Women’s final: UND 4, OSU 1

First period

UND 1, Ohio State 0 — Halli Krzyzaniak (Meghan Dufault) 6:04 (pp). UND gets off to another good start and gets on the board early when Krzyzaniak threads a point shot through traffic.

UND 2, Ohio State 0 — Amy Menke (Becca Kohler, Meghan Dufault) 18:12. Unlike a day earlier, UND is able to extend this lead. Kohler has the puck in the right circle and quickly fires a puck toward the crease. Menke is standing alone there, picks it up, fakes a shot five-hole to get the goalie down and makes a move around LaMere for the goal.

Second period

UND 3, Ohio State 0 — Vilma Tanskanen (Samantha Hanson, Anna Kilponen) 6:45. Hanson has the puck along the end wall and centers one. It hits the skate of a Buckeye defender but ends up on Tanskanen’s stick anyways and she puts it away for UND’s first freshman goal in more than a month.

Third period

UND 3, Ohio State 1 — Maddy Field (Cara Zubko) 6:11. Ohio State gets a scoring chance on a rush. A UND defender runs into Amsley-Benzie taking her out of the play and Field taps one in from the side of the net.

UND 4, Ohio State 1 — Amy Menke (Anna Kilponen, Halli Krzyzaniak) 12:01 (pp). Kilponen has the puck in the right circle and launches a wrist shot at the net. Menke is standing on top of the crease and tips it high into the corner of the net.

Women’s final: OSU 3, UND 2

First period

UND 1, Ohio State 0 — Jordan Hampton (Sam Hanson) 12:04. Hanson stole the puck from a Buckeye in the corner and sent a pass to Hampton, who had space at the point. Kaiser and Berndsen set up shop in the crease to screen the goalie and Hampton threaded her first goal in a North Dakota uniform.

Second period

UND 1, Ohio State 1 — Claudia Kepler (Alexa Ranahan, Kendall Curtis) 11:56. UND has a slow start to the second period and it eventually burns them as Ranahan flips a pass from the low right circle to the slot, where Kepler fires one by Amsley-Benzie’s blocker to tie it up.

Third period

UND 2, Ohio State 1 — Amy Menke (Becca Kohler, Jordan Hampton) 11:43. Kohler brings the puck in the zone, takes it wide and below the goal line before making a tremendous centering pass to Menke in the slot. Menke one-times it just inside the post to give UND the lead again.

UND 2, Ohio State 2 — Kendall Curtis (Claudia Kepler, Julia McKinnon) 13:08. UND’s lead lasts just 1:25 as the Buckeyes promptly answer. Kepler’s attempt from the top of the right circle is stopped, but Curtis backhands the rebound past Amsley-Benzie.

Ohio State 3, UND 2 — Maddy Field (Katie Matheny, Lauren Boyle) 14:03. The Buckeyes quickly take their first lead of the game when Field backhands a loose puck from a sharp angle that surprises Amsley-Benzie.

UND’s lines

21 Amy Menke–19 Meghan Dufault–51 Becca Kohler
15 Kayla Gardner–10 Charly Dahlquist–13 Layla Marvin
16 Vilma Tanskanen–11 Shannon Kaiser–8 Samantha Hanson
32 Breanna Berndsen–44 Rebekah Kolstad–14 Marissa Salo

6 Gracen Hirschy–18 Halli Krzyzaniak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–7 Jordan Hampton
5 Anna Kilponen–4 Sam LaShomb

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

Ohio State’s lines

18 Julianna Iafallo–26 Kendall Curtis–24 Claudia Kepler
7 Dana Rasmussen–23 Katie Matheny–22 Maddy Field
5 Brenanne Grant–27 Lauren Spring–16 Melani Moylan
10 Erin Langermeier–14 Maggie Rothgery

2 Cara Zubko–21 Alexa Ranahan
6 Lauren Boyle–8 Dani Sadek
17 Julia McKinnon

30 Alex Lamere
39 Stacy Danczak
35 Selena Hunter

Women’s final: UND 0, BSU 0

First period

No scoring.

Second period

No scoring.

Third period

No scoring.


No scoring.


