Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Starting off, it's time to look at who will not be in uniform for UND this season. UND graduated two seniors last year, senior captain Michelle Karvinen, and Fargo native Kayla Berg. However, there was also one big subtraction in would have been sophomore Susanna Tapani. She had decided to give up the UND uniform and stay in Finland to compete with her national team. This hit to the offense will be very noticeable with the losses of Karvinen and Tapani, but this just gives room for someone else to take charge and fill that offensive vacancy.
There are two additions to the team this season, and one red shirt freshman to add into the picture. Red shirt sophomore transfer out of Northeastern, Jordan Hampton, was granted a medical red shirt after only playing six games with a minus three rating. She has experience with the USA U18 team, winning a silver medal at the 2012 World Championships. Her addition to the blue line should be one to keep an eye on if she is able to stay healthy. The only true freshman addition is that of Kara Tupa out of Fargo. She helped Fargo South High School complete an undefeated season in 2011-2012 and lead them to a state championship that year as well. She also earned all-state honors in 2012-2013. Finally, red-shirt freshman Nicole Novak. A native of Grand Forks, Red River High School, was named first team all-state in 2013 and second team in 2012. Was named team MVP in 2011 and 2013 for the Knightriders (combined women's high school team from Central and Red River) and recorded 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in her senior season there. The forward is ready to show her hometown what she can provide for the university, and I'd expect nothing more then a 100% effort every chance she gets to play.
For returning players, the team is going to be lead by their three seniors, Andrea Dalen, Josefine Jakobsen and Tori Williams. Although Williams saw limited playing time last season, she showed why she was deserving of the time she got whenever she got the chance to hit the ice. As for the two European players, Josefine Jakobsen has consistently been around that 35-40 point mark for each of her three seasons at UND. Last season she set a career high in plus minus with an amazing plus 21 ranking, putting her three year totals at an outstanding plus 50. Whenever Jakobsen is on the ice, you know the team is a threat to put the puck in the net, whether it is her, or a teammate, doing it. Finally, we have Andrea Dalen. A great team leader and a very hard worker on the ice. Has not put up the big points so far in her career at UND, but her play away from the puck is what you will mostly notice about her play. However, when Dalen gets the chance to show off her offensive skills, she will.
The Junior class holds an Olympian, a future Olympian, in my opinion, and the most consistent playing returning class to UND. Being lead by Meghan Dufault on offense, Tanja Eisenschmid on defense, and Shelby Amsley-Benzie in goal, this Junior class has a lot to offer. Dufault recently was at the Canadian U22 development camp, and was one of the best players during the intersquad scrimmages tallying three goals in two games. Eisenschmid is coming off of her first, of many, Olympic games with the German National Team. Paired with now sophomore Halli Krzyzaniak on the blue line, she has become a solid defensive machine for UND with a plus 10 rating in her sophomore campaign last season. Also don't forget about Sam Hanson and Sam LaShomb on the blue line either. Both are not afraid to step in front of shots and they have the post game ice packs and bruises to prove it. One can't forget about Becca Kohler either. Her play in the offensive zone, controlling the front of the net and the corners, is some of the best in the country. She is one player not afraid to get the dirty goals by camping right on top of the blue paint, a goalie's nightmare.
The now sophomore class was very impressive in their rookie seasons last year as well. Blue liner Gracen Hirschy was probably the most impressive of all the freshman with her outstanding two way play from the back end. Her 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) and a plus 19 rating are something great to build off of for this upcoming season. Just think, she was a second line defender last season too. Then you had Halli Krzyzaniak, who is probably one of the best fundamental defenders in the entire WCHA, if not the NCAA. Usually square to the puck, Krzyzaniak does not leave many lanes open for their opponents to slide the puck through. On the offensive side, Amy Menkie was a forward not afraid to get to the front of the net. With that mentality, you will see her point totals continue to grow on last season's. When you talk about this class, you can't help but mention Lexie Shaw in net. With a goals against average of 1.92 in her rookie year, things look promising for this young, talented goalie. Her first collegiate win came against St. Cloud in late October, but perhaps the game everyone will remember is when she was in net for a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Gophers, snapping their 62 game winning streak.
As for where I see this team compared to the rest of the WCHA? Well, I see them in the top half, but can rank anywhere between 2nd and 4th. Minnesota is the clear favorite to win once again, but between Wisconsin, UND, and UND, I see things tightening up and becoming very competitive down the stretch run standings wise.
This season should be a fun, and competitive one, for the North Dakota Women's Hockey team. Will they make a return to the NCAA playoffs after just missing last season? Only time will tell, but I think they make the return with a vengeance.
Friday, November 30, 2012
UND Forward lines
19 Meghan Dufault – 51 Becca Kohler – 15 Megan Gilbert
10 Andrea Dalen – 2 Mary Loken – 6 Allison Parizek
No Player – 25 Leah Jensen – 13 Layla Marvin
UND Defensive parings
22 Tanja Eisenschmid – 18 Monique Lamoureux (A)
7 Jordan Slavin – 8 Samantha Hanson
16 Tori Willaims – 9 Kayla Berg
4 Sam Lashomb
30 Jorid Dagfinrud
1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
33 Michelle Bonapace-Potvin
RIT Tigers Forward lines
6 Tenecia Hiller (A) – 10 Kim Schlattman (C) – 23 Lindsay Grigg
8 Ariane Yokoyama (A) – 26 Kortney Kunichika 24 Chelste Brown
17 Carly Payerl – 20 Erin Zach – 22 Katire Hubert
27 Jess Paton – 18 Julie Hall – 19 Marissa Maugeri
RIT Tiger Defensive Parings
4 Kristina Moss – 2 Danielle Read
3 Morgan Scoyne – 21 Emilee Bulleid
11 Ellesha Fortuna 28 Melissa Bromley
35 Laura Chamberlain
39 Ali Binnington
Referees: Robert Ludwig, Shawn Thiele
Linesmen: Aaron Story, Josh Brown
Game Time Keeper Erik Martinson (StatsonCrack)