Skating ends for UND women

Hockey team’s NCAA hopes crushed, players still garner post-season awards

When the UND women’s hockey team stepped onto the ice to take on Minnesota for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association conference championship last weekend, it would end up being the last time the team would skate together this season.

North Dakota needed to win that game to continue its season, but Minnesota was able to claim the victory and stop any NCAA hopes UND had.

“At the end of the day, we have to get better,” UND coach Brian Idalksi said.

Even though the season is over, UND had several players recognized by the WCHA for their work both on and off the ice.

At the WCHA awards banquet, 15 UND players were given All-Academic honors. Players had to have eligibility of one year at the school they currently attend and also had to have a 3.0 GPA for three quarters to qualify.

Michelle Karvinen received the honor of being selected to the All-WCHA First Team with 22 points. Josefine Jakobsen was selected for the All-WCHA third team — her second time being given that honor. Jakobsen leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists.

There were also two rookies who received awards this year as Susanna Tapani and Gracen Hirschy were selected to be on the All-WCHA rookie team. Tapani ranks No. 2 among UND freshmen with eight goals and 12 assists while Hirschy leads the team with nine goals 13 assists.

The departure of two seniors makes the end of the season a bitter experience.

“Having two seniors, Kayla Berg and Michelle Karvivnen, Berg really has seen the transition — as a fifth year senior as a walk on — from what we were, being we weren’t in the tournament a few years ago,” Idalksi said. “That was beyond probably even her expectations for her a as a college athlete. Both of them will be missed.”

While the team capitalized on its chances early on, closing out the success was a more difficult task.

“Effort-wise was there,” Idalki said. “Heart-wise, compete-wise — I think we just didn’t play well enough down the stretch to be in the tournament.”

Sports editor Elizabeth Erickson contributed to this report.

Mariah Holland is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].