BSU miss — Terres (no shot)
UND GOAL — Kohler (glove side)
BSU save — Anderson (right pad)
UND miss — Krzyzaniak (shot high)
BSU miss — Fawcett (post)

UND’s lines

16 Vilma Tanskanen–19 Meghan Dufault–51 Becca Kohler
13 Layla Marvin–4 Rebekah Kolstad–21 Amy Menke
15 Kayla Gardner–11 Shannon Kaiser–8 Samantha Hanson
17 Dorci Medgyes–14 Marissa Salo

6 Gracen Hirschy–18 Halli Krzyzaniak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–7 Jordan Hampton
4 Sam LaShomb–5 Anna Kilponen
9 Taylor Flaherty

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

BSU’s lines

16 Stephanie Anderson–56 Hanna Moher–9 Kaitlyn Tougas
11 Whitney Wivoda–14 Lauren Miller–6 Kristen Huber
24 Summer Thibodeau–2 Reilly Fawcett–15 Ciscely Nelson
21 Tegan Rose–10 Emily Bergland–17 Emma Terres

23 Ivana Bilic–22 Alexis Joyce
5 Melissa Hunt–4 Madison Hutchinson
18 Lisa Laiti–7 Carley Esse

29 Brittni Mowat
30 Erin Deters
33 MacKenzie Bruch

UND women with first 4-0 start ever

The UND women have stayed true to form early this season by playing a lot of close, down-to-the-wire games, but finding ways to win in the end.

During this weekend’s sweep at Minnesota State-Mankato, UND had to kill a five-minute major power play while clinging to a one-goal lead late in the third period to get a victory in the series opener. The next night, UND needed a late goal in the third period to win.

But that’s the important part. They are winning.

The past few seasons, UND has dropped games early in the season that have come back to haunt them come NCAA tournament selection time. So far, they’ve taken care of business with sweeps of RPI and MSU-Mankato.

UND is now 4-0 for the first time in program history.

Herald – UND continues road mastery of Mavs

Herald – Dufault’s goals keep UND undefeated

A few notes:

  • UND has stuck with the game plan of playing senior Shelby Amsley-Benzie on Friday nights and junior Lexie Shaw on Saturday nights. It’s unclear if UND will continue that against Bemidji State next weekend.
  • Amy Menke hasn’t scored a goal through the first four games, but she’s off to a big start nonetheless. Menke has seven assists in four games and is the team’s leading scorer.
  • Freshman Vilma Tanskanen scored her first-career goal on Friday. She’s the first of the freshmen to score this season.
  • Freshman Rebekah Kolstad, playing in her hometown, was held without a point. She registered a plus-1 rating.
  • It’s not uncommon for power plays to struggle early in the season, and that’s been a theme in UND games. UND is just 1 for 12 (8.3 percent) on the power play to start the season, but its opponents aren’t doing any better (2 for 19, 10.5 percent).
  • Rookies Taylor Flaherty and Breanna Berndsen continue splitting playing time. On Friday nights, Flaherty has gotten the call as a seventh defenseman. On Saturdays, Berndsen has been the 12th forward.
  • UND takes on Bemidji State this weekend, and the Beavers enter the series red hot. They swept Minnesota Duluth last weekend. Goalie Brittni Mowat has stopped 97 of the last 98 shots she’s faced.

UND women sweep RPI

The UND women aren’t behind the 8-ball after two games this season. UND took care of business in Troy, N.Y., over the weekend, sweeping RPI with 4-3 and 4-1 wins, both of which were must-haves for the end-of-the-season Pairwise. Herald stories:

Kohler’s late goal lifts UND

UND starts 2-0 for the second time since 2006

Other notes:

  • The big story over the weekend is the re-emergence of defenseman Sam LaShomb. After not playing many minutes last season, she’s already off to a fantastic start with two goals and an assist on opening weekend. If she continues playing like that, Samantha Hanson will likely stay at forward.
  • Defensemen scored half of the team’s goals on the weekend with LaShomb getting two and captain Halli Krzyzaniak getting two.
  • A total of 13 players collected points on the weekend. Freshmen Vilma Tanskanen, Anna Kilponen and Rebekah Kolstad all tallied their first-career points.
  • UND split the goalies, which was the pre-weekend plan. Coach Brian Idalski indicated that they’ll continue to do that early in the season.
  • The first shorthanded goal of the season goes to Layla Marvin. Her tally jump-started Saturday’s win.
  • Minnesota State-Mankato, Bemidji State and St. Cloud State are up next for UND. Getting off to a good start this season is going to be key.

The slide of the UMD women’s program

Don Lucia is one of two Minnesota hockey coaches to win a national championship.

The other is Herb Brooks, Miracle on Ice legend.

Lucia’s place in Gopher hockey history is secure with those titles and six conference championships.

But what would happen if the Gophers missed the NCAA tournament in each of the next four years? What if the Gophers won just one of 35 games against North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin?

