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.

UND players earn camp invites

Three current UND women’s players have been invited to Hockey Canada’s development camp this summer.

Defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak and forwards Becca Kohler and Meghan Dufault all earned invites to the camp that will be held in Calgary next month. Hockey Canada says that Dufault won’t be at the camp, though.

A total of 43 players earned invites. The camp will conclude with scrimmages between two teams of players there.

Four players who earned gold medals at the Olympics with Canada will be at the camp. Canada is expected to have a big overhaul on its roster for the next Olympic Games, and many of these players will be considered for the 2018 Games.

Three UND recruits also were invited to U18 camp.

Defenseman Abby Thiessen and forwards Ryleigh Houston and Sarah Lecavalier will all participate in Calgary next month.

The IIHF also is expected to bring in elite players from other countries to Calgary to participate in the event, which is a great step toward bringing more parity to the women’s game.

Thiessen, Lecavalier and Houston are expected to come to UND in 2016.

UND announces team awards

UND announced its team awards on the men’s and women’s sides. Here are the press releases from the school……

Junior goaltender Zane McIntyre was named the recipient of the Jeff Anderson Scholarship Award as the University of North Dakota’s most valuable player, highlighting the 2014-15 team awards announced on Wednesday night by head coach Dave Hakstol.

McIntyre won the Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in Division I men’s hockey and was a Hobey “Hat Trick” finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award given to the nation’s best player. The Thief River Falls, Minn., native appeared in all 42 games this season and led the nation with 29 victories, second-most in UND single-season history. He finished the year with a 29-10-3 record and a 2.05 goals against average and .929 save percentage. McIntyre was also named the NCHC Goaltender of the Year and was the NCAA West Region Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

UND’s other 2014-15 team award recipients included:

Cliff “Fido” Purpur Award: Connor Gaarder | Senior | Forward | Edina, Minn.

  • Award is given to the player who exemplifies hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice
  • Assistant captain had career highs in points (20), goals (10), assists (10) and tied for ninth nationally in GWG (5)

Archie Krum Memorial Athletic Scholarship: Nick Mattson | Senior | Defenseman | Chanhassen, Minn.

  • Award is given to the player who demonstrates leadership qualities, high academic standards, athletic excellence
  • Earned second straight NCAA Elite 89 Award for having the highest grade-point average among Frozen Four participants
  • NCHC  Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Tom Hoghaug Memorial Scholarship: Tucker Poolman | Freshman | Defenseman | East Grand Forks, Minn.

  • Award is given to the freshman who demonstrates initiative, character and a sense of responsibility
  • Played in 25 games at forward and 15 on defense and led the team with six power-play goals

Rookie of the Year: Nick Schmaltz | Forward | Verona, Wis.

  • Named to All-NCHC Rookie Team and was the NCHC Rookie of the Month in October
  • Tied for second among NCHC freshmen in points (26) and assists (21)

    Most Improved Player:
    Austin Poganski | Freshman | Forward | St. Cloud, Minn.
  • Had four goals and 10 assists with a plus-11 in 38 games as a freshman
  • Led the conference in rooking scoring during the NCHC Quarterfinals with three points in two games

Coaches’ Unsung Hero Award: Andrew Panzarella | Senior | Defenseman | Washington, D.C.

  • Was a career-best plus-8 and matched his career high with four points despite playing in only nine games
  • UND went 8-1-0 when he was in the lineup

Plus/Minus Award: Gage Ausmus | Sophomore | Defenseman | East Grand Forks, Minn.

  • Award is given to the player with the best plus/minus rating on the team
  • Played in all 42 games and led the team with a career-high plus-15 rating

Virg Foss 3-Star Award: Zane McIntyre | Junior | Goalie | Thief River Falls, Minn.

  • Award is given to the player who receives the most 3-star voting points from the print media following home games
  • Named 1st star twice, 2nd star once and 3rd star five times


Junior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie earned both the team’s Most Valuable Player and Academic awards. While holding a 4.0 grade-point average in chemical engineering, Amsley-Benzie led the nation’s goaltenders this season with a .954 save percentage. Her accolades on the ice propelled her to become the third All-American in program history. She additionally broke three school records and now holds the records for career wins (51), career shutouts (14) and single-season shutouts (9).

