Dani Sibley, a senior forward from Wisconsin-River Falls and the leading scorer in NCAA Division III women’s hockey, is the recipient of the 2017 Laura Hurd Award.
The award, voted on by the nation’s Division III head coaches, is presented to the best player at the NCAA women’s Division III level.
A native of Monticello, Minn., Sibley recorded 27 goals and 65 points in 29 games this season, leading the nation in assists and short-handed goals (4).
In her remarkably consistent career, the two-time All-American had 81 goals and 87 assists for 168 points. Included among those 81 goals were seven career SHGs and 15 game winners.
She was chosen WIAC Player of the Year this season.
“Dani has worked extremely hard every year to become the player that she is today,” said UW-River Falls head coach Joe Cranston in a news release. “She is not only the best player I have ever coached, but also the best player I have ever seen at the D-III level. Dani is also a two-way player – she is a backchecking machine, and she leads our forwards in blocked shots.
“Since joining the WIAC four years ago, Dani has lead our team to four straight regular season conference championships, and four straight conference tournament championships. She helped her team to three straight NCAA Frozen Four championships, and she dominated in those games. Dani has played in nine NCAA tournament games over the past three years, and she scored four goals and seven assists for 11 points in those games. Dani is a leader, team captain, a very good student and an all around great kid. She is truly the best player I have ever had the privilege of coaching.”
Sibley is the first player from the WIAC to win the Hurd Award and only the fourth skater from the West to be so honored in the 18-year history of the award.
The runner-up for this year’s Hurd Award was Kristin Lewicki, a senior forward from Adrian. Lewicki, whose squad is competing this weekend in the NCAA Division III championships in Adrian, Mich., is two points behind Sibley with 63 points this season.
The award is named in honor of former Elmira star Laura Hurd who died in a car accident shortly after graduation. Hurd was a four-time All-American who led Elmira to victory in the first NCAA Division III women’s championship.