PHF News & Signings – Getting Closer to Hockey

Here is some news and notes for the PHF:

Connecticut:

The Whale today announced their Covid policy for their fans this season:

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Metropolitan:

The Riveters announced their Training Camp roster. Here is the list of players they released:

Minnesota:

The Whitecaps announced 3 player signings over the past few days.

Audra Morrison, F

Here is the full press release:

AUDRA (NÉE RICHARDS) MORRISON REJOINS WHITECAPS

St. Paul, MN- The Minnesota Whitecaps are getting back one of their top-depth players for the 2021-22 Premier Hockey Federation season.

Audra (née Richards) Morrison has re-signed with the Whitecaps; this will be her third season with the team after making her professional debut with the Riveters in the 2018-19 season.

“Audra has been a strong offensive player for us that battles hard. She is strong in front of the net and has been helpful for us winning net-front battles,” said Minnesota co-head coach Ronda Engelhardt. “She will continue to add depth to our offense.”

Morrison has been an integral part of the Whitecaps during her time with the team, especially during the abbreviated season in Lake Placid last year. The Maplewood, MN native had a point-per-game average in four games at LP, picking up a goal and three assists. She was nearly as productive during the 2019-20 season, scoring 20 points (9G, 11A) in 24 regular-season games. That performance was good enough to get her a nod for the 2020 All-Star Game. Morrison was also a part of the Whitecaps’ Isobel Cup championship run that same season.

Before turning pro, Morrison played four seasons for the University of Maine, where she broke the team record for most games played with 132 total. She finished her career with 70 points (45G, 25A) and left her name in the record books; her 45 career goals were the fifth most in team history.

“I am extremely excited to be playing another season with the Whitecaps. I take huge pride in being a member of this club, as they are all like family to me,” said Morrison on rejoining Minnesota. “Our team is hungry to get back on the ice and compete for the Isobel Cup. See you on the ice as Audra Morrison #21. Roll Caps!”

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Jonna Curtis, F

Here is the full press release:

St. Paul, MN- One of the Whitecaps best forwards will be back on the ice for Minnesota next season. All-star Jonna Curtis signed a contract for the 2021-22 Premier Hockey Federation season, the Whitecaps announced on …. This will be the Elk River, MN native’s fourth season with Minnesota.

ISOBEL CUP CHAMPION CURTIS RETURNS TO WHITECAPS

“I am so happy to be back for season 7 in the PHF,” said Curtis. “I truly am grateful to still be playing competitively with and against so many talented players.”

Though she stands at just 5’4”, Curtis has made a big impression on the ice, quickly becoming one of the most exciting players to watch in the PHF. She’s averaged more than a point per game in her PHF/NWHL career, posting 56 points (23G, 33A) in 41 games. After scoring 19 points in 16 games during her rookie season, she was named the NWHL’s Newcomer of the Year en route to the Whitecaps’ first Isobel Cup title. The following year, she exploded offensively, scoring 14 goals and 22 assists in 21 games and helping the Whitecaps earn another berth in the Isobel Cup Final.

“Jonna is a fierce competitor and tenacious on the puck. She is one of the shiftiest players and is fun to watch offensively,” said co-head coach Ronda Engelhardt. “We are excited to have her back as a key member of our offense.”

Before turning pro, Curtis played at the University of New Hampshire. She put up 106 points (54G, 52A) during her time there, and led the team in goals during her three final seasons. During the 2016-17 season, she ranked fourth in Hockey East in points scored and goals, and put up the second most power-play points in Hockey East as well (16).

Mak Langei, D

A first round signing coming to the Whitecaps this season, here is what I wrote about her on draft night.

6- Minnesota Whitecaps – D Mak Langei, Bemidji State University

This was the last pick of the first round. The defender hails from East Grand Forks, MN. She played 4 years at Bemidji State University. During her senior year, she was captain of the team. In the 130 games she played, she scored 11 goals and added 36 assists for a total of 47 points.