Halli Krzyzaniak was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. Krzyzaniak earned All-WCHA Third Team honors this season and was also named to the Canadian Women’s National Team for both the 2014 Four Nations Cup and the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship. She totaled 13 points this season from the blue line, scoring two goals and recording 11 assists.

Jordan Hampton was named the team’s Rookie of the Year, given to a player in her first year of play at UND. Hampton, a sophomore transfer from Northeastern, stepped in right away at the blue line for UND and played in all 37 games this season. She ended her first year and UND with seven assists and a +4 plus/minus rating.

The team’s Most Improved Player award went to junior forward Shannon Kaiser. Playing in all 37 games, Kaiser recorded three goals and three assists. She scored the game-winning goal against Bemidji State on Jan. 25, while assisting on the game-winner against St. Cloud State on Nov. 29.

Rounding out the team awards, senior defenseman Tori Williams was named the team’s Most Dedicated Player. Named an assistant captain for the season, Williams skated in all 37 games for UND this season. She totaled five points off of one goal and four assists, with her lone goal coming in the final game of the season against No. 3 Wisconsin in the semifinals of the 2015 WCHA Final Face-Off.

At the end of the banquet, head coach Brian Idalski named the team captains that will lead the UND squad in 2015-16. Three assistant captains were named, as Becca Kohler, Tanja Eisenschmid and Layla Marvin will all wear an ‘A’, while soon-to-be junior defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak will get the ‘C’ as the team’s captain next season.

UND women miss NCAAs by one spot

For the second time in five years, UND is the first team out of the NCAA tournament.

Although UND finished at No. 8 in the Pairwise Rankings, it wasn’t enough this season because College Hockey America is in its first year of getting an autobid.

So, a 15-18-5 RIT team that twice lost to Lindenwood will occupy the last slot in the tournament.

Everyone knew that this season would be more challenging to qualify for the NCAAs because of the CHA autobid, and UND put itself behind the 8-ball by losing nonconference games against Vermont and Syracuse, two teams that finished with losing records.

UND went 12-1-1 down the stretch, which tells you about the importance of those nonconference games.

North Dakota put together an outstanding finish to the season, but it wasn’t enough to dig out of that early hole.

NCAA women’s tournament

RIT at Minnesota
Boston University at Wisconsin
Clarkson at Boston College
Quinnipiac at Harvard

If both the Gophers and Badgers win in the quarterfinals, they would meet up in the semifinals.

Saturday morning reading

The last time that Grand Forks and Ralph Engelstad Arena hosted the WCHA Final Faceoff, UND wasn’t a member of the league yet.

Today, it returns.

This time, UND gets to play in it.

The field is probably exactly what the fans in the area wanted to see. It starts with three-time defending Final Faceoff champ Minnesota taking on Jim Scanlan and the Bemidji State Beavers at 2:07 p.m..

Then, it’s Wisconsin against UND at 5:07 p.m.

Today’s game appears to be a must-win for UND, which currently sits at No. 8 in the Pairwise. With the CHA champion taking up one of the eight spots in the national tournament with an autobid, the lowest an at-large team can be in the Pairwise and still make the tournament is No. 7.

This is somewhat similar to the situation UND was in two years ago. It knew it needed to beat Wisconsin in the semifinals to have a shot at the NCAA tournament, and UND did win that game.

This is the third year in a row that UND has matched up with the Badgers in the WCHA semifinals. UND won the last two.

For today’s paper, I wrote about senior defenseman Johanna Fallman. She doesn’t spend a lot of time in the limelight, doesn’t score a lot of goals, but has been a pretty consistent presence on the blue line for UND this season.

Fallman also is one of the smartest players on the team, posting a 4.0, while studying in her second language. She had a rough start at UND, breaking her ankle and being declared ineligible for a year by the NCAA. Fallman thought about leaving and going home, but stuck it out and says it has been the best decision of her life.

Winnipeg Free Press writer Tim Campbell, who covers the Jets for the paper, was in town last weekend doing pieces on Tucker Poolman and Meghan Dufault. He watched Dufault make the play to set up Amy Menke for the triple OT game-winner a week ago. Read his piece on Dufault here.

I also wrote a story on Scanlan, the former East Grand Forks coach and administrator who has led the Beavers to their first 20-win season in school history. He had a funny story about how BSU scored the game-tying goal in a decisive Game 3 against Minnesota Duluth last weekend. Read that here.

