Impressions from Weekend No. 1

The UND women’s hockey team swept Lindenwood University this weekend with 5-1 and 6-1 victories. Read the Herald game stories here and here.

Of course, Lindenwood isn’t a great measuring stick. The Lions were 0-16 against non-CHA teams last season. UND swept them in Missouri. Even so, the regular season games provided a picture of what this season’s team will look like. My thoughts out of the weekend:

1. The most noticeable difference is in the blue line. Through the years, UND has had a very defensive D-corps, which is one of the reasons they moved Monique Lamoureux back there the last few years. Other than Mo, UND never generated offense from back there. That’s about to change. If you don’t include Monique as a D, I’m fairly confident to say that Halli Krzyzaniak and Gracen Hirschy will be the two best offensive D the program has ever had.

UND’s D launched a ridiculous 52 shots on goal over the weekend, including 27 by Hirschy and Krzyzaniak alone. Yes, they are still young, still make mistakes and have some growing to do. But their talent is undeniable. Add in the fact that Sam LaShomb and Tanja Eisenschmid have pretty good offensive skills, and you have a blue line that can generate a lot of offense.

2. Now we know why the coaching staff was so excited to land Susanna Tapani. The freshman Finn had a six-point weekend and displayed some outstanding vision. We all wondered where the offense would come from this season. Tapani is one addition that will immediately impact that area.

3. Coach Brian Idalski made it sound like there may be some changes on the third and fourth lines for next weekend. But I thought those units produced more scoring chances than in the past. Of course, that may be because they were playing against Lindenwood and got quite a bit of ice time. Even so, it was an encouraging sign. We’ll probably get a better idea if they can sustain that next weekend.

4. The addition of Peter Elander and his European connections appear to be paying dividends. After one weekend, UND’s top five scorers are Josefine Jakobsen (Denmark), Susanna Tapani (Finland), Andrea Dalen (Norway), Michelle Karvinen (Denmark/Finland) and Johanna Fallman (Sweden).

5. It was a small sample size, but it appeared that Shelby Amsley-Benzie has picked up where she left off last season. She was pretty sharp most of the weekend. Once again, we’ll probably learn more next weekend when the Duluth Bulldogs come to town.

2 thoughts on “Impressions from Weekend No. 1

  1. Thank you for tempering your thoughtful analysis with realistic views of the the team situation.Yes the profiles of these young ladies mean a lot and help so much to set the stage for the coming season. A good wrtiter should do that as the season begins . ‘ Meet our team”, this is where and how they got here and this is what we can look for as the season progresses”.
    I have seen the team play Lindenwood in the past and the score was like 12-0, whatever. OK ,fun to watch the team score like that ,but a good fan never likes to see the other team so over matched.
    You did temper this weekend results in that context.
    I wish all of sports did that . This fall I am watching the ‘fans’ pound the Vikings and esp poor Ponder as the team got beat in the first three games by , as it is turning out , 3 of the better teams in the NFL. Then the Vikes play perhaps the worst team in the NFL at the moment , Steelers, and their win is all attributed to switching of QB’s! The Browns sacked Ponder 6 times and Ponder sucks as QB! The Vikes ‘come alive ‘ and protects Cassel ,against a lesser team , and Cassel is the new savior.!
    Yeah this is a Hockey blog , but my point is a sports one . Keep things in perspective .This women’s team will give us many great moments this year , but until they do that against the Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s ,these results need to be tempered.
    Last year when the ‘Sioux and the Lamoureuxs ‘ took Minnesota to triple overtime in the finals ,THAT was monumental ! Oh so close ! Oh so much pride in that team.

  2. Oh I suppose I could do the research , but could you give us your thoughts on what to maybe expect from the teams they face this season? Is Minnesota on the schedule? Are the Gophers still the powerhouse ? How will the Olympics effect everyone ? Will UND’s emphasis on foreign students effect them more, or is every team going to lose their share of good players?
    just wondering? Who are the other teams that show promise ? Minn-Duluth?

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