Liz Schepers played a big role in PWHL Minnesota’s run to the Walker Cup. (Photo by: Kelly Hagenson/PWHL)

Trio of Walter Cup champion forwards agree to one-year contract extensions

 St. Paul, MN (June 21, 2024) – PWHL Minnesota announced today the re-signing of three players from its Walter Cup championship team. Forwards Michela Cava, Denisa Křížová, and Liz Schepers have all agreed to one-year contract extensions with Cava and Schepers inked for the 2024-25 Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season

Michela Cava

and Křížová committed through 2025-26 after her initial two-year deal.

 Cava, a Thunder Bay, Ontario native, played in all 24 regular season games for PWHL Minnesota during the inaugural season, finishing with eight points (5G, 3A). The 30-year-old tied Taylor Heise for the team scoring lead during Minnesota’s Walter Cup Championship playoff run with eight points (4G, 4A) in 10 games. Cava had a goal and an assist in Minnesota’s Game 5 win in Boston.
 “We are extremely pleased to get Michela Cava back under contract for next season,” said Minnesota Head Coach Ken Klee. “She was an unbelievable playoff performer for us and proved once again that when games are on the line, she steps up and does whatever it takes to win!”
 Cava was selected in the 12th round of the inaugural PWHL Draft after spending the 2022-23 season with the PHF’s Toronto Six, where she was named Playoff MVP during the team’s Isobel Cup championship run. In addition to her two-season stint in Toronto, Cava accumulated professional experience in Russia’s ZhHL, four seasons in the SDHL, and one season with the Toronto Furies of the CWHL. Cava played her final two NCAA seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, finishing with 44 points (22G, 22A) in 69 games. Her collegiate career began at the University of Connecticut where she tallied 44 points (20G, 24A) in 69 games over two seasons for the Huskies.

 Křížová, a native of Horní Cerekev, Czechia played in all 24 regular season games for PWHL Minnesota, finishing with six points (3G, 3A). The 29-year-old also tallied two goals over Minnesota’s 10 games in the PWHL Playoffs.

Denisa Křížová
 “We are pleased to extend Denisa Krizova,” said Klee. “She was a very consistent player for us all year and know that she will continue to play a valuable role for us.”
 Drafted in the 8th round of the inaugural PWHL Draft, Křížová spent the 2022-23 season with the PHF’s Minnesota Whitecaps. Prior to that, she played three seasons in the SDHL and one season with the PHF’s Boston Pride. Křížová spent four NCAA seasons with Northeastern University, finishing sixth all-time on the Huskies’ scoring list with 169 points (62G, 107A) in 143 games. She has represented Czechia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics and in eight top division IIHF Women’s World Championship tournaments where she won back-to-back bronze medals in 2022 and 2023.
 “I’m really excited to be extending my time on PWHL Minnesota through a third season,” said Křížová. “We have a great team, great players, great fans, and we’ll be working hard on winning another Walter Cup! I’m looking forward to seeing all of our fans at the rink next season.”
 Schepers is a Mound, Minnesota native who played in 19 regular season games for PWHL Minnesota, finishing with three assists. The 25-year-old scored her first career goal in Minnesota’s Walter Cup clinching win over Boston on May 29. She wrapped up Minnesota’s 10-game playoff run with a goal and four assists.

 “We are very excited to get Liz Schepers under contract for the 2024-25 season,” said Klee. “She played a key role in our success in winning the Walter Cup both on the penalty kill and with her consistent play 5-on-5. We are also excited to watch her game continue to develop.”

Liz Schepers
 Schepers was drafted in the 13th round of the inaugural PWHL Draft after spending the 2022-23 season with the PHF’s Minnesota Whitecaps. Prior to that, she played five NCAA seasons with The Ohio State University – including two as captain – and graduated following a 2022 National Championship having played in all 170 scheduled games during her career.
 “I couldn’t be more excited for another season in the State of Hockey,” said Schepers. “It is an honor to play in front of the best fans every night, and I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to help defend our Walter Cup Championship.”
 Cava, Krizová and Schepers are the first players to officially re-sign with Minnesota this offseason. They remain with a team that features 10 additional returnees who signed multi-year contracts ahead of the league’s inaugural season. The group of forwards includes Playoff MVP Taylor Heise, PWHL Rookie of the Year Grace Zumwinkle, Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, and Alternate Captain Kelly Pannek. Also returning are defenders Lee Stecklein (Alternate Captain), Sophie Jaques, Maggie Flaherty and Natalie Buchbinder, plus goaltenders Nicole Hensley and Maddie Rooney.
 Per the Players Association, salary terms of contracts will not be disclosed.