If you get a hard copy of the paper, you’ll see matchup boxes of all four teams, a note on their top player and a short piece on what to expect from each team in the tournament.

All four teams are coming in hot.

UND is 15-2-1 since early December.

Minnesota is 31-2-4 on the season.

Wisconsin is 20-4-4 since getting swept by Minnesota in October.

Bemidji State is 6-3 since getting swept by UND last month.

So, it should be a great event. Since I’m in Oxford, Ohio, we’ll have Darian Brevik covering the tournament for us. Check out all the coverage on the Herald site. That’s it for now.

Amsley-Benzie, Scanlan win major awards

Shelby Amsley-Benzie is the WCHA student-athlete of the year and Jim Scanlan is the coach of the year in the league, heading up the major award winners for the WCHA.

Amsley-Benzie did get some bad news as she missed the cut for the Patty Kazmaier top three. She has the second-best save percentage in college hockey in the last eight years (only behind Noora Raty’s senior season). Raty also probably should have won Patty Kaz that year. Tough award for goalies.

UND’s Becca Kohler and Halli Krzyzaniak also made the all-WCHA third team.

WCHA awards

Player of the year — Hannah Brandt, F, Minnesota
Coach of the year — Jim Scanlan, Bemidji State
Student-athlete of the year — Shelby Amsley-Benzie, G, North Dakota
Rookie of the year — Annie Pankowski, F, Wisconsin
Defensive player of the year — Rachel Ramsey, D, Minnesota
Scoring champion — Brandt
Goaltending champion — Amsley-Benzie

First team

F – Hannah Brandt, Minnesota
F – Dani Cameranesi, Minnesota
F – Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin
D – Rachel Ramsey, Minnesota
D – Lee Stecklein, Minnesota
G – Shelby Amsley-Benzie, North Dakota
G – Brittni Mowat, Bemidji State

Second team

F – Brittany Ammerman, Wisconsin
F – Zoe Hickel, Minnesota Duluth
F – Annie Pankowski, Wisconsin
D – Milicia McMillen, Minnesota
D – Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth

Third team

F – Rachel Bona, Minnesota
F – Becca Kohler, North Dakota
F – Karley Sylvester, Wisconsin
D – Courtney Burke, Wisconsin
D – Halli Krzyzaniak, North Dakota
G – Ann-Renee Desbiens, Wisconsin

Rookie team

F – Emily Clark, Wisconsin
F – Annie Pankowski, Wisconsin
F – Kelly Pannek, Minnesota
D – Sydney Baldwin, Minnesota
D – Alexis Joyce, Bemidji State
G – Kassidy Sauve, Ohio State

Women’s final: UND 2, OSU 1, 3 OT

Notes: No lineup changes for UND. Ohio State makes a change in net, one of many changes for the Buckeyes.

First period

No scoring.

Second period

UND 1, Ohio State 0 — Samantha Hanson (Meghan Dufault) 9:03. Dufault wins a draw cleanly back to Hanson, who blasts a slap shot through a Jensen screen to give UND the first lead.

UND 1, Ohio State 1 — Kayla Sullivan (Danielle Gagne, Sara Schmitt) 19:23. UND gets outnumbered down low and Gagne feeds Sullivan for backdoor tap-in to tie the game.

Third period

No scoring.


No scoring.

Second overtime

No scoring.

Third overtime

UND 2, Ohio State 1 — Amy Menke (Meghan Dufault, Becca Kohler) 3:17. UND punches its ticket to the Final Faceoff with a two-on-one goal in transition. Dufault, coming up the left side, feeds Menke, who buries it to end the second-longest game in program history.

UND’s lines

51 Becca Kohler–19 Meghan Dufault–21 Amy Menke
10 Andrea Dalen–63 Josefine Jakobsen–25 Leah Jensen
15 Kayla Gardner–11 Shannon Kaiser–13 Layla Marvin
16 Tori Williams–14 Marissa Salo–4 Sam LaShomb

6 Gracen Hirschy–18 Halli Krzyzanaiak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–8 Samantha Hanson
5 Johanna Fallman–7 Jordan Hampton

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

Ohio State’s lines

18 Julianna Iafallo–6 Taylor Kuehl–19 Danielle Gagne
24 Claudia Kepler–27 Lauren Spring–17 Julia McKinnon
26 Kendall Curtis–7 Kayla Sullivan–16 Melani Moylan
9 Bryanna Neuwald–13 Jessica Dunne–14 Maggie Rothgery

22 Sara Schmitt–2 Cara Zubko
10 Kara Gust–21 Alexa Ranahan
20 Kari Schmitt–8 Dani Sadek

32 Kassidy Sauve
39 Stacy Danczak
35 Selena Hunter

Women’s final: UND 5, Ohio St. 2

Notes: UND goes with the same lines as it has been using.