What if Lucia was sanctioned by the NCAA and forced to vacate wins and a conference championship due to his own carelessness? What if his team finished last in the conference in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report for eight straight seasons and dead last in the nation for the two?

There’s no doubt about it, Don Lucia would no longer be the head men’s hockey coach at Minnesota. His national titles, conference championships and legacy would not be enough to save his job.

These are not Don Lucia’s credentials, though. They are those of former Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller, and they are precisely why it should not be a surprise that the school opted not to renew the longtime coach’s contract after it expired following the 2014-15 season.

While Miller is suing the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, saying her gender and sexual orientation played a role in her departures from the university, there’s no arguing that her performance has slipped in the last five years.

After reaching the NCAA tournament in 11 of the sport’s first 12 seasons, the Bulldogs have missed the tournament four years in a row. The last four seasons rank Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the list of the program’s lowest winning percentages.

After finishing in the top three in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for 12 straight years, the Bulldogs have failed to do so in each of the last four years as they’ve been passed up by North Dakota. Even Ohio State has won more games than Minnesota Duluth in the last three years.

After reaching the WCHA conference tournament semifinals for 13 straight years, the Bulldogs have missed the Final Faceoff in two of the last three years, getting bounced by Bemidji State in the first round last season.

After being called one of the WCHA’s ‘Big Three’ for more than a decade, Minnesota Duluth has fallen out of that mix in stunning fashion. The Bulldogs have won just one of their last 35 games against Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, fewer than both Bemidji State and struggling Minnesota State-Mankato (the Beavers won five games against those opponents last year alone).

The league’s coaches didn’t see the program going in a promising direction, either. This season, with all of Miller’s returning players and incoming recruits, fellow WCHA coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish below the Beavers and in the bottom half of the league for the first time ever.

Off the ice, Miller’s troubles with the NCAA have been well documented. The program was forced to forfeit a conference title and all regular-season wins for using a professional player and using a former player to recruit her.

Miller’s teams have under-performed in the classroom as well, finishing dead last in the WCHA in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for eight straight years. They were dead last in the country for four of those years, including the last two.

The athletic department likely took note that 13 players have transferred out of the program in the last three years, too.

Every direction you look, there are red flags.

Yes, Miller did terrific things for the Bulldog women’s hockey program and will go down as one of the sport’s most-highly accomplished coaches. But that doesn’t mean she’s entitled to a lifetime appointment as coach.

Many prominent men’s coaches of men’s sports have found this out.

Bobby Bowden, the second-winningest FBS football coach of all time, was forced out at Florida State when his performance dipped. Jeff Sauer, George Gwozdecky and Rick Comley — three of the top nine winningest coaches in D-I men’s hockey history — were all eventually forced out, too.

Coaching is a bottom-line business and the bottom line is that the Bulldogs weren’t paying Miller more than any women’s hockey coach in the country for those results.

Miller won’t take ownership for the program’s recent struggles.

She’ll say it’s the school’s fault for not providing her team a full-time person to book flights hotels and meals (as bizarre as that sounds). She’ll blame the budget, even though the Bulldogs spend as much as anyone in the country in women’s hockey. It’s just not her fault, never has been.

In 2003, The Ralph hosted the WCHA Final Faceoff. In the early morning hours before the championship game, an angry Miller, looking for game tape, accidentally knocked on the door of a University of Minnesota player while looking for the league’s commissioner. She was suspended one game for it.

After the suspension, she told the Duluth News Tribune: “I would like the focus to be on the events that actually occurred, not me accidentally knocking on the door. I’m a little in shock given the situation. We were the victims, not the accused.”

Last season, it became time for Minnesota Duluth to decide whether to issue a new contract to Miller or whether to look in another direction.

With wins decreasing, distance between rivals increasing, championships traveling out of sight, players consistently transferring out and an APR score stuck in the basement, the Bulldogs’ decision shouldn’t be a shock.

UND women win exhibition

The UND women’s hockey team played its exhibition game Friday night against the University of Manitoba.

First review of the team: It is exactly what we thought they’d be. They were very good in goal and on the back end and had to scratch and claw for offense.

In fact, the only goal scored in UND’s 1-0 victory was put in by one of Manitoba’s own players.

