at its postseason awards banquet earlier this spring.
Okerstrom led the Ponies in scoring with 24 goals and 15 assists for 39 points while Bustad, a Minnesota State-Mankato recruit, ranked second with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points. Okerstrom also led the way with a team-high six game-winning goals and the players combined for 10 of team’s 23 power play goals.
Dana Almquist and Katie Casto joined Okerstrom and Bustad in earning all-conference honors for the Ponies, who finished with a 15-11-1 record — including 12-6-0 to place third in the Suburban East Conference. Stillwater fell to Roseville 2-1 in the Section 4AA semifinals.
Hannah Heacox, Jane Vezina, Carlie Hart, Ali Biagini and Sierra Smith were honorable mention all-conference selections.
Bustad, who was named to the All-Pioneer Press First Team, also received the Rink Rat Award. Brianna Hersom and Kourtney Jancze were co-recipients of the Most Improved Player Award while Lauren Greeder was selected the Rookie of the Year.
The Hustle Award was presented to Okerstrom and Heacox, who was also named the Most Determined Player. Casto claimed the Norris Award as the team’s best defenseman. Vezina earned the Old Time Hockey Award and Almquist received the Hobey Baker Award.
Several awards were also handed out to members of the JV team, which named Olivia Arkell its Most Valuable Player following a 22-1-1 season.
Casto, who 10 assists ranked third on the team, was the inaugural recipient of the Marah Sobczak Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence. Sobczak is the former Stillwater and Gustavus goaltender who, along with her younger sister Kalley, have shown tremendous strength and perseverance in the months that followed a head-on crash that occurred in Lake Elmo in August, resulting in numerous surgeries.
In addition to their on-ice success, Stillwater players excelled in the classroom led by Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association Academic All-State selections Casto and Almquist, who were joined by teammates Samantha Scheid, Smith, Vezina and Olivia Konigson in being named to the Pony All-Academic Team.
Also announced at the banquet is that Vezina, Taylor Naugle, Scheid and Smith will serve as captains for the 2013-14 team.
All-Conference: Dana Almquist, Sara Bustad, Hannah Okerstrom and Katie Casto; All-Conference Honorable Mention: Hannah Heacox, Jane Vezina, Carlie Hart, Ali Biagini and Sierra Smith; All-Pioneer Press First Team: Sara Bustad; Pony All-Academic Team: Katie Casto, Dana Almquist, Samantha Scheid, Sierra Smith, Jane Vezina and Olivia Konigson; MGHCA Academic All-State: Katie Casto, Dana Almquist; Most Improved Player: Brianna Hersom, Kourtney Jancze and Rose Bruchu (JV); Rookie of the Year: Lauren Greeder; Most Determined Player: Hannah Heacox and Brooke Gedatus (JV); Rink Rat Award: Sara Bustad and Katie Bartelings (JV); Norris Award: Dana Almquist and Brianna Gedatus (JV); Hustle Award: Hannah Heacox, Hannah Okerstrom and Brooke Gedatus (JV); Marah Sobczak Award: Katie Casto; Old Time Hockey Award: Jane Vezina and Bailey Beane (JV); Hobey Baker Character Award: Dana Almquist; Most Valuable JV Player: Olivia Arkell; Most Valuable Player: Sara Bustad and Hannah Okerstrom; Captains elect: Jane Vezina, Taylor Naugle, Samantha Scheid and Sierra Smith.