First period

UND 1, Ohio State 0 — Josefine Jakobsen (Tanja Eisenschmid) 2:36. UND gets on the board on its first shot of the game. Jakobsen comes on a rush up the left side and wires a shot past Danczak on the far side from the circle.

Second period

UND 1, Ohio State 1 — Kari Schmitt (Kayla Sullivan) 10:02 (pp). UND’s shutout streak ends at 297:51 when Schmitt’s shot from the point bounces on the ice and kicks over Amsley-Benzie’s pad for a power-play goal.

Ohio State 2, UND 1 — Sara Schmitt (Danielle Gagne, Kari Schmitt) 13:34 (pp). The Buckeyes cash in on the power play again as Dufault’s clearing attempt is intercepted at the point by Kari Schmitt. She puts the puck into the scoring area and her sister puts a rebound past Amsley-Benzie.

Ohio State 2, UND 2 — Andrea Dalen (Kayla Gardner, Tanja Eisenschmid) 19:54. UND ties the game with just 5.5 seconds left in the second period. Gardner comes on a rush up the left side and throws a pass to the slot area, where it gets through Schmitt and comes to Dalen. The captain hammers a shot off of the goalie’s shoulder and in.

Third period

UND 3, Ohio State 2 — Andrea Dalen (Samantha Hanson) 8:54. Hanson ends a strong shift by getting the puck at the point and firing it toward the slot. It deflects off of a Buckeye defenseman to Dalen, who quickly snipes a backhand before Danczak can get over.

UND 4, Ohio State 2 — Meghan Dufault (Amy Menke) 18:51 (en). Menke fights off a couple of checks and gets the puck to Dufault for the empty-netter.

UND 5, Ohio State 2 — Andrea Dalen (Halli Krzyzaniak) 19:33 (en). Dalen finishes off the hat trick by firing one into the empty net from the circle.

UND’s lines

51 Becca Kohler–19 Meghan Dufault–21 Amy Menke
10 Andrea Dalen–63 Josefine Jakobsen–25 Leah Jensen
15 Kayla Gardner–11 Shannon Kaiser–13 Layla Marvin
16 Tori Williams–14 Marissa Salo–4 Sam LaShomb

6 Gracen Hirschy–18 Halli Krzyzaniak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–8 Samantha Hanson
5 Johanna Fallman–7 Jordan Hampton

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

Ohio State’s lines

7 Kayla Sullivan–6 Tahylor Kuehl–19 Danielle Gagne
24 Claudia Kepler–27 Lauren Spring–17 Julia McKinnon
18 Julianna Iafallo–26 Kendall Curtis–16 Melani Moylan
9 Bryanna Neuwald–23 Katie Matheny–14 Maggie Rothgery

22 Sara Schmitt–13 Jessica Dunne
10 Kara Gust–21 Alexa Ranahan
20 Kari Schmitt–8 Dani Sadek

39 Stacy Danczak
32 Kassidy Sauve
35 Selena Hunter

Friday morning reading

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — That’s really nice that it has warmed up to 13 degrees in Grand Forks. Because it’s currently -14 here in the Zoo.

Sorry Bronco fans, we brought the weather with us.

UND flew to Kalamazoo on Thursday morning and held a practice at Lawson Ice Arena during the afternoon. Sources say that Dave Hakstol actually scored a shootout goal this week on Zane McIntyre.

And former Kalamazoo Wing Brad Berry won the shootout in the town he spent six years as a player and where he started his coaching career. Seems fitting.

It’s not the same arena where the K-Wings play, though. That venue is currently being occupied by the U.S. Curling Nationals. They are down to the semifinals now. Former UND student Joe Polo is among the semifinalists.

It’s a busy week in town and it has been a busy week for the NCHC. The league office made a pair of suspensions this week — one on UND’s last opponent and one on UND’s next opponent.