Here is the full press release:

WHITECAPS INK 2021 FIRST ROUND PICK MAK LANGEI

St. Paul, MN- The Minnesota Whitecaps have inked their top pick from the 2021 NWHL Draft.

Defender Mak Langei has signed a deal with the Whitecaps for the upcoming 2021-22 Premier Hockey Federation season. Langei was the Whitecaps’ first-round pick at the most recent draft, going sixth overall.

“Being drafted and signing with the Whitecaps is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for,” said Langei on the start of her pro career. “To be able to not only keep playing the game I love, but to also continue paving the path for future generations is something that all athletes wish to be part of.”

Langei has played her entire career in Minnesota, and she’ll continue that trend with the Whitecaps. The East Forks, MN native most recently played for Bemidji State University. During her four years there, she posted 47 points (11G, 36A) in 130 career games played, and served as the team’s captain as a senior. She also led the WCHA and was second overall in Division I in blocked shots her final year. The 5’5” blueliner finished her time at Bemidji ranked eighth in career points by a defender, seventh in career goals by a defender, and eighth in career assists by a defender.

“Mak Langei was one of the top defensive defensemen in the WCHA last season,” said general manager and co-head coach Jack Brodt. “Her ability to block shots, win battles in the D zone, and break the puck out will be very important to the Whitecaps’ success in season 7.”

Langei also played one year with the USA U18 national team at the 2015-16 World Junior Championships. She finished that tournament with one assist in five games and won gold with Team USA.

“I’m beyond thankful for not only those involved with the Whitecaps organization but also everyone in my support system, especially my family,” said Langei. “I’m excited to get things started and learn from my teammates both on and off the ice.”

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Buffalo:

The Beauts announced that they are bringing in original PHF defender Elena Orlando into their roster. Orlando played for the Riveters in the first year of the league, then spent the next 5 seasons with the Whale.

You can check out the full press release here:

BEAUTS BRING ORLANDO OUT OF RETIREMENT

Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Beauts announced a big move by signing an original NWHL/PHF player. Defender Elena Orlando has decided to come out of retirement and join Buffalo’s blue line for her seventh straight season in the league. The 29-year-old stay-at-home defender is an original member of the Metropolitan Riveters from the inaugural 2015-16 season. Orlando followed that up with five straight seasons for the Connecticut Whale. Now she will make Buffalo her third destination in her PHF career.

“After retiring, the feeling of being done never really set in,” Orlando said. “I still had the desire to play and compete. When I was approached with the opportunity in Buffalo, looking at the great organization they have and the strong team they put together, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. ” 

Orlando is known for her defensive prowess and shot-blocking ability. In 89 career regular season PHF games she has gone 0-7-7 for scoring.  In 2019-20 Orlando tied for fifth in the league in blocked shots with 23 stops in 24 regular season games. In the abbreviated 2020-21 season, she blocked seven shots in only four games. Her longevity and defensive prowess have seen Orlando be a recipient of multiple PHF honors. In 2017 she was Connecticut’s winner of the league’s Foundation Award. 2020 would see her selected to participate in the All-Star Game. 

“It is a great opportunity for our organization to have added such a well-respected and steadfast player like Lando,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “She has been in the league since its very beginning, and that is a testament to both her ability level and her dependability. You don’t simply play nearly 100 games in the PHF (96 games regular season and playoffs combined) without being a topnotch player who has remained relevant as women’s hockey continues to grow. Very few players in the world like Elena.”

Orlando played her collegiate career with Quinnipiac University from 2010-11 through 2013-14. With the Bobcats she went 3-8-11 for scoring in 85 career NCAA games. Orlando played the 2014-15 season in Sweden for Sundsvall/Timrå in the SDHL. There she raised her offense by scoring five goals and four assists for nine points in 14 postseason contests. 

Orlando is very excited to be joining the Beauts and having the opportunity to finally raise the Isobel Cup. 

“I can’t wait to start practices and training with my new teammates,” she said. “They’ve made a lot of changes in the off-season, brought in some big pieces, and I feel like this is a team people should be excited about. I’m really thrilled to be part of this organization.”

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