Here are five quick thoughts from the exhibition:

  • The biggest surprise was that UND’s best player was Annie Chipman, who hasn’t played a ton in net. Chipman played in the second period, which was Manitoba’s best. She stopped all nine shots to preserve the shutout.
  • Becca Kohler, who is expected to be one of UND’s top offensive talents, only played one period. She was nicked up playing with Hockey Canada this summer and UND is easing her back in. It was noticeable when she wasn’t on the ice.
  • Loaded on defense, UND has moved Samantha Hanson up front.
  • For the exhibition, UND split up Kohler, Meghan Dufault and Amy Menke — the big three up front. They ended last season together and produced quite a bit of offense. The coaching staff will have tough decisions on whether to keep those three together or split them up as the season goes along.
  • Who will score outside of those three up front? Rookies Vilma Tanskanen and Rebekah Kolstad will get their chances. Hungarian Dorci Medgyes, a big unknown coming from a small hockey country, showed some flashes as well.

Marvin, Campbell to redshirt

UND women’s hockey team held its media day session as it has an exhibition game looming Friday night… yes, that’s right, it begins Friday night.

There will be more covering coming next week on the team as well.

Although it’s not really a surprise on either account, both forward Lisa Marvin and goalie Kristen Campbell will be redshirting this season.

Marvin was badly injured after being hit by a car last November and is still on the mend. She is skating on her own and her knee is getting better and better, but major hurdles are still in front of her in regards to her arm.

Doctors are still trying to figure out whether Marvin is going to need a bone graft done on her arm. She lost a three-inch piece of bone in her arm and doctors were hoping that it would rejuvinate, but it hasn’t done enough yet. More appointments are coming up for her.

Campbell, meanwhile, will work on her game as UND has a terrific 1-2 punch of Shelby Amsley-Benzie and Lexie Shaw in net. There’s been some buzz about Campbell’s play during fall camp, which bodes well for UND’s future.

Amsley-Benzie, meanwhile, is ready to go after having offseason surgery. There was some question earlier this summer about whether she’d be ready to go at the start of the year.

Amsley-Benzie, a Patty Kaz finalist last season, will play a period on Friday. So will Shaw and Annie Chipman.

UND women picked third

The WCHA released its preseason coaches poll and the UND women were picked to finish in a familiar spot — third in the WCHA.

UND has finished third in three of the last four years (the other time UND finished second, but lost a tiebreaker and was the No. 3 seed).

WCHA coaches poll

Minnesota (6) 48
Wisconsin (2) 44
North Dakota 35
Bemidji State 31
Minnesota Duluth 26
Ohio State 20
St. Cloud State 13
MSU-Mankato 7

Player of the year: Hannah Brandt, F, Minnesota (7), Sarah Nurse, F, Wisconsin (1)
Rookie of the year: Sarah Potomak, F, Minnesota (4), Jincy Dunne, D, Ohio State (2), Mikaela Gardner, D, Wisconsin (1), Sophia Shaver, F, Wisconsin (1)

The two biggest surprises to me were Bemidji State being voted to finish in the top half and Jincy Dunne not being the preseason rookie of the year.

The Bemidji State vote is notable because I don’t believe the Beavers have ever been voted to finish in the top half of the league, but they do have a lot of players coming back from a team that made the WCHA Final Faceoff title game a year ago.

Dunne is a rising star in U.S. women’s hockey and even got to join the U.S. Olympic Team for much of the 2013-14 season.

UND is expected to have some question marks offensively, but it should be very good and experienced both on the back end and in net, where Shelby Amsley-Benzie and Lexie Shaw lead the team.

The Herald will have a full women’s hockey preview down the road as the season nears.

Locals, UND players make USA-CAN rosters

Lexi Shaw was the backup goaltender for UND last season. That means UND may have some depth at that spot.

On Monday, Shaw was announced as one of three UND players to make the U.S. roster for the upcoming U22 series against Canada.

Forward Amy Menke and defenseman Gracen Hirschy also made the roster, a landmark achievement for each player.

The selections were largely based on their performance at camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., which bodes well for UND’s upcoming season. That’s especially true at the goaltender position.

It is unclear whether Patty Kazmaier Award finalist Shelby Amsley-Benzie will be able to start the season on time after having offseason surgery. UND will be more than comfortable letting Shaw take the net at the start of the season, though.

Two other current UND players made the U22 squad for Canada in forward Becca Kohler and defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak. Kohler has consistently developed year-to-year at UND and could be a top scorer this season.

There are also several notables to make the U18 roster for the U.S.-Canada series as well.

UND defenseman recruit Abigail Stanley is on the team, along with East Grand Forks’ Mak Langei, Thief River Falls’ Patti Marshall (Minnesota commit) and Fargo’s Alex Woken (Minnesota commit).

UND commit Ryleigh Houston made Team Canada for the U18 series.

The U22 series will be played Wednesday through Saturday in Lake Placid. The U18s series will be held Thursday through Saturday.