NCHC commish Josh Fenton took some time out to answer some questions facing the league, including Arizona State, the officiating program, full cost of attendance stipends and first-round travel. Read his answers here.

NCHC assistant commissioner Joe Novak is expected to be on hand for this weekend’s UND-WMU series in Lawson Ice Arena.

WMU officials say that Friday’s game is a near sellout and that they are selling just standing-room only tickets for Saturday’s game. Western Michigan coach Andy Murray hopes a revved up crowd is an advantage for the Broncos.

Although Western is out of the race for the Penrose Cup, the team is keeping its hopes high as it heads down the stretch.

What are the keys to this series?

1. Goaltending. That’s always the case, but I think it’s an extra interesting matchup this weekend. Zane McIntyre stole two games here last season. If you recall, Western outshot UND fairly handily both nights, but Zane was the difference both times.

I thought that Western had the best 1-2 punch in goal in the NCHC coming into the season, but both guys have been up-and-down. Lukas Hafner’s stumble in the outdoor game re-opened the door for Frank Slubowski, who made his first start in three months last week. Whoever plays this weekend, the Broncos need a good performance.

2. Handling physicality. The Broncos were the most physical team in the NCHC last season and I thought it caught some teams off guard. I don’t think UND has any problem with playing that style of game, which is good, because it will need to this weekend. Western won’t be quite as physical Friday night without suspended 6-foot-5, 250-pound Mike McKee, but I’d expect to see Josh Pitt back in the lineup with McKee out.

3. Staying out of the box. Western’s power play has been potent this year, ranking fifth in the nation and first in the NCHC. Nolan LaPorte, the team’s top power-play point producer, did not play last weekend but practiced this week. Junior defenseman Kenney Morrison is believed to be one of the most coveted NHL free agents on the market. He’s an offensive specialist.

4. Find a difference-maker. There wasn’t much time and space last time these teams played in Lawson. Rocco Grimaldi created a lot of it, though. He was the best player on the ice and was a huge difference-maker in that series. He’s gone. UND needs to find another one, whether it’s one of the Schmaltz’s, Paul LaDue, Drake Caggiula or Michael Parks.

On to the picks….

Minnesota Duluth at Miami: Should be a great matchup between arguably the two best groups of forwards in the league. Duluth has won four of the last five. Miami is on a five-game unbeaten streak. Miami 4-2, Duluth 5-4.

Omaha at St. Cloud State: Omaha wants to avoid another late-season meltdown, and at this point, it doesn’t appear to be coming. The Mavs appear solid in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. But I keep waiting for St. Cloud State to make its push. Maybe it starts this weekend. St. Cloud State 4-3, 3-3 tie.

Denver vs. Colorado College: The Tigers have been outscored 11-1 by their rivals this season. There’s not much left to play for but the Gold Pan. Unfortunately for the Tigers, it won’t be staying in the Springs this year. Denver 4-0, 2-1.

UND at Western Michigan: UND’s last three road trips have ended in splits. But I sense that this is a team that wants to make its late-season push. I think both games will be tight, low-scoring affairs. UND 3-2, 2-2 tie.


Back in Grand Forks, the UND women’s team finishes its regular season against last-place Minnesota State-Mankato.

All it’s going to take is a single point for UND to clinch home ice for a fifth consecutive season. One victory will be enough to secure third place as well. Two wins would secure a 20-win season.

UND has started to monitor the Pairwise Rankings ever-so-slightly and this team could shockingly make a run all the way to the NCAA tournament.

How did this team go from 4-7-1 to this point? Here are the top five reasons.

We may not know UND’s first-round opponent until Sunday, as four of the eight WCHA teams conclude play on Sunday afternoon. One key series to watch is Ohio State and Minnesota Duluth.

Lamoureux make Team USA

Both Lamoureux twins have made Team USA for the upcoming Women’s World Championship.

Jocelyne, who missed some Team USA activities over the winter due to surgery recovery, is on the roster as a forward. Monique, who has moved to the blue line since the 2014 Sochi Games, will continue playing defense.

The World Championships will be played March 28 to April 4 in Malmo, Sweden.

Other 2014 Olympians on the WWC roster include forwards Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, Kendall Coyne and Alex Carpenter, defensemen Lee Stecklein, Anne Schleper, Michelle Picard and Kacey Bellamy, and goaltenders Jesse Vetter and Molly Schaus.